Brisbane, QLD, Australia
ARTIST Mandy Ridley
CLIENT Brisbane Northern Busway Alliance
CURATORIAL UAP Studio
DESIGN UAP Studio, Daniel Clifford
CONSTRUCTION UAP Workshop
Along an 80m stretch beneath Brisbane’s inner Northern Busway runs the Bowen Bridge Porphyry Wall, a heritage listed stone wall that also forms part of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH). This became the site for an architecturally integrated screen artwork which unlocks the historical significance of the area and activates the transit environment for pedestrians and vehicles.
Local artist Mandy Ridley sourced names and colonial style lettering from the RBWH’s donor boards to develop a highly decorative typographical screen which references the Porphyry Wall both in its formalised structure and in its colouring. Fabricated in anodised lasercut aluminium, the screen has depth of colour and allows sensitive integration with the weathered surface of the stonework.
Iconic images from the history and geography of the site were overlaid in silver anodised aluminium which reflects different qualities of light in daylight hours. Symbols include a star-shaped Richelieu Doiley created by a noted local prize winner, graduate nurses photographed in the 1930s and medicinal plants native to South East Queensland.
Throughout the evening, the artwork is illuminated by a lighting installation of gradually shifting colours.
The artwork makes local heritage readily accessible in a beautiful contemporary interpretation that will become a landmark in Brisbane’s transport infrastructure.
Brisbane-based Mandy Ridley’s art practice spans intimate investigations of pattern, colour and craft through her object-based artworks to major site-specific public art commissions. A central focus of her work is to explore the relationships and connections between individuals, attempting to establish points of resonance between people of differing cultural experience. The works are often layered to suggest a multiplicity of contemporary experience that is grounded in historical and material culture research and the artist’s direct response to the site.