The finished wall in The Queensland Museum’s Turtle Exhibition Room
Last year we [Jugglers] were commissioned to paint up a beautiful design studio in Brisbane run by Artisan. [www.artisan.org.au [Artisan is the peak body in Queensland presenting and promoting unique and individual quality crafted design to an Australian and international audience.] It was for their Reboot show,a funky idea in collaboration with Nike and other sportswear manufacturers where artists in Brisbane were invited to rework a pair of shoes for an auction/ exhibition. Our commission was to create a street art style grungy graffiti lane feel in the space. It seemed to work well at every level and is still seen, apparently, as one of Artisan’s more popular shows. From that came a commission last month to repaint the inside of one section of the Queensland Museum in preparation for their Ghost Nets installation. It was a simple idea and a simple brief. Repaint the walls with aerosol and rollers as part of the preparation for this new installation highlighting the plight of turtles affected by fishing boat nets lost at sea. After a few hurdles mainly to do with poor planning around ventilation and archival issues, the job was done and some young artists have been able to add this to their CV. It was an interesting experience for me as I found myself touching up a few parts of the walls and architraves. I was formally trained in a number of disciplines – science, the humanities and theology and continue to be educated as I go in the arts but never expected to be touching up a wall in the main section of the Queensland Museum! The three artists who have had a long association with Jugglers and are on our mural program with Brisbane City Council and other agencies, learnt a few things about how some government agencies work. I’m not sure they would rush back to this kind of commission again but I think it was a worthwhile project. There seems to be a new tide of interest in big wall visual art projects in Brisbane that are incorporating street art and graffiti art styles and colours – and artists from “the scene.” It is gratifying to work with artists and the people initiating the commissions on these events as we all are drawn, in some mysterious way to deepen visual beauty on a larger scale in Brisbane.