The Makings of a City: Serendipitous Public Art

This city is no longer the “remote cultural backwater” I moved to a few years ago. (Description borrowed from the words of a life-long Brisbane resident.) I used to find this place incredibly depressing- bland buildings, no real museum events, musicals that slavishly copied the broadest shows West End had to offer six years ago.  There’s a reason for movies like All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane.

But it’s changing, slowly, from tiny laneways to big museum exhibits.  Lila and I spend time in our forays into the city looking for little pieces of whimsy.

The other day I took a shortcut to the library down some lane.  No big deal, it looked clean and wide, and I could see the library on the other end.  But wait, there’s something on the asphalt! Blacklight painted flowers!  I looked around for some explanation, the Brisbane Council helpfully posted a sign:

I can see it would be quite charming of an evening, with the lamps hanging overhead.  How long before a delightful alley-way cafe sets up shop?

Burnett Lane, named after James Burnett, Brisbane’s first surveyor.  I suppose he marked out a lane and promptly named it for himself.  I like his style.  The bigger streets down town are called things like “Charlotte” and “Elizabeth” and “George.”  Street names like that are as common here as “Main Street” and “Martin Luther King Blvd” back home. 

Those kangaroos live at the end of the lane, just opposite the library.  Some wag thought to “feed” them.

Some more sewing posting later.  Sewing mojo fine, blogging mojo flagging though recently stirred by winning a pattern.


  1. That's one of my biggest fears, and to some extent that's true. (gramatically, I'll never be the same again)It's not just me. Many other people have noticed the shift. "Lately" there's more development in the private and public sectors, as well as cultural initiatives that only began in the past year or so. I believe it is fueled by mass migration from larger Australian cities and large numbers of immigrants from every country on the planet. I simply can't ignore the fact that the city is changing dramatically, exploding while I watch.

  2. Well, that is some cooler public art than my current city has to offer! I especially love the kangaroo (ok in all honesty one of our big malls has a T. rex sculpted from old car parts, which is pretty cool, too.)

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