By Natalie Rayment
Construction of a new office tower, residential tower and retail building is happening right now at 300 George St in Brisbane’s CBD for the “Brisbane Quarter” Development. The cost of the project is $1 billion plus, which is great news for the city’s art scene. It means that an estimated $2.5 million dollars* in public art is about to be delivered.
Brisbane City Council require the delivery of public art for large development projects in the CBD. They condition developers to provide artwork that is a minimum of 0.25% of the total estimated project cost. That is a significant investment in our city’s art and culture considering that the estimated public art spend on the “Brisbane Quarter’ development alone, is almost double the $1.5 million QAGOMA spent on art acquisition last year.
Brisbane has received some incredible public art recently because of development including Danie Mellor’s “SuperNatural Landscape”, a 350m2 rainforest mural in the CBD (pictured below). It is Australia’s largest public art project in a commercial building. The mural spans across two levels of the atrium of 480 Queen Street by Grocon and its focus of bringing the outdoors indoors has produced some amazing outcomes.
In a Grocon Media Release, Grocon Chief Executive Carolyn Viney stated that “We see partnership with Danie as part of Grocon’s commitment to design excellence and our focus on creating shared value for the community, tenants and investors”.
Another recent example of engaging public art resulting from development is the piece titled “Grateful Fateful Sunshine Rain”, a Kuuki Production. The artwork is made of acrylic, LEDS, colour kinetic LEDs and custom software to create a lighting display that changes to reflect the weather forecast of the next day (Here is a video showing how it works). The piece was commissioned by Aria Property Group for their residential development “Austin” in South Brisbane.
“Gravity with Gravitas and Bar” is a piece by artist Peter Lewis, installed in Rowes Lane in the Brisbane CBD. In the artist’s statement, “the inspiration for the work is to evoke from passers by a smile as they ponder the vision of over-sized paper aeroplanes floating out of the windows of this beautiful historic building”. The artwork was commissioned as part of a restaurant development and refurbishment of the ‘Rowes’ building.
All of these artworks contribute to our understanding of the city and its unique places and “spaces in-between”. With four other major development projects under construction in the CBD, the resulting public art is sure to add to our quality of life and to celebrate what makes our city unique.
*According to recent media articles, the project is worth $1 billion plus. Which means the artwork to be supplied is likely to have a minimum value of $2.5 million.