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2009. Briggs’ Lanterns

December 22, 2009

Briggs’ Lanterns is a sculptural lighting installation consisting of nine lighting elements for temporary exhibition in the entrance to Briggs Lane, resulting from a three-month Mentorship Residency with Urban Art Projects (UAP), facilitated by Artisan and featuring 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.

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.

Exhibition Title: Briggs’ Lanterns
Year: 2009
Location: Briggs Lane, Brisbane
Photography: Troy Hansen

10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2009 10:10 AM

    Wow KT! This looks fabulous, I wish I could see it in person. Well done, your hard work has paid off. Have a fabulous Christmas and all the best for a fantastically prosperous 2010. xxx

  2. December 22, 2009 10:22 AM

    The lanterns look great! So different to what I expected. It's a pity they are only temporary. Will you get to keep any of them?

  3. December 22, 2009 11:04 PM

    Thanks Susan! That's why Troy takes such amazing photos for me… so you can enjoy the work without missing out! All the best to you too for a brilliant 2010!

  4. December 22, 2009 11:06 PM

    Hey Thea, thanks for the feedback! Who knows, you might find the lanterns popping up in other places down the track 😉

  5. March 4, 2010 6:14 PM

    Better late than never, I guess… It's taken me a while to get a handle on the world of Blogs but now that I have, let me say this…."Wow! What a wonderful work of art you created here KT! I too wish I had seen it up close and personally. I'd love one of your lanterns hanging above my dining table (in place of the horrible dark thing my hubby has hanging there currently!) but that would be sacrilegious and a misuse of your talent/hard work/fine art! Just wanted to say "what a talent" and "keep on inspiring us mere mortals!"

  6. March 4, 2010 6:18 PM

    Thanks Al! It was such a great project and the mentorship itself was such a rich experience. Many thanks to UAP, Artisan and BCC!


  1. Briggs’ Lanterns – De-Installation « KT Doyle
  2. Briggs’ Lanterns – Timelapse Install Photography « KT Doyle
  3. Welcome in 2010! « KT Doyle
  4. Inhabit Fiesta « KT Doyle

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