Discover the history, transformation and regeneration of Brisbane’s substation in this exhibition by Impress Printmakers Studio and Gallery, a community-based facility that provides affordable and open-access spaces, as well as equipment for printmaking, workshop classes and exhibition opportunities.
Impress Printmakers Studio and Gallery is a community-based, open-access printmaking studio housed in the former Brisbane City Council Tramway Substation No. 8 in Kedron. The substation serviced Brisbane’s tramways between 1937 and 1969.
Electric trams were the main way to traverse the city from 1897 to 1969. Now simply remembered as ‘the trams’, during their service they were known by more colourful names such as matchbox trams, jumping jacks, droppies, iron dukes and the phoenix trams. The phoenix trams were eight trams built from parts salvaged after a 1962 fire at the Paddington tram depot, in which 65 trams were destroyed.
The fire, together with the growing popularity and affordability of cars, triggered the phasing out of the trams in 1969, when they were replaced by buses. Substation No. 8 closed the same year.
In 2003, the substation was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, and it remains a fantastic example of the work of Brisbane City Council Tramways Department architect and construction engineer, Roy Rusden Ogg.
Substation No. 8 reopened as Impress Printmakers Studio and Gallery in 2012, refurbished as part of Brisbane City Council’s subARTS Program. These artworks, created by Impress Printmakers, reference the substation’s history of transformation and regeneration.