The first of two captivating new indigenous artworks has been installed inside the just-opened Qantas Brisbane International Lounge at the airport, writes Alison Boleyn.
When a group of Aboriginal Elders and Traditional Owners from South East Queensland sat down to discuss an artwork for the new Qantas Brisbane International Lounge, they were explicit about what they wanted to communicate.
They hoped that visitors arriving from around the world would look at the work and connect with the beauty of the places. “One of the elders told me, ‘The land pulses with the ancient, the energy, the stories,’” says artist Jenna Lee (pictured) of Gilimbaa, the Indigenous creative agency that Qantas approached to design and create two installations for the airport.
The first, titled The Pulse of Our Ancient Land, is made of glass and lights. Embedded in a three-metre-wide glass panel is geographical representation of country. A watercolour depicts the area’s four language groups – Moreton Island, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast – while rows of LED lights pulsate in an abstract retelling of the regions’ stories.
In particular, the Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) Creation story of Lightning’s Playground – about lightning hitting two sandhills and sparking glass – is conveyed through the artwork. “When you stand in front of the work, you can feel the energy and the movement of the land,” says Lee, who is Larrakia (from Darwin). “It’s meant to be a whole-body feeling, as opposed to just hearing a story.”
A second installation by Gilimbaa is planned for the new Domestic Lounge Precinct and will be unveiled early next year. It will focus on the passing down of culture and stem from a new choreography performed by children. “What we want to do,” says Lee,” is capture dance.”