Brunswick Street Mall Redevelopment
  • Concept Plan, courtesy PLACE Design Group
  • Concept Render (detail), courtesy PLACE Design Group and Archipelago
  • Catenary Render, courtesy PLACE Design Group

The Brisbane City Council (BCC) has recently approved the re-design of the Brunswick Street Mall by the PLACE Design Group to recapture the role of the Mall as the creative hub of the Fortitude Valley precinct. CREATIVEMOVE has recently completed an Expressions of Interest process to shortlist artists and designers for the two major opportunities – a suspended Catenary Artwork to contribute to the character and atmosphere of the Mall without creating a footprint within the ground plane; and a Ground Plane Artwork of integrated treatments which may incorporate graphic imagery familiar to street art, posters, hand bills, record covers and stencil art.

On 17 October 2013, CREATIVEMOVE and the Artwork Reference Group (ARG) for the Brunswick Street Mall redevelopment shortlisted five artists/designers or artist/designer teams to proceed to competitive Concept Design. The approved artists and designers for the Catenary artwork opportunity are visual artists, Kukki (Priscilla Bracks and Gavin Sade), visual artist Sandra Selig and designer Kent Gration. Approved artists/designers for the Ground Plane opportunity are designers INKAHOOTS (Jason Grant, Jordan McGuire and Ben Mangan) and designer Jennifer Marchant.

Due to the high calibre of artists and the range of outcomes possible, the ARG recommended to enter into the Concept Design phase by procuring three concepts for the Catenary artwork and two concepts for the Ground Plane artwork. It was agreed that this approach was a worthwhile investment in the quality of the BSM Redevelopment outcomes and the contribution to the visual arts ecology of Brisbane. Concept designs will be presented to the ARG for consideration on 12 November 2013 to see which will be recommended to the BCC’s Project Control Group to proceed to the final commissioning stage. The winning concepts will be announced in early December 2013.

Both artworks are central to the re-design and are thematically linked through the curatorial rationale of resonance and reverberation, reflecting the recent history of the precinct and the Mall’s connection to the creative industries which flourish there. The curatorial rationale suggests: resonance is the symbolic connected energy between space, history and cultural memory – an intergenerational passage of experiences that comprise shared recollections of friends and lovers, hook-ups and break-ups, gigs and events – usually fuelled by live/loud music and substances of varying levels of legality, enhancements of their time but timelessly experienced and administered.  Reverberation is the understanding that the Mall is as much collective memory and accrued oral histories, echoing in a communal contemporary psyche as much as it is a reclaimed vehicular street.

Located in two key zones of the central region within the Mall, the Catenary Artwork is the major artwork commission within the redevelopment that will contribute to the creation of a unique, immersive environment within the highly active entertainment zone.  The Ground Plane artworks will be sited within two elliptical performance ‘spotlight’ zones designed into the ground plane of the Mall. Their intention is to act as both an engagement strategy for pedestrians as well as a reflection of Brisbane’s thriving contemporary music scene which has had such a significant connection to the Mall and the Valley precinct.