We collaborated with Aria Property Group on the revitalisation of the Fish Lane Precinct by assisting with the commissioning of artwork that form a strong contemporary connection to the lanes history and heritage. Water and electricity were important combined elements historically in Fish (formerly Soda) Lane, harnessed to drive industry in creating steam to clean clothes and to carbonate water to create soft drink. These elements rely on ‘flow’, ‘current’ and ‘activation’ for vitality and productivity. They also connect both working culture with the entertaining culture of attending theatre events and dining out that the precinct has always been home to.
Three permanent commissions resulted from the development of the strategy:
James and Eleanor Avery’s Steam Machine on the corner of Hope Street is inspired by the industrial and architectural heritage of the Fish Lane precinct. Two abstracted jets of ‘steam’ make direct reference to the former Brisbane Steam Laundry and the Eodone Aerated Water Company that were sited nearby. The stepped abstraction and paired aspect of the sculptural forms are informed by the gabled fronts and Art Deco style of the local heritage.
Head in the Clouds 2 by internationally acclaimed 2D artist and former Brisbane local, Fintan Magee, is derived from one of his previous graffiti artworks that was once visible from the train line in the area. The work features a woman whose face is covered by a cloud-like formation of fabric. The fabrics featured in this large-scale painting are based on discarded cloths found in the Rocklea Spinning Mills, an abandoned factory in Brisbane. The fabrics swirl around the girl’s head as a dream or distant memory. The work pays homage to the disappearing factories and warehouses of South Brisbane and South-East Queensland and comments of the ephemeral nature of art, the de-industrialisation of the local area, and the ever-changing face of Brisbane.
Jodie Connolly’s A Life Long Promise, is a work that encapsulates the value and integrity of Legacy House, its history, and its service to the community. The promise to care for and support the families of those who served their country and did not make it home or were incapacitated came from the legendary commitment from one ‘digger’ to another in a foxhole in World War I at the Battle of Pozières, France (1916). Legacy House provides essential services and support to a vast number of Australian families of our servicewomen and men. This mural pays tribute to those who have served, supported, and committed themselves to the original promise made all those years ago.
Through the curatorial motivation of alternating current, these works help to generate a ‘flow’ that energises the entire Lane with engaging experiences throughout the day and night. The collection of works affirms local pride and identity and celebrates the environmental values that reinforce sustainability through art and design elements that intensify and explore the larger ideas inherent in the ARIA residential developments.