SHARING SPACEby Christopher Trotter
This quirky piece of public art both tells an historic story and provides a great backdrop for photo opportunities for tourists. Considered Brisbane’s most popular public sculpture, ‘City Roos’ resides in George St just around the corner from the Queen St Mall. The project was commissioned by Brisbane City Council as part of the George St Boulevard Redevelopment.
The design concept was based on sharing space with our natives and the conservation of our natural resources. Historical records indicate that Aborigines shared their resources with the Colonials upon first settlement. However, over time, the Colonials didn’t share their resources with the Aborigines. The Aborigines started pilfering the Colonials' supplies and this eventually led to the Aborigines being banned from the city.
To represent the importance of sharing, plus other environmental issues where humans struggle to share space with the natives, Christopher Trotter chose to create a work based on the form of a group of kangaroos relaxing in the city.
They are comfortable and taking advantage of the facilities. One “Roo” is reclining on a park bench, while another waits patiently for its turn beside a drinking fountain. The arrangement of the “Roos” makes for many ideal photo opportunities of sharing space with natives.
Christopher is an artist who has been creating unique public art pieces since 1994 for governments, councils, developers, universities and private practices. An important intention of his works is to add human qualities of humour and playfulness to public places.
The artwork is constructed from discarded materials. Through the careful selection and composition of materials, Christopher breathes life and personality into the material.
Different objects have come from different pasts, different industries and even different periods of time. Some objects used have dated back to the 1800s. The works are, by their very nature, art time capsules. The chances are, some works could very well incorporate components that are relevant and identifiable to you, your job, your time.
This identifying and discovering process is important and creates an ongoing interaction between the viewer and the artwork.
In 2010 the Australian Federal Government borrowed ‘City Roos’ for display outside the entry of the Australian Pavilion at World Expo – Shanghai. During World Expo, the works were photographed by an estimated 37 million people.
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