Place, in Brisbane, is not a static thing. With the city we know changing so rapidly, this is the ideal moment to ask ‘what makes place?’ Is it about identity and connection, anchored in 65,000 years of First Nations People’s richness of cultures belonging to place, or the contemporary significance? Which sites are signiﬁcant and why? Are the natural and built landmarks we recognise as characterising the city today the same landmarks we’ll see in the future?
Making Place: 100 Views of Brisbane asks these questions through the eyes of artists presenting 100 different views on place from the Museum of Brisbane’s Collections. What do collections like these tell us about the places that have been considered important by artists and society? Explore our ever-changing city from multiple perspectives; from the past, to the present and into the future.
100 artworks from the City of Brisbane Collection and Museum of Brisbane Collection are presented in Making Place: 100 Views of Brisbane. The exhibition explores 19 key themes, such as the river and Brisbane’s suburbs, examined through select artworks.
On this page, you can explore these artworks through an interactive gallery, audio descriptions and Auslan translations.
Jenna Lee is a Larrakia, Wardaman and KarraJarri saltwater woman originally from Darwin. Her installation Growing Place (2022) features handmade paper flowers and an animated poem, titled Our Worlds, asking us to consider how we collect and present ‘place’ through language and archives. While partially drawing on her own connection with Brisbane, having lived in the city for 10 years, Jenna collaborated with Aunty Raelene Baker to create the prose.
“The paper flowers are made with multiple editions of the book ’Place Names of Australia’ published between 1973 and 1988. The flowers ’grow’ from walls and across cabinetry, mimicking the way First People’s language has always been present and, with the correct conditions, can once again thrive—creeping its way back into the built environment. The moving poetry re-inserts First People’s voices into historical records of place. Colonial settler words from the book have been rearranged to share the thoughts of the people whose perspective should have always come first.”
Courtesy the artist and MARS Gallery. Projections created in collaboration with Sai Karlen. Poetry created in collaboration with Aunty Raelene Baker. Install assistance from Ruby Lee and Col McElwaine.
Does sound evoke place for you? Lawrence English‘s atmospheric sound work, Site Listening : Brisbane (2022), plays throughout the gallery, featuring sounds recorded at locations around Brisbane. To accompany the exhibition, Lawrence has created a self-guided listening tour to help you explore the sounds of the city.
”Our eyes have come to be the primary lenses through which we seek to know the world around us. Site Listening : Brisbane is a work that subverts the preference for the visual and seeks to celebrate the sense of hearing as a means of revealing new, and potentially deeper, understandings of place. This work invites people to cast their ears outward and to rediscover Brisbane and its surrounding environments through entanglements with the strange familiar which is our city’s evolving soundscape.”
This project was created as part of MoB’s Artist in Residence program, supported by Tim Fairfax AC. Courtesy the artist.