Art Pharmacy’s latest long term Creative Placemaking project – a digital arts activation in the lobby at 100 Creek Street, Brisbane.
Art Pharmacy managed a long-term Digital Placemaking Project for Brisbane lobby at 100 Creek Street, the National Bank House, which was to become an evolving and inspirational site that celebrates the local area through custom made hyper-local content, created by local artists. 100 Creek Street is the first project of its kind in Australia.
Art Pharmacy curated five themes for a year long program of digital art, leading a comprehensive and sustainable digital art implementation and procurement that reflected ISPT’s vision, as well as raising the profile of the area in an authentic fashion. These themes reflected the iconic elements of Queensland: water, earth, rainforest, coral, earth and sand and were interpreted by five local Brisbane digital artists to create looping videos for each theme.
The work is across two screens, meaning that the viewer has to travel to see the work in its entirety, playing into the dynamic of the work and its busy office lobby location. The works are 4m high and 12m long, making for a dramatic presence.
CHRIS BENNIE – MOOD SWINGS
Chris creates performance-based artworks and observations of the weirdness of our world. He has a strong interest in performance, and the world as “a strange but eloquent complexity”. Living and working in Brisbane, Australia he lectures in Digital Art and New Media at Griffith University Queensland College of Art and is the Exhibitions and Public Programs Officer at the Griffith University Art Gallery.
His performances and manipulations of video extend this interest to the realm of art, ritual and the potential for water to act as a conduit between the two.
Chris created a digital artwork to brief that was inspired by elements of Queensland. He created a work that aimed at disconcerting the viewer, filming himself in a wide expanse of river, he uses his own figure to disrupt the otherwise calm landscape that is reminiscent of Australian impressionist representation of the country. Both still and jumping, his body in the landscape creates a curious representation of the human figure.
KENNETH LAMBERT – DEBRIS IV
Award-winning digital and installation artist Kenneth Lambert was selected to provide a work for the final thematic instalment of this project: sand. He adapted his incredible existing work, ‘Debris IV’ which references an ocean of data. The work spirals like plumes of sand across the double panelled screen.
STEFANIA SHEVCHENKO – SPACE – OCEAN CONTINUUM
Exploring the vastly mysterious connections between the ocean and the universe, this piece contemplates the futuristic evolution of lifeforms from deep below our waters to high above our current plane of existence.
Coral, jellyfish, seaweed and droplets of water feature predominantly in these artworks acting as portals between the two worlds. Jellyfish in particular are featured heavily as they commonly are regarded as the aliens of our oceans due to their deeply complex primordial history and connection to our landscape. They are found both in and along the Queensland coastline, often travelling long distances from different parts of the world having to adapt and evolve to survive. They do so existing in and out of plain sight and often overlooked and forgotten.
The elusive nature of the ocean aligns to the equally enigmatic nature of what exists beyond our world. Together their unspoken connection may hold the answers to our own futuristic evolution.
MATT SCHEMBRI – TSURIS
A local Gold Coast Video and Animation artist, Matt’s interest lies in creating spaces and environments that make people feel at home in a new place. Implementing organic or earthy elements with manmade or tech visual components, redesigning existing landscapes or imagining new ones with a visual feast of vibrant colours, human interactive elements and a reimagining of reality giving life to inanimate objects.
His work at 100 Creek Street is a meditative rainforest within the busy Brisbane city office environment, created in a high resolution environment with elements of water, rocks and flora. “I wanted [the viewer] to have is a change of pace,” he explained. “A more immersive, relaxed feel.”
He based his work on the “actual natural environments [he] sourced” where he took real elements from rainforests, travelling the hinterland.
“I went to quite a few national parks – Springbrook, Binna Burra, Currumbin and Lamington – just trying to get used to environment and the general feeling capture difference between that and the city.”
Interestingly, Schembri used an innovative digital approach when it came to creating this artwork. After initially trialling its creation in the game engine, Unity, he couldn’t get the quality he was aiming for. Instead he created the art in a video game style, but using the post-production movie tool, After Effects. His experimental approach (and access to beta tools within the system) means he is one of the only artists to be doing this.
“I don’t know anybody else that does what I do,” Schembri said. “It’s a bit of a niche.”
ANNIE MACINDOE – EVERYTHING THAT LIES ABOVE
A Brisbane local, Macindoe’s work “examines how creative practice and respond to the limitations of traditional form of language in the representation of loss and grief.” Her practice involves written and visual language, often across multiple screens, fragmenting the narrative form. This made her a perfect candidate for the Creek Street project.
Macindoe describes Everything that lies above as “a single-channel video created for a large format LED display. In response to the theme “sky,” the work comprises images of a clouded sky layered with excerpts of text floating across and screen and fading in and out of frame.”
When asked about her process for this piece, Macindoe says that “the work comprises video footage of the sky which has been edited to enhance the texture and volume of the clouds. The fragments of language in the work were drawn from poetic and academic texts about the sky.”
The fragmented pieces of language are “intended to evoke a sense of mindfulness and reflection within the viewer, as they piece together various textual perspectives of the sky as they float across the screen simultaneously.”
The space at 100 Creek Street is large and plays a key role in viewing the artwork. Macindoe explains that the “work was created in response to the scale and location of the screen.” Viewers are invited to “navigate the space in order to see the work from multiple perspectives.” Even the more corporate environment of the lobby has been taken into account with Macindoe giving a space to “visitors and passers-by to take a reflective break from their usual routine.”