They’re the three aficionados who are deciding how Queen’s Wharf Brisbane spends the $12 million earmarked for the first stage of its art program.
Leading the Arts Advisory Panel is respected Brisbane art dealer Philip Bacon. He is joined by art curator Liz Nowell who is director of the Fortitude Valley-based Institute of Modern Art and respected Indigenous artist and arts administrator Avril Quaill and the trio was on site yesterday scoping out locations where the multimillion-dollar arts bonanza will be situated. The Landing, a riverside park that is being built as part of the precinct, is one of a number of major locations for the art.
Philip Bacon, a board member of Opera Australia and the National Gallery of Australia Foundation, is one of Australia’s leading arts philanthropists. He said the art program would make Queen’s Wharf Brisbane an international attraction.
“The site is huge and the interesting thing is that it will be an ongoing commitment,” Mr Bacon said. “Star is determined to make art integral to this development. And when this fabulous Neville Bonner Bridge is completed it will connect it all to Australia’s best cultural precinct.”
The Star Entertainment Group is the lead partner in Destination Brisbane Consortium, a $3.6 billion joint venture with Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium. The Star’s CEO Matt Bekier said the group wanted to “provide a major point of difference for the city”.
“To commission this world class collection of works for installation at Queen’s Wharf Brisbane is just the start,” Mr Bekier said. “Our plans are for an ongoing commitment to art and culture at a tourist and entertainment destination that will welcome visitors from across Australia and all over the world.”
Liz Nowell said the arts program was a huge opportunity for artists to realise ambitious works for public display.
“We have an incredible art community in Queensland and particularly with First Nations artists,” Ms Nowell said. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase them.”
Avril Quaill said the site was historically significant for local Aboriginal people, the Turrbul and Jagera people.
“This area was a hub,” Ms Quaill said. “People met and traded here and the art will reflect the sense of place.”
A shortlist of 11 artists (culled from more than 100 proposals) will be announced in the coming months.
Some artists have already started work on artworks that will be installed from the end of 2022 through early 2023 to coincide with the opening of Queen’s Wharf Brisbane.