Beyond the hedonistic playground: New roles for public art in Brisbane

Armstrong, Helen (2005) Beyond the hedonistic playground: New roles for public art in Brisbane. In Lehmann, Steffen (Ed.) Absolutely Public: Crossover: Art and Architecture. Images Publishing Group, Mulgrave, Australia, pp. 30-34.

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The Changing Face of Brisbane’s Urban Life I am told that not very long ago, there were no street cafes in Brisbane. Dining on the footpath was not allowed! When this Wowserist legislation was rescinded, suddenly everyone was dining on the street. It was not a cautious or circumspect response; instead like Jacques Tati’s movie “Playtime”, the streets were suddenly filled with people enjoying breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the footpath as though it were a long established tradition.

In a similar manner, public art has been joyfully accepted as another aesthetic and pleasurable aspect of Brisbane’s urban landscape. The instant affluent urbanism that is characteristic of the city in 2004 reinforces the concept of Brisbane as an urban playground where the weather is often quoted as ‘beautiful one day and perfect the next’ and public art is part of the growth industry.

Public space in Brisbane is characterised by the exuberant growth of bougainvillea and frangipanni in which nestle artworks referencing indigenous plants and people. Riverside promenades are embellished with decorative tiles that weave through the pavement and everywhere water splashes from playful sculptures. Suburban centres are equally richly planted and embellished with art and craft evoking local references.

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ID Code: 97941
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: About the book: This book was published on the occasion of the Year of the Built Environment and the exhibition art+arch infinate. This is a significant contribution to the ongoing debate about public art and built-in. Includes critical essays by twelve established writers and also documents an outstanding selection of site-specific installation works, throughout the urban fabric of Brisbane and Berlin.
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ISBN: 1864701374
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 07 Aug 2016 23:44
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2016 07:14

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