WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 1991------------------------------------------TOPICS-----------------PAGE 5

Changes needed before we measure up to this Swede's expectations.
The man who would be Mayor
by Mary Vernon
Ture Sjolander is eager to become a citizen of Australia - but he rejects anything to do with Britain or the Queen.
"I love Australia, my greatest concern is that Australians don't love it enough. As soon it is possible to become a citizen of Australia without becoming a subject of the Queen then I will seize the opportunity" he said.
In the meantime ex-artist Ture, 54, will keep his Swedish passport and keep hoping for the social changes he sees as vital for Australia in general and for Townsville i particular.
"I am tired of art, painting has no relevance in this modern age" said Sjolander, whose work is exhibited in Sweden's National Gallery, Museum of Modern Art and other international galleries.
"All of society has embraced technology, to improve performance and to reach as many people as possible except for the artistic world. It is blinkered and tied to the principle of one-off paintings and limited edition prints.
"Perhaps it is still relevant in the Third World countries which have no access to technology but in the Western World  it is finished. It is like making only one hand-written copy of a book".
Ture believes that the art establishment, the galleries and curators are perpetuating an anachronism and he wants no part of it. His plan is to change the world - well, Australia at any rate.
He recently sponsored a public competition to find a new name for the combined city of Townsville/Thuringgova. The winner of the $500 prize was Don Talbot of Cranbrook whose suggestion was "Queensland City".
"There are many things I would like to see in Australia," he said. "We must throw off the British colonial system. The majority of Australians are not of Anglo Saxon origin and they do not want to be part of the British system. Having the British queen as the queen of Australia is ridiculous.
"And the constitution of Australia - it is based on the Magna Charta and it is not appropriate to Australia today. " We must embrace multiculturalism and on that foundation build a strong, self-sufficient country like America. "The minority cannot lead the majority. I believe that on the declaration of the Republic of Australia most of those 700.000 who now hold permanent resident visas, like me, would flock to become citizens."
He first came to Australia 1982 when he visited all the capital cities and the outback and begane his love affaier witk this country.
His biggest shock on that first trip was meeting the great Australian mateship tradition and completely misinterpreting it.
"I had only recently arrived in the country, I was in Canberra and I was thirsty. I found a bar and went in, but when I saw it was full of about 200 men drinking together and no woman I turned round and hurried out. I thought it was the biggest homosexual club I had ever seen"
He laughs now over his mistake, but still believes we must let go our convict past, in which he thinks the mateship tradition is rooted, to grow and expand in a truly Australian way.
After his first trip he come back again on his way to a film project in Papua Guinea. He met his future wife, Maria, a Filipino-born Australian in Sydney and, after tidying up his affairs in Sweden he arrived to settle and marry her in Australia in 1988.
"We came to Magnetic Island for our honeymoon and liked Townsville so much we stayed."
Although they have now separated, Ture continues to live in Townsville with his 20-month-old son, Matu because he thinks it is an ideal place.
When he first arrived, he found that people were much friendlier if they thought he was a tourist. They would welcome him and offer help. If he said he lived here, their concern and interest shut of immediately.
"S I started to pretend that I was a tourist and people in shops and buses and taxis were  extremely friendly. When I saw the same person again I would tell them I was back again on holiday."
Ture has abandoned this game now and hopes for a political future.
His concerns are many and he is passionate about them all. Ture Sjolander not one to remain uncommitted even though some of his views may seem contradictory.
On the one hand he is concerned about over-developement of Townsville. He feels that it is a good size now and double the population, as some developers have promised to do would destroy the lifestyle many find attractive.
"We don't want another Brisbane or Sydney here. Europe is full of cities which have followed this route and have been ruined by over-development and over-industrialism.
"We don't want that to happen here".
He believes it would be preferable to spread developement around among the various North Queensland centres, so that all can grow a little , but not too much.
But on the other hand he is keen to see developement on Palm Island.
" I believe that Palm Island could be a great tourist tourist attraction. It is so naturally beautiful, and so close to the reef. "We should negotiate with the community there to build up tourism, to build a resort, maybe to stage an annual festival there. " It is a great resource and on which is not being used".
While he waits for the republic and his chance at Australian citizenship, Ture spends his time caring for his small son. "I have a single parent's allowance, which let me stay home and look after Matu. Besides that, I have royalties from my books and artworks which are on public display in Sweden. " Under Swedish law, artworks are treated the same way as music and books here. If they are on show royalties are paid to the artists for the privilege"


To Pan Mac Millan Publishers, Australia.
" I would like to introduce you to Mr. Ture Sjolander. He is a Swedish citizen, living in Australia.
For the past 3 1/2 years Mr. Sjolander, who is a world renown artist, has put his life on hold while he has worked full time trying to recover his son who was abducted to the Philippines by his
(the child's) mother.
Through the tragedy that disrupted Mr. Sjolander's life, he has acquired a passion for the issue of international parental child abduction and believes that he has a revolutional concept to present.
He has peaked my interest and I have invited Mr. Sjolander to come to Michigan to discuss his proposed project. "
- Betty Mahmoody

Federal Member for Herbert.
Monday July 21, 1997.
Dear Mr. Sjolander,
I was very interested to hear from you regarding Mrs Betty Mahmoody's expression of interest to visit Townsville for a symposium on the issue of Domestic Violence and Parental-Child Abduction.
As you are aware, I am extremely interested and concerned about these issues and I believe that many community organisations would benefit from a visit by such a courageous woman.
Unfortunately, I would be unable to assist you in organising Mrs Mahmoody's visit, but I will support you should such event take place in the near future.
I wish you every success in realising such an important event in Townsville.
Please don't hesitate to contact myself or one of my staff members if you have any further queries.
Yours sincerely,
Peter J Lindsay MP
Member for Herbert
Ref: 97071066

" Dear Ture,
Yes, I did receive your fax and no, I didn't just wake up. I do however feel like I've been run over by a truck because after our discussion, I had difficulty falling back to sleep.
It was a fascinating discussion and I found your concept very emotionally moving and easily imagined. "
- Betty Mahmoody

To the Australia Council for THE ARTS.
" I have invited Mr. Sjolander to come to Michigan to discuss his proposed project on parental abduction of children.
As a result of my work for the past eleven years, in this area I am very interested to see Mr. Sjolander move forward with his project which will undoubtedly raise awareness and stir emotions which could help prevent this tragedy and abuse to children."
- Betty Mahmoody

By Sonia Ulliana
in Townsville
ARTIST Ture Sjolander will spend $10.000 of taxpayers' money raising the ire of north Queenslanders.
Mr Sjolander, of Townsville, a Swedish expatriate, says he will expose the harsh realities of the social issues affecting the area i a series of two-minutes segments of "electronic art" to be aired weekly on television.
he will buy the air-time with a State Government arts grant.
"This is not a paint brush, it is a power tool," Mr Sjolander said.
"I will criticise all the things that people ignore or don't want to think about to make them aware through art. "So much art doesn't touch people anymore, or has no relevance."
Mr Sjolander, a passionate and outspoken man, has been involved in art from painting to videoproduction, since 1962.
He has written several internationally published books, including Garbo, a pictorial biography of movie star Greta Garbo, and was commissioned by the 70s Swedish rock phenomenon Abba to create a tapestry.
Mr Sjolander was also commissioned by silent screen star Charlie Chaplin to produce an art portfolio.
In Townsville he is seen as a controversial figure.
He recently held a public competition to create a new name for the combination Townsville city and Thuringgova shire under the Electorial and Administrative Review Committee's amalgamation recomendations.
The winner was Don Talbot, who received $500 for his suggestion of "QUEENSLAND CITY".
The competition provoked debate around the town.
With the help of his Creative Development Grant, Mr Sjolander hopes to tackle a host of controversial issues; Townsville General Hospital's Ward 10B - subject of the Carter inquiry into the treatment of mentally ill patients, violence among Aborigines on Palm Island, X-rated videos, tattoos, politics and religion.
"These are all the things that happen in this area and they should be expressed in art to reflect the area," Mr Sjolander said.
He believes art in the modern world should be expressed using technology and says that paintings are out-dated.
He has even devised a plan to exhibit art on the walls of Townsville Airport terminal "for all the world to see".
The large vacant walls in the terminal should be used to hanf paintings and tapestries, and sculptures could adorn the flight deck, the first-class lounge and the departure lounge, he said.
His proposal suggest that the artworks be acquired on a six-montly basis and artists may have them on for sale.
"Art can be anything at all," Mr Sjolander said.
"So there is no limit to what you can do."

Text from
Townsville Bulletin
Friday, November 29, 1991
(page 5)
Local artist paints picture of a unique airport environement
A PILOT project to display art on the vacant wall spaces at the Townsville airport has been proposed by local artist Ture Sjolander.
Acting Townsville airport manager Phil Roben said the suggestion was interesting and a meeting to discuss the matter would be held next week. " I believe such a display could complement the terminal very well," he said.
Mr Sjolander believes that as the airport is the first point of contact for businessmen, domestic and overseas tourists and returning residents, there was no reason why the airport itself should not become an attraction.
"I propose that the large vacant wall spaces be used for a semi-permanent art display which could include a number of large paintings and tapestries. " In addition to this, a small number of free standing sculptured piece could be easily be accomodated."
Mr Sjolander believed the flight deck, the first class lounge and the departure lounge were other attractive areas where graphic and smaller size artworks could be displayed.
"These could be accomplished with minimal installation of lighting and hanging equipment," he said.
"The pilot project for Townsville airport can be realised with very little outlay, mutually benefiting the professional contemporary artists of North Queensland and the Federal Airports Corporation".
From this experiment could evolve the creation of a unique airport environement which could become the blueprint for others, Mr Sjolander said. He also envisaged the formation of an art investment consultancy group under the airport corporation for future interstate exhibition exchange.
Support for the venture has been pledged by Perc Tucker Gallery director Ross Searle and artist  and James Cook University art teacher Anne Lord, both of whom have expressed wish to join Mr Sjolander on the selection committee for the first exhibition.