Brunswick Street Mall – New Artworks Resonate
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  • Sandra Selig, Echo Orbit, 2014 catenary panels: powder-coated aluminium, stainless steel cables, fixings (courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane). Jennifer Marchant, Sunset Strip, 2014 yellow concrete ellipses with sandblasted text. Photo: Mick Richards
  • Jennifer Marchant, Sunset Strip, 2014 yellow concrete ellipses with sandblasted text. Photo: Mick Richards
  • Sandra Selig, Echo Orbit, 2014 catenary panels: powder-coated aluminium, stainless steel cables, fixings (courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane). Photo: Mick Richards
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The newly redeveloped Brunswick Street Mall is part of an exciting time for the economic revitalisation of Fortitude Valley but from CREATIVEMOVE’s perspective, it’s also a very timely opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge how important the creative industries are to the precinct. Indicative of this, the Mall now features impressive new public art commissions by two of Brisbane’s best public artists – Sandra Selig and Jennifer Marchant.

Some years ago, the Brisbane City Council adopted an over-arching curatorial strategy for the Fortitude Valley Neighbourhood plan that proposed a woven tapestry of cultural activities and creative energy; a kind of creative-industries tartan of the warp and weft of artists and writers, bands and musicians, fashion designers and built-environment design professionals. Rather than another shot of coffee, this shot of creative fabric would genuinely reflect the distinctive identity of these locally, nationally and internationally recognised artists and performers.

CREATIVEMOVE took this fabric concept and devised a more detailed curatorial focus of ‘resonance and reverberation’, based on the presence, history and importance of live and original contemporary music, for the Mall’s new public artworks. This focus has resulted in two stunning artworks: Echo Orbit by Sandra Selig and Sunset Strip by Jennifer Marchant. Both artworks deliver effectively on this rationale; are collaborations between the artists, CREATIVEMOVE and PLACE Design Group; and are a credit to the professional acumen, determination and artistic excellence that this collaborative team strove for throughout the project. Both works required great resilience from the creative team, Council staff and, of course, the managing contractor JMAC and their sub-contractors – Innovative Rigging and UAP Studio.

Neither artwork is intended to merely decorate the Mall. The text and tension experienced through these works deliberately asks you to recognise the creative credentials of this culturally pluralistic locale. The resonance they create is the symbolic connected energy between space, history and cultural memory – an intergenerational passage of experiences that comprise the shared recollections of friends and lovers, hook-ups and break-ups, gigs and events – usually fuelled by the dual stimulants of live original contemporary music and the convivial enhancements of their time.

We extend our sincere congratulations to the artists Sandra Selig and Jennifer Marchant; the Artworks Reference Group: Brisbane City Council – Shawn Day, Mark Theobald and Genevieve Searle; PLACE Design Group – Shaun Egan and Joey Brown; Fortitude Valley Economic Development Board & Creative Industries Representative – Ruth Hodgman. A host of other individuals also offered their assistance to make these works happen: Music Historian – Andrew Stafford; Archipelago – Peter Edwards; City Malls Management and other Council staff – John Dwyer, Stella Jasinowicz, Joshua Dargusch, Jason Woodhouse, Chris McCormick;  QMUSIC  – Denise Foley and Stacey Coleman; APRA – Chris O’Neill and Andrew Tuttle; JMAC – Luke Trattles and Neil Prowd; Innovative Rigging – Tim Berg and Luke Seaborn; Tensile – Peter Botero; UAP Studio – Andre Venter, Amanda Harris, and Rachael See.

We also wish to thank the numerous singers, composers, musicians and band members who gave their valuable permission to use their song lyrics in Sunset Strip. Further, we thank our many colleagues who work in the music industry in publishing houses, management and as licensing agents, who made these permissions possible through our negotiations with them. Finally, we express thanks to the Brisbane City Council, without whose generous funding we would not have been able to remunerate all copyright and licence holders represented in the work.

[Sandra Selig is represented by Milani Gallery and the curatorial strategy for the Fortitude Valley Neighbourhood plan was undertaken by Positive Solutions.]