This month is the 10th anniversary of when Brisbane was submerged from the floods of 2011. The Museum of Brisbane has put on an online exhibition on the flooding of our beautiful city and commissioned an artist to produce the artwork for the exhibition.
By John Robert McPherson - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=98082598
Holly Neilson is a Brisbane-based artist and founder of Paper Hands. Holly has an affinity to the water and to nature and this comes out in her work. Holly has teamed up with an animation team who have brought her drawings to life in a touching exhibition of the events of that time. Thirteen Digital have been responsible for this animation and the art director Sai Karlen has taken great pleasure in bringing Holly's drawings to life.
The exhibition is called " City Submerged" and you can see it by pressing here.
I remember the floods being announced on the news - I had not yet come to Brisbane and I wondered if coming was a good idea. As is often the case with natural disasters, people and community rally round and become a strong bond of help and mental and material comfort. It is this spirit and the sense of community that this exhibition celebrates and acts as a salutary reminder of how to respond. The Bushfires of December 2019 were another such cataclysmic event for Australia and there is ample evidence of how communities rose to help those who had lost everything in the fires.
Brisbane has had a long history of floods - dating back many hundreds of years. It is partly due to its location. In 2011, the rains were relentless and the river rose to 4.46 metres on the 13th of January. This meant that the river broke its banks and there was widespread damage to many loved suburbs as the waters surged. Once the waters had receded, a massive clean up operation was started which involved some 55,000 volunteers.
Sometimes it is easy to forget how difficult these days were for many residents and businesses in the city but this small but significant exhibition celebrates the community spirit that took hold to save the city from the water.