A month or so ago, when Brisbane Festival was announced, I looked at the ambitious programme almost greedily. We have been a little starved of events and happenings due to COVID-19, so I booked a few and kept my fingers firmly crossed that we would be able to enjoy them. The Brisbane Art Boat was yesterday's adventure.
So off we went down to the riverside of my favourite city. It never disappoints.
The Brisbane River
The Finch emblem for the festival
Brisbane's Art Boat
We embarked and were given a safety briefing. Told how to put our life vests on. We waited to see if they would give us the brace position. It felt eerily familiar. We chatted to a delightful couple next to us and agreed that this was almost a little teaser for being able to travel - this time at snail's pace on a huge barge with tantalising lights and as if to rub salt in wounds, the image and sound of occasional planes overhead. So this is the next best thing. It was a beautiful spring night. There were tables and high chairs around the sides, so once you bought a drink from the bar and some delicious bar nuts, you could look out to the river and enjoy the breeze. I think some food was available too.
The art work
We were welcomed to country by Yuggera and Turbal man Shannon Ruska, who also gave us some of the Aboriginal history near Breakfast Creek. The colourful installations were by ENESS and people loved them. Many a selfie with fat bobbing balls were taken. I have spared you that misery. They changed colour every few minutes and were soft if not squidgy and swayed in the wind. Soon after live music started with a young Saxophonist and DJ playing and then a gorgeous young girl with a guitar and an amazing voice. This was the program for our little cruise but the music program changes and if you are lucky, you might even get to hear William Barton on his didgeridoo.
By the end of the voyage (it was slow), many people were dancing on the dance floor. I joined them. It felt liberating and fun. The Art Boat goes in both directions and you can choose which direction to go. Just a word of warning; the cruise is not an aller retour - it only goes in one direction so, you need to think about your return home or to your starting point.
I can only say a big well done to Brisbane Festival organisers. They have showcased 1000 local artists and 168 First Nations artists in a rich and diverse programme over 23 days, which extends throughout the city and the suburbs. We are privileged to have it at our sanitised fingertips!
More art work
A blue Story Bridge.
To find out more about the loops and directions of the Art Boat. press on this link.