Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I know it's a bit grainy but you have to factor in that a) I'm a Londoner and don't have full control of my faculties when I encounter any kind of large insect in this country and b) there was a small child holding open the lid of the dustbin who was sort of in a hurry to get it back on.
It's a big huntsman spider mama and all her little babies living on the inside of a rarely used garbage can.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Flame Tree Skywatch

Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there's nothing else could set fire to this town

- That's from the song "Flame Trees" by Aussie band Cold Chisel. It's a great song and also has been covered beautifully by Sarah Blasko. I think my favourite version is by the Sacred Heart School as heard in the film Little Fish... it's just gorgeous.

Blue skies have returned after a couple of days of much needed rain here in Brisbane easing the fire restrictions... and the flame trees are exploding into a riot of crimson.

Light up your life today with other skies posted at Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Forme Del Mito

This is Forme Del Mito (Forms of Myth), an artwork by Italian artist Arnaldo Pomodoro consisting of four bronze sculptures, each symbolizing a character and force within the Ancient Greek play Agamemnon. This pyramid-shaped one represents Agamemnon and Power. And the one in the background that looks a bit like an upside-down ice-cream cone with millions of little legs is really Clytemnestra and Ambition. (Or a gold Dalek).

You'll find them guarding the bottom of Jacob's Ladder on Turbot Street. Pretty imposing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Traffic Stopping Art (number 32)

I've featured Alicia Lane's signal boxes before I think they're great. This one is on Melbourne Street at the junction with the busway and underneath the train line.

"The interlocking multilayered shapes are intended to reflect the physical forms of people and machines, the technology involved and the spiritual resonance of all of the lives that pass through this point on a daily basis."

There you have it!

Brisbane has art on every corner. Click on the TSBs label below for the others in the series or go to the Artforce Website for a more comprehensive look.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

350 frisbees

On Saturday people from 181 countries all came together for an International Day of Climate Action. The idea behind it is that we will have a lot healthier and more sustainable world if we reduce the amount of CO2 in the air to 350 parts per million (it's about 390 now). Which is where the "350" bit comes in. Read all about it and see pictures from actions all over the world here. In one Brisbane event at the West End Markets, people threw 350 frisbees into the air to the beat of 350 drums (approximately, perhaps). I was at work so I missed it but luckily today's photo is kindly donated by MaryAnne Bland. Thanks MaryAnne!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Degroot Wall

This is a wall in West End is painted by Simon Degroot - who has also painted a huge number of traffic signal boxes here in Brizzy - here's one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beautiful Brick Balloon

I found this on the wall of the Joshua Levi Galleries in Woolloongabba. There are lots of little things on the walls in there. People who might otherwise be arrested for public acts of art can get some practice in here... And then go out and get arrested!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sandgate Pace

As the harsh mid-day sun subsides, kids zoom home on their bikes from school, people walk their dogs on the beach... and way out to sea (sorry - really must get a big lens), kite-surfers flit from wave to wave. It's all....very.....relaaaaxed....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Shorncliffe Pier Skywatch

Shorncliffe pier was built in 1872 and is reminiscent of many piers in England from the same era. This area was once a seaside town but as Brisbane's footprint continues to expand it has become an outer suburb. You can tell as you walk around that the people in charge have tried to retain the character of the place with all sorts of historical buildings and street furniture - like these great Victorian-looking lamp posts.
That's the southern tip of Moreton Island in the distance - one of the worst-affected areas of the horrific oil-tanker disaster in March. Thankfully after months of hard work and millions of dollars, the mess has been cleaned up.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fish and Chips at Sandgate

Sandgate is in the far north of Brisbane and takes about half an hour on the train. As it is still part of the bay, there's not much in the way of sandy beaches (by the Australia's standards) but the sea front is a great place for walks or exploring rock pools... or scoffing down fish and chips which is exactly what I did. Very nice, it was... even if I did ignore the Londoner in me who was screaming for malt vinegar and some mushy peas. Lemon? I ask you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parched Again

So far spring in this part of the world has been pretty much bone-dry with hot, windy conditions; perfect for bushfires. Friends to the south of us in Lamington last week saw fires from their house but they've since died down. Now the danger has moved north up the coast to Rockhampton where it threatens houses. Brisbane has been lucky so far but we still have a total fire ban.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday Lunch at the MCF

Roma Street Parklands was full of food tents and music stages on Sunday for the annual Multcultural Festival. It was a warm one, so our little group hung out under the banyan fig trees with full bellies listening to Latin American gooves. Excellente!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Head For Heights

West End has been earmarked by the council for a massive development plan.

It's an amazing inner-city oasis full of interesting people from all over the world. It is vibrant, friendly, creative and has a village atmosphere where people stop and chat on the street. It is not the development itself but the enormous scale of the plan - with buildings up to 30 storeys high - that had people protesting on the streets on Saturday.

Read about it, fight the towers (and the powers) here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Jac Stack's Back!

Here we are with the third of three Jacaranda-themed posts.

You are looking at "The Jacaranda Gas Chamber" by Joshua Levi currently exhibiting in his own fabulous Joshua Levi Galleries on Ipswich Road. That guy in the coffin is Brisbane's Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, who is the man ultimately responsible to the tunnel and its chimneys.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Purple Haze

If you squint really really hard (maybe so hard that your eyes close) you can just make out that this giant ventilation stack in Woolloongabba is supposed to be a jacaranda tree (see yesterday's post for comparison). It's one of two enormous monoliths (the other one a red "poinciana-inspired" number in Bowen Hills) that dominate their respective skylines. Each is the height of about a 15 storey building. The tunnel between the two stacks is 4.8 kms with 2 lanes each way and is set to carry 100,000 cars a day. As the stacks don't have any filters, (?? I know) the council have set up 4 air-quality testing stations so they can monitor just how much filth and pollution they will pump into the air next year when the tunnel opens.
Both chimneys are close to large hospitals. (Can you tell I'm not a big fan?).
More info including an aerial photo of the poinciana stack here.

The irony of a giant man-made tree pumping exhaust fumes over our city is not lost on an artist called Joshua Levi. Visit again tomorrow for his take on it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jacaranda Tree Skywatch

Brisbane's many beautiful jacaranda trees are in full blossom right now and every year I have been here I have been surprised at just how many of them are around. For most of the year they just seem to blend in. Now (and for the next month), everywhere you look there are little splodges of colour.

The white dusty skies of earlier in the week have finally given way to the trademark blue ones although there is still the ominous smell of smoke in the air and haze on the horizon from bushfires around Brisbane. Had this tree been shot against one of those white skies, the colour of the blossom would be much paler - something like this text. In this pic, the early evening light adds a red tint which I also quite like!

Check out other skies around the world at Skywatch Friday

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Where's Your Head At?

You can't really call this graffiti but I don't have a tag for public art so it goes under art and graffiti. This piece is a collaboration of 2 artists. They've done eachother's heads in if you know what I mean.

See more of their style and judge for yourself who did which bit... Andy Harwood or Shida?

See more art on the walls outside Box Vintage here, here and here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Brisbane Square Market

It was only set up a few months ago but Brisbane Square Farmers' Market is flourishing. Don't go there with an empty stomach!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Doggett Street Studio

I took this picture at a group exhibition opening on Friday night in Newstead. It's a detail from a piece called Rivir (52x42cm) which is made out of little lead seals by local artist Rachael Lee.
The exhibition is on for a couple more weeks and you can see who else is exhibiting at Doggett Street Studio here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Contrast (another one)

I took the shot a few weeks ago when I was looking around for a "contrast" picture for the monthly theme day.
It took a bit of hunting around on the internet to get the name of the tree but I am pretty certain that this is a Yellow Trumpet Tree or Tabebuia Aurea. When I took this, they seemed to be lining every street with vibrant bursts of colour. Then all of a sudden the leaves pushed through and the blossoms disappeared. Sad to see them go but they had to make way for the purple Jacarandas (watch this space).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hide And Seek

It always makes me laugh when the hiders get bored of hiding and volunteer their whereabouts.
The massive trunk from a Moreton Bay Fig.

This picture is part of Hey Harriet's Shadow Shot Sunday. See the other blogs taking part here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sea Of Hands

Here's another one from West End Live. I know I'm posting loads from that day but there was so much going on - and over a hundred shots I haven't posted. This is a section of the Sea of Hands: a long-running campaign by ANTaR aimed at reconciling Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Supporters design a hand using the colours from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags and attach their name to it. Over 2.5 million people have added a hand since 1997. The target is 4 million. You can add one too here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Surrender To The Beat

Usually a busy street with cars and buses, Boundary Street in West End pulsed to the rhythm of hundreds of dancers and party people on Saturday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sun State Roller Girls Need You...

...At least that's what the flyer they handed me said. I think it's probably best for all involved if I give it a wide berth. You can see them skate in a full-contact all girl roller derby in Beenleigh Arena on Halloween - and if you dress up for it you might win a prize!

So these chicks looked fabulously formidable rolling down Boundary Street on Saturday during West End Live.... a few people (men especially) stared, fascinated... up close they were really friendly and chatty. I don't know all of their names but 2nd from the left is "Slawta Dawta" and on the far right is "Blitznvixen". Join them, watch them, read about them at

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Put Yourself In The Picture!

This is a piece of public art in King Edward Park, Spring Hill commissioned by Brisbane City Council. It's called "Still Life With Landscape" by Robert Parr (1990)

Depending on where you stand, you can frame Turbot Street, Wickham Terrace or yourself and your friends.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

17 Browning Street

17 Browning Street is a big old Queenslander house over 2 levels. From 1937 it was a rooming house until it was sealed shut, frozen in time since 2002 when the owner died. Everything in it remains exactly as she had left it down to the sheets on the bed and the crockery on the shelves. Elizabeth Jeffs wrote a book about the house and the lives that passed through it.

During the recent Brisbane Festival, they re-opened the house so you could wander through the rooms, hear sounds and see actors playing the parts of the residents going about their daily business. It was great wandering around, being able to poke about in people's rooms and belongings! This lady was playing the part of Juliette. She spent the whole time I was there wandering around the garden idly hanging out washing on a broken Hills Hoist with a far away look in her eyes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A New Perspective

Yesterday was the opening of the new footbridge across the Brisbane River.

When they announced on the radio they were looking for a name for this bridge at the western end of the city, there was a huge response. Somebody with a bit of a sense of humour called up to suggest the Bad Harry Bridge as we already have a Goodwill footbridge (after the Goodwill Games) on the eastern side of the city. The connection being the Royal Family.... geddit?
Anyway...the one that won was the Kurilpa Bridge, Kurilpa being an Aboriginal name for Water Rat and also the Aboriginal name for the local area round these parts.
It offers a new perspective both from it and as part of the Brisbane riverscape. Opinions are divided. I really like it. See a couple of snapshots along its journey here, here and here.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

From Little Things Big Things Grow

Kev Carmody and West End State School senior choir brought Boundary Street in West End to a standstill last night during West End Live, part of the Brisbane Festival. Hear him sing it with co-writer Paul Kelly here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blackstar Coffee Street Party

Last night, Blackstar Coffee in Thomas Street, West End, threw a street party as part of the Brisbane Festival. Music, food, poetry, art, dancing and a 15 year old rapper who brought the house down.
The festivities continue today in Boundary Street... you're all invited!
(OK if you can't make it, I'll post you a picture tomorrow)

Friday, October 2, 2009

West End, 4101

Boundary Street in West End last night with its diners, lingerers and wanderers.
Related Posts with Thumbnails