Brisbane, QLD, Australia
ARTIST Fiona Foley
ARTWORK Black Opium
CLIENT Queensland State Library
ARCHITECT Donovan Hill Architects
DESIGN UAP Studio
CONSTRUCTION UAP Workshop
Artist Fiona Foley creates a highly political yet visually engaging artwork in Black Opium. 777 cast aluminium poppies, configured in an infinity symbol, highlight the use of opium given to Aboriginal workers during white settlement. Each stem is made out of 1 of 4 moulds, hand finished and arranged randomly. The installation adorns the atrium space of Queensland’s new State Library.
Fiona Foley, a Brisbane-based artist, stands at the forefront of cultural discourse in Australian contemporary art. Her site-specific sculptural installations are satirical, engaging and interactive. Foley’s work in the public realm draws heavily from a site’s historical and natural context and is often made out of bronze and aluminum. The artist’s most recognized public artworks include: Queensland State Library (2006); Brisbane Magistrates Court (2005); Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, United Kingdom (2005); Melbourne Museum (1997), and Museum of Sydney (1994).