The Silver Jubilee Fountain: A Queensland Art Gallery landmark


The Queensland Artwork Galley will rejoice 40 several years at South Lender on 21 June 2022. In the direct-up we consider a seem at a dropped but not forgotten landmark — The Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Fountain — nevertheless the installation of a fountain in the Brisbane River in front of the Queensland Art Gallery was not part of the unique options for the Queensland Cultural Centre.

When the Queensland Governing administration turned informed that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was to go to the point out in 1977 as section of her Jubilee celebrations, the Govt was eager to have her go to the Cultural Centre internet site even however only preliminary internet site functions would have been finished.

DELVE Deeper: The record of the Queensland Artwork Gallery

Queensland Cultural Centre Model that includes the Jubilee Fountain outside the house the Queensland Art Gallery, 1977 / Assortment: QAGOMA Study Library

It was thought that the Queen would be unwilling to just lay a foundation stone at the website of the foreseeable future artwork gallery, so Cultural Centre architect Robin Gibson proposed a massive fountain in the river in time for the Queen’s take a look at. Queen Elizabeth II activated the Jubilee Fountain on 11 March 1977 and laid the Basis Stone just before a crowd of formal company and the public, surrounded by a flotilla of satisfaction craft.

The Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Fountain was developed as a tetrahedron, a pyramid of three triangles of equivalent proportions, that sat above the drinking water line with 30 substantial concealed pipes that shot water significant into the air, and at night time it lit up the city skyline with extra than 90 lights.

Queen Elizabeth II at the Queensland Art Gallery South Financial institution website, 11 March 1977 to activate the Silver Jubilee Fountain / Assortment: QAGOMA Research Library

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

The Jubilee Fountain became a Brisbane landmark and marked the situation of the upcoming long lasting residence of the Queensland Art Gallery till its opening some 5 many years later on. The romance of the Brisbane River to the Gallery was strengthened with h2o things within its interior, giving each a bodily connection and serving as a parallel reflection of the river. When the Gallery opened at South Bank on 21 June 1982, the most distinguished and putting attribute of the interior was its central Watermall, a excellent companion to the exterior river fountain.

The Watermall also prolonged beyond the Gallery’s interior from five solid bronze Pelicans by Queensland sculptors Leonard and Kathleen Shillam from the eastern-aspect to the Dandelion Fountains created by revolutionary fountain designer Robert Woodward (recognized for his fountain at Kings Cross in Sydney) via to the Gallery’s Sculpture Courtyard pond and waterfall to the west.

The Fountain malfunctioned continuously, the pumps obtaining to not only contend with the river’s tidal estuary and brackish h2o, but the sand and mud silt flowing via the river. Regretably Brisbane’s unique landmark in entrance of the Queensland Art Gallery was only relished for an additional 3 yrs just after the Gallery’s opening just before it was decommissioned in 1985. 

Queensland Art Gallery and surrounding South Brisbane, 15 June 1982 / BCC-B120-7879 / Courtesy: Brisbane Town Council
Max Dupain, Australia 1911-1992 / Hunting throughout the river in direction of the Queensland Artwork Gallery 1982 / Collection: QAGOMA Exploration Library

Extra research and supplementary content by Elliott Murray, Senior Digital Marketing Officer, QAGOMA, sourced from the QAGOMA Analysis Library Exclusive Collections.

Showcased graphic: Queensland Art Gallery and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Fountain, 21 June 1982 / Selection: QAGOMA Analysis Library / Photograph: Richard Stringer


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