Your Australian World Expositions Connection
- Celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 and Australia at World Expositions -
One of the largest collections of international and Australian art gathered on Australian shores, World Expo '88 was a virtual open-air sculpture garden without parallel.
Given the leisure orientation of the Expo, Expo Authority Artistic Director (and Academy Award Winner) Australian John Truscott wanted to sway away from the predominantly 'science-and-concrete' heavy look of former Expositions, and filled the Expo site with large clunky high art world sculpture pieces that would provoke and linger in the public's mind, as well as the 'light weight' whimsy and interactive nature of the immensely popular 'Human Factor' plaster-of-paris still life figures - to the almost eeringly realistic series of 6ft high humanoid robot clones in silver-blue jumpsuits that, from their pyramid glass prisms, welcomed guests to the Expo in computer synthesized speech in over 32 languages.
The World Expo '88 Sculpture Collection in itself had a budget of more than $AUD 25 million - and featured works from Rodin to Moore, Frink, Hudson, Oakes, Grubb, Graetz, Pomodoro, Tinguely, Johns, Cole and more - with some of the works especially commissioned for the Expo, others on special loan, and others purchased outright. Most notable of these of course, was the several million dollar 88-metre Expo Night Tower 'Night Companion' - with it's xenon beam search light - designed by prominent Melbourne artist Robert Owens and interpreted by Charles Sutherland - which still stands in today's Brisbane - some 500 metres away from it's original Expo location.
Truscott was also the brain-child behind the futuristic illuminated white plastic cubes, pyramids and cones that sat in groups by the Expo's Brisbane River foreshore, known as the 'cubistic flotilla'; the world globe upon the Expo's River Stage - with Australia prominently in the centre; and the larger-than-life metallic insects and beetles of the epiphyte forest.
Here you will find the names and some of the images of the famous World Expo '88 Sculpture Collection, several of whose works were retained for Brisbane and purchased by Government and private enterprise, which we hope to augment with images also of the 80-odd Human Factor figures - which have now found their new home in several Queensland and other Government Department Building foyers, as well as inter-state and overseas.
And also, you will find details of works displayed at the Queensland Art Gallery, Museum and State Library - new facilities of the Queensland Cultural Centre - adjoining the Expo site - where under special Bicentennial Australia loan agreements, whole galleries of priceless works of art were displayed during the Expo period.
If you are interested in viewing works of art from World Expo '88 in today's Brisbane, don't forget to do the World Expo '88 Heritage Trail Walk - also featured on this web-site - where over two weekends one can gain an appreciation of some of the better known works retained for the City of Brisbane, as well as gain a brief overview of the City itself.
Guided Tours with the Executive Director, John McGregor, are carried out in the first two Saturdays of each June - in the height of Brisbane's balmy and summery winter weather. Visit the"About World Expo '88" pages at the beginning of this site for further information.