Take it back to Expo ’88 with this public art trail full of festival throwbacks
The year 1988 was a huge one for Brisbane for many reasons, but there is one event that positively impacted our city in ways that our people had never experienced before – we’re talking World Expo ’88. The enormous festival was a catalyst for change across Brisbane’s entire cultural landscape, putting us on the world map as a place worth seeing. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of World Expo ’88, Brisbane City Council has taken the existing World Expo ’88 Public Art Trail and elevated it to a whole new level.
World Expo ’88 was a significant event in Brisbane’s history for a whole number of reasons. The festival thrust our city into the global spotlight for the first time, attracting more than 15 million visitors over the course of its six-month lifespan and setting us on the path to become a vibrant New World City. The Expo transformed a once-derelict industrial lot into a thriving cultural precinct, which still exists today as South Bank. With the festival came a wave of fantastical large-scale custom artworks, many of which are still studded around Brisbane as constant reminders of a true turning point for Brisbane’s cultural landscape – and the World Expo ’88 Public Art Trail is your key to seeing them all.
The World Expo ’88 Public Art Trail was originally developed back in 2013 to coincide with the exhibition’s 25th anniversary, giving both residents and visitors a taste of the original celebrations at the time. Five years on and Council has decided to enhance the trail even further by including new artworks, restoring existing landmarks and even relocating an artwork to improve the flow of the trail. Artworks from the ‘Human Factor’ series are being recast and brought back to the city, while the artwork ‘Showdown’ is being restored and relocated from Boondall to Gregory Terrace for more central access. At present, the trail is made up of 19 unique works of art across a whole range of mediums, with most of the sites located within walking distance of the CBD.
If you want to check out the World Expo ’88 Public Art Trail, you can find a handy map with loads of information on each artwork on Council’s website. The World Expo ’88 Public Art Trail is a unique lifestyle and leisure opportunity provided by Brisbane City Council.
This article was created with our good friends at Brisbane City Council.