Thursday, 8 October 2015


Many visitors to Brisbane will have noticed and no doubt, will have been impressed by the cool and unique urban art project that's been alive in our city for quite a number of years now. Brisbane residents are allowed to apply to paint traffic signal boxes as part of the Urban Smart Projects initiative. So all around the city, instead of plain and often graffittied blue-grey signal boxes, the sunny sub-tropical city of Brisbane sports brightly painted and original works of art.

Each box is hand-painted by a Brissie local and often reflects or is inspired by the local environment or community around it. This fabulous idea, funded by the Brisbane City Council, is based on the idea that painted boxes, showcasing cool, funky and real artwork, are way less likely to be tagged.

While it's clearly an 'in demand' opportunity, and there are well over 900 of them in Brisbane, it's funny, because there's still an element of mystery about how it all happens and where the art comes from. People love these boxes and I've heard of a few people who keep photos of all the ones they really love when they drive by them. The idea is spreading around now, and Ipswich has taken it on, and at least a few municipalities in Melbourne and also in Sydney have tried it out. But, I see it as a Brisbane thing, and I think Brissie should lay claim because I've been keeping an eye on the art since around 2007, when my clever husband decided to do his first box. Brisbane has stuck with this project, making it their own, the boxes are kept in good shape, but any old weathered ones get routinely replaced with new artworks, and everything stays fresh. You could say it's like a gallery that changes its works and has exhibitions. The idea hasn't got stale, which is great. 

The multi-talented husband has now completed 4 boxes with the most recent, just done this past weekend. He's timed his work amazingly well because there are bus shelters all over the city, sporting movie release posters for The Martian as well, so it kind of looks like he's super in touch and on topic. Actually, just coincidence, albeit a rather cool one.

Immerse, enjoy and savour art and originality, in all its forms.

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