Brisbane International Cruise Terminal
  • Photo: AJ Moller courtesy of CREATIVEMOVE
  • Photo: AJ Moller courtesy of CREATIVEMOVE
  • Photo: AJ Moller courtesy of CREATIVEMOVE
  • Photo: AJ Moller courtesy of CREATIVEMOVE
The Brisbane International Cruise Terminal (BICT) is a $177 million dollar project recently completed by the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, which aims to give passengers a world-class cruise arrival/departure experience. During 2020, the Port of Brisbane engaged CREATIVEMOVE to deliver their ‘arrival’ artwork in the building forecourt, which was one of the project’s major artwork opportunities.

Designed by Arkhefield architects, BICT will become a tourism gateway to the richness of our region, helping to showcase all that south-east Queensland has to offer, and become a vital pillar of Brisbane and Queensland’s tourism economy.

Acclaimed Brisbane-based Waanyi artist, Judy Watson, was commissioned for the project. Her imposing sculpture, ‘chiggil chiggil pa’ (2020), is a four-metre rusted steel dilly bag prominently situated in the arrival zone. The title, chiggil chiggil pa, means ‘freshwater flowing swiftly over rippled sands (a musical sound when spoken aloud)’ and was given to the work by Uncle Gheebelum Bob Anderson. The work references woven nets and bagsused by Aboriginal people of the Brisbane area, acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the site and their everyday fishing activities on the river and local saltwater waterways.

Judy says, “This large vessel form is inspired by historical Aboriginal woven bags from this region that I have seen in overseas and national museum collections. My work is a form of cultural retrieval. The steel cut forms have been weathered, becoming a beautiful red ochre testament to Country and culture and history. It is a Messenger, declaring that this place where we live: Is, Was and Always will be Aboriginal Land and Waters.”

Like her celebrated commission for GOMA, ‘tow row,’ Judy’s work is deeply connected to concealed histories, the significance of objects and the power of memory and loss. On one side of the sculpture there is the map of Moreton Bay, including some of the islands and waterways such as the Brisbane River. Within the sculptures’ surface are pin pricked  visual elements:  zungun (dugong) rib bones, zungun (dugong) net needle, mud whelk shells and the navigational shipping channel of these waterways.

chiggil chiggil pa’ relays an important and significant story of local Aboriginal people and their culture, their fishing, harvesting and gathering of resources. The rusted steel aesthetic of the piece connects to the impact of saltwater and air on marine equipment over time. The mesh of the bag structure provides interesting shadow play within this sunny forecourt location.

We would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of this place.

With sincere thanks we congratulate: Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd; Judy Watson; Arkhefield architects; UAP. Judy Watson is represented by Milani Gallery. Photos by AJ Moller, courtesy of CREATIVEMOVE.

chiggil chiggil pa, 2020
freshwater flowing swiftly over rippled sands (a musical sound when spoken aloud)

cutting through the bay
the passage of boats
red ochre
strong as a sentinel
a dilly bag
made by Aboriginal women
reeds gathered
laid on paperbark to dry
woven into shape
the weave of the net, like
the tidal ebb and flow
of fluent, effortless water
shadows falling
a passage of light and air
pin pricks of zungun (dugong) rib bones
mud whelk shells
a net needle used by Uncle Sammy Rowlands
the Dugong King
rivers flowing into Moreton Bay
a messenger declaring that this place where we live
Is Was and Always Will Be Aboriginal Land and Waters
Judy Watson, 2020


“This artwork gives voice to the endless stories of this land. We continue to write our history.”

Uncle Gheebelum Bob Anderson, 2020