Artists world wide are familiar with the quirky drawings and detailed etchings of Townsville based artist, Ron McBurnie, one of Australia’s leading contemporary printmakers.

Ron McBurnie Washing the dog 2000, hard ground etching, roulette and aquatint 17 x 12 cm. Photo: Michael Marzik

 A travelling exhibition showcasing 30 years of Ron’s work, entitled Metal as Anything opened in the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery, Level 4 on Saturday, September 22nd and runs until November 25.

Visitors to the State Library are also invited to pop next door to the ALA Showcase to view artists’ books and other works from our collection by Ron McBurnie.

Chosen by Helen and prepared for exhibit by staff from our conservation team, Rachel Spano and Sid Furber, the display of Ron’s work including endearing animals and witty observations of suburban life, should appeal to people of all ages.

Helen and Rachel with Exhibitions Project Officer Amy-Clare McCarthy looking on.


Sid puts the final touches to one of the book mounts.


Ron’s etching in "Paper Memory", a collaborative work designed and coordinated by Ron to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Sydney Works on Paper Fair in 2005.


"Tonguey" - a Flickbook using computer-manipulated images.


“The temptation of St. Antony”


"The Little Hole" featuring the binding of Fred Pohlmann.

 Visitors are also encouraged to attend the two White Glove sessions planned in the months during the Metal as Anything exhibition. Quite different in content, the sessions will focus on works from the collection that illustrate some of the ingredients that Ron uses in his art practice. One might say that Ron’s work has inspired the sessions…” misbehaving animals, the eccentric, the weird, the wonderful, the everyday landscape as part of our existence.”

The sessions are free to the public, however booking a place is essential with limited places available.

White Gloves Sessions 
Time: 2 – 3pm Level 4
State Library of Queensland

 Session 1Saturday Oct 6 will highlight works in which Etching is the principal technique. It will include colonial prints from the John Oxley Library collection as well as limited edition books and artists’ books from the Australian Library of Art.  Also on show will be copper printing plates and the works printed from them.

Session 2Saturday November 3  Tails from the Artists’ books collection.  Taking a cue from the curious and lolloping dogs that inhabit Ron McBurnie’s work, this session will look at the many ways that animal stories and lives have been interpreted in artists’ books.

More information about all the events coming up during Ron’s exhibition may be viewed on the State Library’s showcase page at Metal as Anything.

Catalogue records for the works shown above.