Public Art at South Bank

A journey through South Bank’s public art works is always a rewarding experience; the pieces are diverse and creative, and they each tell their own unique story.

Mates by Antone

Clem Jones Promenade Mosaics by Artbusters

Mates by Antone Bruinsma (1980). 

While attending the official opening of the Brisbane’s AMP Building in the 1980s, Lady Flo (the wife of then-Premier Sir John BJeike-Peterson) remarked that the building and its neighbour looked like a ‘bronzed Aussie and his blue heeler dog’. The iconic bronze statue, Mates, was commissioned shortly afterwards and now sits proudly at South Bank’s Picnic Island.     

Clem Jones Promenade Mosaics by Artbusters (1992)

The Clem Jones Promenade mosaics span are scattered along the Promenade and reflect its cultural and recreational identity. 

Human Factor Sculptures by John Underwood 

Divided by Sandra Selig

Human Factor Sculptures by John Underwood (1988)

The human factor sculptures are a series of ninety works commissioned for World Expo ‘88. The statues are made of coated fibreglass and show people doing ordinary things. They derived their powerful impact from the way that they illustrated universal and timeless human qualities. Two of the sculptures still reside at South Bank – one is hanging in Stanley Street Plaza and the other is located in the South Bank Visitor Centre.

Divided by Sandra Selig (2004)

One of Brisbane’s finest modern artworks, Divided was created using 15 identical pieces of precast concrete locked together as a wall. The powerful design has a strong visual energy that creates a sense of flow and movement.  It is located outside of Galleria Apartments on Grey Street.

The Witness Box by Daniel Templeman 

Bloom by Mandy Ridley

The Witness Box by Daniel Templeman (2004)

Located at South Bank’s Queensland College of Art, The Witness Box is a truly clever piece of art. It defies the core properties of sculptural materials by fashioning a solid structure that gives the impression it is almost malleable or unexpectedly animated.  

Bloom by Mandy Ridley (2004)

Located on the corner of Grey and Ernest Streets, Bloom is a striking representation of South Bank’s beautiful bougainvillea flower. Artist Mandy Ridley’s investigation of pattern, colour and craft are all evident in this stunning piece. 

Pi-ri by Fiona Foley 

Music Walk by South Bank Corporation and Griffith University

Pi-ri by Fiona Foley (2006)

Positioned in the Parklands against the Queensland College of Art, this slick steel sculpture is a representation of mangroves that is designed to complement its lush, green surroundings. The artwork is separated into two parts to evoke a sense of place and connection to place.

Music Walk by South Bank Corporation and Griffith University (2007)

Music Walk was developed to provide an improved pedestrian experience along Grey Street and to identify the association of music with the conservatorium building. It is located on the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and expresses the diverse elements of the Conservatorium through lighting, sound and imagery incorporated in various ‘keys’ along the building.  

Coolaman by John Coleman

Abigroup House Artwork by Bruce Reynolds

Coolaman by John Coleman (2007)

Coolamon is located at Aquativity and was created to reflect the water-play park’s themes of environmental interactions, indigenous connections and European settlement patterns along the Brisbane River. A great deal of inspiration for the piece was drawn from the local piccabeen palm – the palm’s fronds were traditionally used to carry water.

Abigroup House Artwork by Bruce Reynolds (2008)

In 2008, South Bank’s Butterfly House was redeveloped into Abigroup House. To celebrate this transformation, Bruce Reynolds was commissioned to design the façade imprinted landscape artwork which sits on the exterior of the building and faces Stanley Street Plaza. The integration of artwork has magnified the building’s engagement with its public realm.

One for All

Tide and Time by Natalie Billing

One for All (2009)

One for All is a community-driven, cross-cultural art exchange developed by young people of migrant and refugee backgrounds. These young people worked together with professional artists, who provided them with the opportunity to exchange stories, music and experiences. The end result is a thought provoking art installation that conveys the thoughts, memories and dreams of the refugees and their remarkable journeys. One for All is located at the Cultural Forecourt.

Tide and Time by Natalie Billing (2011)

A beautifully reflective artwork, Time and Tide is a three-part poem skilfully integrated into the landscape of South Bank’s River Quay. The poems reference South Bank’s broad history from Indigenous ownership through to European settlement and the establishment of Brisbane and the South Bank Parklands.

Pamphlet by Bruce Reynolds

Pamphlet by Bruce Reynolds (2012)

Pamphlet is a collection of three bold artworks, Tea Leaf Paradox, Unfolded and Fortune. They are scattered throughout South Bank’s Grey Street, outside of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Each sculpture is integrated in a specific way to generate a sense of the unexpected or absurd.