Council remembers Expo 88 through art

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is paying tribute to the legacy of World Expo 88, by investing $555,000 in Council’s 2017/18 Budget to revive some of the most recognisable artworks ahead of next year’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

Cr Quirk said Expo 88 was a significant milestone in Brisbane’s history and was often regarded as Brisbane’s coming of age.

“Over the six months Expo 88 was held, Brisbane was visited more than 15 million times, raising our global profile and setting us on the path to become a vibrant New World City,” Cr Quirk said.

“One of the most recognisable and memorable features of the exhibition was the white fibreglass figures displayed across the city as part of John Underwood’s ‘The Human Factor’ art series.

“As part of my $555,000 commitment to mark the 30th anniversary of Expo 88, Council will give new life to these artworks and relocate them to key locations across the city for all residents and visitors to enjoy.

“Public art contributes to our reputation as a New World City and the revival of ‘The Human Factor’ series will be a reminder of how much Brisbane has grown as a cultural and creative hub since 1988.”

Cr Quirk marked his investment ahead of the 30th anniversary celebrations by unveiling two recast artworks, mirroring John Underwood’s fibreglass originals, in King George Square.

“For the first time in nearly 30 years, two of the artworks from ‘The Human Factor’ series will once again be publicly displayed for thousands of residents and visitors to see as they pass through King George Square every day,” he said.

“These figures will join a series of other publicly exhibited Expo 88 artworks, including ‘The Human Factor’ unicycle figure at South Bank and ‘Gestation’ in Queen Street Mall, and will form part of Council’s World Expo 88 Art Trail located across the CBD and city fringe.

“The original artworks are now almost 30 years old and the investment in their recreation and reinstallation is a tribute to the long standing legacy Expo 88 has had on our city.

“Over the next year, residents will be able remember this significant milestone through art as we continue to resurrect these artworks at locations across the city.”

Council developed the World Expo 88 Public Art Trail in 2013 to celebrate the exhibition’s 25th anniversary. More information is available at by searching of “World Expo ’88 Public Art Trail”.