Hidden Street Sculptures in Brisbane

As I approached the island jetty, the sun was rising over Stradbroke, the second largest sand island in the world.

Sunrise Stradbroke Island

And the early morning passenger ferry taking commuters to the Australian mainland for the day, appeared across the sparkly waters of South Moreton Bay.

I was on my way to Brisbane city, Queensland’s state capital.

ferry south moreton bay islands


I love the public art that can be found and enjoyed in cities – and have previously written about some of the street sculptures in Brisbane I’ve fallen upon unexpectedly.

They’re a joy.

To be buzzing about one’s everyday business in the CBD (Central Business District) and simply come across an art work that is there for no reason other than to adorn the streetscape and brighten up the day of passers-by is my kind of fun!
And garnishes my day with smiles.

Today, I’m after some ‘hidden’ Brisbane street sculptures – public artworks that don’t leap up in front of you, so are easily missed.

First, heading down Brisbane Arcade, away from the hustle and bustle of Queen Street Mall I spot my first tucked away piece of public art – Mirage.

Brisbane Arcade


While ‘Mirage’ is slap bang in the middle of the walkway, its set up high on a marble plinth and with shop windows either side vying for attention most people walk past looking the other way!

Its an art work by Gidon Graetz, an Israeli-Swiss sculptor who is based in Europe and in 1988 was commissioned to produce the work for the World Expo in 1988.

The Mayne Family Trust who own and run the Brisbane Arcade bought the work after the event with the Brisbane City Council and housed it here in the Arcade.

Mirage, Brisbane Arcade


There is neither a beginning nor an end to this piece as the shimmering illusion of water ripples up its shiny stainless steel surface and swirls in a fluid wave that wavers on feeling both near within arms reach and far off on the horizon.

brisbane street sculpture


Out into Adelaide Street I cross the road and at the base of a Victorian lamp post, look up to spot my next ‘hidden’ gem.


brisbane street sculpture

Have you stopped and looked up in Adelaide Street?

A flying fox street sculpture atop a lamp post!

brisbane street sculpture


Sculpted by Fred Whitehouse in 1996, a grand-nephew of the renowned British sculptor Henry Moore, this isn’t Fred’s only work in Adelaide Street.

brisbane street art


Look up again a few lamp posts on (going north) and…

brisbane street sculpture

You’ll be one of the few people to have taken the time of day to stop awhile to notice this bronze snake!

brisbane street sculpture

But there’s more…

Possum Street Sculpture

A few more lamp posts along is a bronze possum after a hand out!

I’ve since found out there are more animals yet to be discovered – a frog, a goanna and a bird…?

Have you seen them?

Do tell where 😉


Sunset South Moreton Bay

About to catch the ferry back to the island in the Bay off Brisbane

Or if you’ve noticed any of these fun public works of street art…

Did someone tell you… or, are you one of the few observant visitors to Brisbane?

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11 thoughts on “Hidden Street Sculptures in Brisbane

    • I’m a bit like you Desolie – I don’t really go into the city often enough, but when I do I’m so thrilled by what there is to see – over and above the primary business purpose of the trip!
      There are great rewards to travelling on your home-turf… and for taking the time to wander 🙂

    • It’s true!
      Having to hop on a ferry to go into the city does add a holiday element to every trip 😀

      Love your latest scenic dunny post Red –
      But what a name for a dam with a dunny just below the dam wall 😉

    • It’s funny how blind we can be when in work mode!
      The possum, snake and fruit bat are in Adelaide Street between King George Square going towards Edward (on the west side of the street) –
      I’m thinking the frog and the goanna must therefore be between the Square going south towards George Street?
      Let me know if you find them! 😉

    • I have to be honest Michela, I’d walked down Adelaide Street many a time before I took the trouble to look up!
      I love the unexpected… Maybe that’s why I love Oz so much 😉

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