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Herston Quarter Public Art Program

DATE: 2022
Client: Australian unity and Hutchinson Builder

Cultural Capital was engaged to produce a Public Art Program for Herston Quarter, a mixed use precinct at the heart of one of Brisbane’s largest health precincts. Throughout the process Cultural Capital consulted with heritage consultants Urbis, architects Hassell and wayfinding consultancy Dot Dash to ensure consistency across the strategies.

Cultural Capital’s strategy responded to the site’s past, present and future uses by creating opportunities for arts and health experiences  to improve community and individual health and wellbeing.

The strategy envisioned a precinct-wide collection of public artworks that support well-being for diverse audiences, promoting awareness of health issues, including mental health, by creating opportunities for artworks that provide intellectual stimulation or encourage mindfulness. The program includes interactive works, which create environments that may be a combination of inspiring and uplifting, and restful and meditative to increase feelings of well-being. The program also aims to recognise Indigenous cultural maintenance as central to health and well-being by commissioning works by Indigenous artists which will specifically explore Indigenous heritage. 

The art program consists of temporary and permanent public artworks. The permanent commissions include a series of discovery works by Belinda Smith and a seating art work by Elisa Jane Carmichael. Belinda Smith’s collection of works is titled ‘Blue Tribute’ and honours the legacy of women who lived and worked on this site and who advocated for the advancement of healthcare in Queensland. This series of artworks honour the countless nurses who have trained, lived and served in the hospitals of this precinct. Elisa Jane Carmichael’s work ‘Strings of Waterholes’ is inspired by gatherings. It is a place for coming together, a space that functions as both a yarning circle and a healing circle. Drawing on her experiences as a weaver, it is space being both a quiet area for reflection or a site of activation with community as a weaving circle. Weaving is very healing and contributes to a holistic approach supporting positive mental health and social wellbeing.