June 18, 2024


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The Silver Jubilee Fountain: A Queensland Art Gallery landmark


The Queensland Art Galley will rejoice 40 yrs at South Financial institution on 21 June 2022. In the direct-up we just take a look at a misplaced but not overlooked landmark — The Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Fountain — however the installation of a fountain in the Brisbane River in entrance of the Queensland Art Gallery was not aspect of the authentic ideas for the Queensland Cultural Centre.

When the Queensland Govt turned informed that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was to pay a visit to the point out in 1977 as section of her Jubilee celebrations, the Government was keen to have her stop by the Cultural Centre web site even however only preliminary site operates would have been finished.

DELVE Further: The heritage of the Queensland Artwork Gallery

Queensland Cultural Centre Model that includes the Jubilee Fountain outdoors the Queensland Art Gallery, 1977 / Assortment: QAGOMA Research Library

It was considered that the Queen would be hesitant to just lay a basis stone at the website of the upcoming art gallery, so Cultural Centre architect Robin Gibson proposed a massive fountain in the river in time for the Queen’s check out. Queen Elizabeth II activated the Jubilee Fountain on 11 March 1977 and laid the Foundation Stone in advance of a crowd of official company and the public, surrounded by a flotilla of pleasure craft.

The Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Fountain was built as a tetrahedron, a pyramid of three triangles of equivalent proportions, that sat previously mentioned the h2o line with 30 significant concealed pipes that shot drinking water higher into the air, and at night time it lit up the metropolis skyline with more than 90 lights.

Queen Elizabeth II at the Queensland Artwork Gallery South Bank site, 11 March 1977 to activate the Silver Jubilee Fountain / Assortment: QAGOMA Investigation Library

The Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Fountain celebrations at the Queensland Art Gallery South Financial institution website, 11 March 1977 / Collection: QAGOMA Investigation Library
The Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Fountain / Courtesy: Queensland Artwork Gallery pamphlet, 1979 / Photograph: D McCarthy / Selection: QAGOMA Research Library

The Jubilee Fountain grew to become a Brisbane landmark and marked the place of the upcoming long lasting house of the Queensland Art Gallery till its opening some 5 decades later. The marriage of the Brisbane River to the Gallery was bolstered with drinking water elements inside of its interior, delivering both equally a physical relationship and serving as a parallel reflection of the river. When the Gallery opened at South Financial institution on 21 June 1982, the most outstanding and hanging function of the interior was its central Watermall, a excellent companion to the exterior river fountain.

The Watermall also extended beyond the Gallery’s interior from 5 forged bronze Pelicans by Queensland sculptors Leonard and Kathleen Shillam from the jap-aspect to the Dandelion Fountains designed by impressive fountain designer Robert Woodward (acknowledged for his fountain at Kings Cross in Sydney) by to the Gallery’s Sculpture Courtyard pond and waterfall to the west.

The Fountain malfunctioned frequently, the pumps possessing to not only contend with the river’s tidal estuary and brackish drinking water, but the sand and mud silt flowing by the river. However Brisbane’s one of a kind landmark in front of the Queensland Art Gallery was only relished for an additional three yrs just after the Gallery’s opening prior to it was decommissioned in 1985. 

Queensland Art Gallery and encompassing South Brisbane, 15 June 1982 / BCC-B120-7879 / Courtesy: Brisbane City Council
Max Dupain, Australia 1911-1992 / Looking across the river in the direction of the Queensland Art Gallery 1982 / Assortment: QAGOMA Exploration Library


Supplemental research and supplementary content by Elliott Murray, Senior Electronic Promoting Officer, QAGOMA, sourced from the QAGOMA Exploration Library Exclusive Collections.

Featured picture: Queensland Artwork Gallery and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Fountain, 21 June 1982 / Collection: QAGOMA Analysis Library / Photograph: Richard Stringer


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