Rivervine by artist Jennifer Merchant is a public artwork commissioned for Montague Markets by the Pradella Group. The Montague Markets sit on Montague Road, a major arterial road in the West End/Kurilpa peninsula. The Turrbal and Jagera peoples are the traditional custodians of this place and the natural landscape that once covered this peninsula consisted of dense rainforest and riparian floodplains.
Rivervine is an organic and dynamic artwork which spreads and clings to the laneway façade of the Montague Markets, a reminder of the natural history of this place in our sub-tropical city. Inspired by the dangling convolvulus flowering creeping plants that fall in an irregular and organic manner, the varying angles and crossovers mean the shadows created are dynamic and add to the visual depth of the work. Tondara Lane not only provides important ‘back of house’ services to the Montague Markets but has also been designed by The Pradella Group and the project team to create a connected and enclosed public space that residents, visitors and nearby office workers can use as a ‘break-out’ recreational space. It has also been designed so that it can be closed off for street markets or other community-based events.
This artwork contributes significantly to the idea of a “healthy, innovative, community urban backyard”. The project melds specific aspects of the history of the precinct including the history of occupation of the site and surrounds, contemporary ideas behind Pradella’s ‘urban backyards’, Brisbane’s New World City outlook, and university research and medical achievements in the development of new healing medicines.