Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published June 12th 2018
Reminiscing Expo '88 - Artworks & Artefacts Across Brisbane
I'm sure everyone can remember Expo '88 when the city of Brisbane came alive with entertainment and events of a type never seen before. Emerging from that inspiring event, the City of Brisbane grew to a vibrant new level of art and craft, technology and wisdom, which we see today in Brisbane's place as an energetic city of the future of Queensland and Australia.
Photo courtesy of Brisbane City Council Event Website
To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of World Expo '88, the Brisbane City Council is extending the existing self-guided art trail to include additional artworks and artefacts from Expo '88. This includes restorations and relocations of some of the artworks, giving visitors and residents a chance to rekindle their memories while enjoying a walk around the city. Most artworks are within walking distance of the Brisbane CBD, although two are at the Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha.
"Man and Matter". This was a series by Peter D. Cole and consists of 12 steel sculptures originally commissioned for the Riverside Promenade of Expo '88 and now situated along Kangaroo Point Cliffs Boardwalk.
"Gestation" was the first work created by American artist Baile Oakes. It was made in Seattle and flown to Brisbane and remained here ever since. The spiral structure, which has been recently restored, represents the cyclical and balanced nature of our world.
Gestation, Photo courtesy of Tina Walsh (Weekend Notes Author)
The City Botanic Gardens, near QUT is the home to the "Morning Star II" which was sculpted by American Jon Barlow Hudson. Originally installed at the centre of the expo site within the Times Square, the artwork was created to harness the technologies of mirrored steel to reflect the environment where the sculpture sits.
Also, in the City Botanic Gardens is "Plant Form" by Robert Juniper. Juniper originated from Western Australia and his sculpted design reflects his semi-abstract landscape paintings, in which he interprets Australian fauna through the rendering of oversized steel planes.
"Memories of Wind" is to be found in King Edward Park at Wickham Terrace. It was one of four sculptures exhibited by Japanese artist Fumio Nishimura. Creating a sculpture of soft lines of a female figure, Nishimura captures the emotion of memory in a permanent granite form.
Brisbane's Artbusters created "The Human Factor Series", which consisted of six separate artworks. "The Juggler" is located in King George Square Deck and "The Trapeze Artist" also in King George Square, at the Carpark entry in Adelaide Street. "The Butterfly Catchers" are in the Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha while "The Dancers" are located at the intersection of Melbourne and Manning Streets, South Brisbane. Also, in South Bank, you can view "Jennifer" situated at South Bank House, Stanley Street Plaza and "Bruce the Unicyclist" at the intersection of Ernest Street Parkway and Stanley Streel Plaza. All of these sculptures have been recast for the 30th Anniversary of World Expo '88.
"Showdown" by artist Chris Beecroft is situated in Gregory Terrace Spring Hill. Spring Hill is an 18-minute walk from the Brisbane CBD, tracking past Roma Street Parklands and King George Square.
"Chair" by Kenneth Armitage is found in Mt Coot-tha at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. "Chair" was one of the seven artworks loaned to World Expo '88 and was later purchased by the Brisbane City Council. Armitage is noted as one of Britain's significant sculptors in the 20th century for his abstract bronze work.
Renowned Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodora created "Forme del Mito" which relates the tragic story of Agamemnon from Ancient Greece. Each piece represents a character in the play – La Macchina – Aegisthus, L'ambizione – Ambition Clytemnestra, Il Potere - Power – Agamemnon and La Profezia – Prophecy – Cassandra.
Originally located near the Australian Pavilion at World Expo '88, "The Rock", which was created by Stephen Killick, is now located in Captain Burke Park at Kangaroo Point. Killick used the international media and events of the day to create a collection of motifs of a humorous nature to reflect political issues.
Photo courtesy of "Celebrating Expo '88", Facebook
'INUKSHUK" was created by the Inuit people of the Northwest Territories of Canada. It stands in Victoria Park between Gregory Terrace and Herston Road. The figure was offered to the Commonwealth of Australia for its 200th Anniversary of Nationhood and is said to be a symbol of our two countries.
Situated in the Roma Street Parklands near the College Close Carpark, "Continuous Division" by Greg Johns can be found. This sculpture was forged from Corten steel.
King Edward Park is home to "Juxtaposition 1" by abstract painter Robert J Morris, who is also known for jewellery creation.
The optical illusion of "Mirage" by Gidon Graetz is in the Queens Street Mall Brisbane Arcade. It is fabricated from stainless steel and considered to be very difficult to photograph due to the piece looking different from every angle.
"Night Companion (Sky Needle)" by Charles Sutherland is located in Manning Street, South Bank. It is an interpretation of another sculpture by Robert Owen.
At the entrance of the State Library of Queensland you will find "Paradigm (Marquette)" by Jon Barlow Hudson. The piece was created for Brisbane's Expo '88 and is a sectional model of this original artwork. This piece was unveiled at its present site by the 1988 Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson.
"Vision" by John Ladyman is situated in Manning Street, South Brisbane. Patriotically Australian the marble to create the sculpture came from the mines around Chillagoe, which is a small town approximately 200 kilometres inland from Cairns where John Ladyman resided.
Trekking around Brisbane to view these artworks will not only take you down memory lane but will be an excellent day out in our amazing city. Writing this article has made me very nostalgic and only wish an event like this could once again come to Brisbane.
A map of where these magnificent artworks are can be found on the Brisbane City Council Art Trail Website.