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Conceptual Rationale

December 14, 2009

After three months under the wing of specialist design consultancy, Urban Art Projects, as the recipient of the inaugural UAP Mentorship Residency, we are ready to install the resulting artwork this week and we’re all very excited!

The Artwork
Briggs’ Lanterns is a sculptural lighting installation consisting of nine lighting elements for temporary exhibition in the entrance to Briggs Lane, as part of the Brisbane City Council’s Vibrant Laneways and Small Spaces ‘Inhabit’ Program. Its role is to animate the site through light and a sense of ‘lightness’ while still connecting to the previous tenants of the site, in particular J Briggs and Sons.

The Concept
From the late 1800s, the Tank Street precinct was a bustling hub of small business enterprise and boarding/guest houses. J Briggs & Sons were drapers (fabric salesmen) and had a store at 428 George Street from c1917 until at least 1951, which backed onto what is now known as Briggs Lane.

Briggs’ Lanterns poetically references the back of a Victorian era dining chair, familiar to households in the late 1880s/early 1900s. In each lantern, the chair silhouette folds from one side to the other, referring to the passage of time from the Victorian era to the present day resulting in the creation of a new and unique form.

Used typically in the home or within the workplace, the chair contains rich and diverse symbolism. In this installation, the Victorian chair makes association with the predecessors of our river city as we imagine what life was like in a bygone era.

Wrapped in fabric, these works refer to J Briggs and Sons drapery business. As a sign of respect for the past, the fabric protects the forms’ sense of fragile antiquity, while creating a vessel in which to contain these memories. The fabric is printed with the same silhouette of the Victorian chair used to create the lantern forms. In repeat, this motif transforms into a contemporary pattern, which speaks about the present as much as it does about the past.

Lit from within, the lanterns create a sense of nostalgia associated with venturing back into the past, as if discovering hidden family treasures in a dark and dusty attic.

Regular updates will be posted this week as we bring this project to installation.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2009 12:09 AM

    Thanks Kirsten… Now it is… Stay tuned for the next post coming soon!


  1. Briggs’ Lanterns – Official Installation Photography « KT Doyle

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