Embracing the Bold – An Expansion on The Star’s Commitment to The Arts

From music and theatre on stage to comedy nights and even acrobatic performances in its foyers, The Star has long been a supporter of the creative arts. And, after a challenging couple of years for the local creative industries, The Star’s commitment to arts and culture is more important than ever. Here, we introduce you to two of its newest artistic endeavours – the Michael Reid Art Bar and the multi-million dollar public artworks soon to take over the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development.

The Star has always been a strong supporter of the Australian arts industry – from theatre productions and lyrical performances, to live music and stand-up comedy.

A tough few years for the local arts community has only reinforced this commitment, with The Star now introducing a number of new cultural collaborations which present a fantastic opportunity to connect new local, domestic and international visitors with Australia’s burgeoning entertainment and creative scene.

Exhibitions at Art Bar By Michael Reid
Exhibitions at Art Bar By Michael Reid

In Sydney, The Star has collaborated with revered Australian gallerist, Michael Reid OAM on the opening of the Michael Reid Art Bar – a creative space that acts as a gallery by day, and morphs into a bar by night. A reframing of the traditional gallery experience, the space aims to engage a new audience in the world of art.                                                                                     

“This sleight of hand and eye works. As the day space, a worldly, architecturally-designed exhibition space. In the evening, a conclave of creative inspiration lubricated by liquid bewitchment. We embrace the bold and would ask you to, as well,” says Reid of the new venue.

The Michael Reid Art Bar will be showcasing works from new Australian artists every four to six weeks. It’s current exhibition – Boom Boom – combines the sybaritic and unrestrained artistry of photographic artist and costume maker Gerwyn Davies, fantastical local artist Samuel Hodge and jewellery and sculpture maker Kate Rohde while past exhibitions have featured multi-faceted works by First Nations artists and stunning oceanic prints captured by local photographers.

Meanwhile, in Brisbane, ahead of the progressive opening of the new Queen’s Wharf Brisbane (QWB) precinct, The Star has appointed a Specialist Artistic Advisory panel to curate a standout collection of public artwork that will appear across the 7.5 hectare urban development.

Exhibitions at Art Bar By Michael Reid
Exhibitions at Art Bar By Michael Reid

Highly regarded art figure Philip Bacon AO, art curator and director of the Institute of Modern Art Liz Nowell and respected Indigenous artist and administrator Avril Quaill have already announced partnerships with five emerging and established Australian artists to have works displayed throughout this new cultural playground when it opens in late 2023.

Australian painter and sculptor, Lindy Lee will craft a unique, 8-metre, 8,000-kilogram bronze sculpture for the George Street Atrium entrance to the QWB precinct. Titled ‘Being Swallowed by the Milky Way’ the stunning oblong sculpture will feature thousands of tiny holes puncturing its bronze surface. At night it will appear as a shimmering, light-filled galaxy of silver and gold stars.

Queen's Wharf Render
Queen’s Wharf Render

A supersized wall mural created from pixelated squares of blue, violet, orange and yellow mosaic glass tiles depicting Australian lungfish swimming and aptly named ‘Lungfish Dreamz’ will run adjacent to the bicentennial bike path between Queen’s Wharf Road and the Brisbane River. Talented Brisbane based artist Samuel Tupou said a visit to the site sparked his concept drawing inspiration from the nearby river and the glass mosaic on the former State Library.

The first building in Queensland to be powered by electricity, The Printery Office is the first of nine heritage structures under careful restoration within the QWB precinct and will become a giant canvas for 52 different digital light projections – one for every week of the year. The brainchild of South East Queensland based projection art duo, Alinta Krauth and Jason Nelson, the artworks will be beamed onto the northern face of the culturally protected building ensuring there is something new to see every time you visit.

Queen's Wharf
Queen’s Wharf

A larger-than-life five tonne goddess-like bronze sculpture called ‘Sheila’ designed by Brisbane-based creative Justene Williams and inspired by the artist’s five-year-old daughter Honore’s fascination with tiny toy figurines will stand at the Queen’s Wharf Plaza on the riverside of the existing Commissariat Store.

And finally, an enormous 15 metre floating art garden depicting native plants by exciting First Nations artist Tony Albert has been unveiled. Titled ‘Inhabitant’, the bold, botanical artworks of Australian flora, including Banksia, Desert Pea and Waratah, will be fabricated in marine-grade aluminium and raised four metres above the porte-cochere entrance to Brisbane’s new entertainment precinct.