New Blooms for Mackay
CREATIVEMOVE has just completed the installation of an exciting new public artwork by Brian Robinson for Wood Street in Mackay, North Queensland. Opening with a bustling street party on 27 November, Brian and Jodie Cox were on hand to meet with local community members to discuss the works which are located in four different locations in this major streetscape. Working in close collaboration with Mackay Regional Council staff and the Artspace Mackay team, Brian and CREATIVEMOVE have delivered engaging and locally relevant public artworks to add to this city’s already impressive public art collection. To find out more about these works, read Louise Martin-Chew’s synopsis of her longer essay to be published by Artspace Mackay in 2016.
Brian Robinson: Building Blooms
There are strange new blossoms in Mackay’s Wood Street – four large, unexpected and colourful protrusions from the footpaths and central traffic island in the city’s heart. These are triffids on a large scale, gigantic organic shapes that demand attention. Their strident form and colour, their prominent positions, and repetitive elements, unite the four individually fabricated blooms, and more than fulfil the brief for public art in this important city refurbishment, which specified vibrancy and colour.
Artist Brian Robinson, a north Queenslander by virtue of his Torres Strait Islander heritage, is known for his ability to combine elements organic and manmade into a unique fusion that speaks to both popular culture and art history, to his own heritage and to broad contemporary interests. His response to the brief went beyond surface decoration and colourful appeal to evoke and reflect the city’s art deco heritage and historic ambience, while embracing the fecundity and strangeness of north Queensland’s flora and fauna.
Robinson described the Deco Blooms as designed to “fuse with the Art Deco features of Mackay’s built heritage”, while his Urban Blooms speak to “the flowering plants from the botanic gardens, not only in Mackay but spread across the Eastern seaboard. They use the two elements together to celebrate growth and life.” In their intense blues they acknowledge the Pioneer River, but their vibrant formations and rainbow colours also evoke a joyous imagination and wonderment vested in nature, from an artist whose childhood was spent amongst the tropical possibilities of north Queensland.
[This text is drawn from a longer essay commissioned by Artspace Mackay which will be published in full and printed in a brochure available at Artspace Mackay.]
Special thanks to: Brian Robinson; Mike Mooney and the Stainless Aesthetics team; Anna Thurgood and Alicia Stevenson from Artspace Mackay; Jim Carless and Adam Pearce from Mackay Regional Council, Vassallo Constructions, DCO Consulting and Jim Cullen Photography.