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Florentijn Hofman's Messengers of Brisbane

13 Aug

Media Release
Florentijn Hofman's Messengers of Brisbane

Look up and smile

A flock of spectacularly coloured birds will swoop into Brisbane this September with a simple but powerful message: look up and smile.

Internationally renowned visual artist Florentijn Hofman has created six giant Gouldian finches for Messengers of Brisbane, a public installation bringing hope, joy and art exclusively to Brisbane from 4 – 26 September 2020 as part of this year’s Brisbane Festival supported by Tourism and Events Queensland.

The vibrant, larger-than-life sculptures will be perched atop some of the city’s most iconic landmarks for the duration of the Festival: Queensland Museum, QPAC, South Bank, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane City Hall and the Goodwill Bridge.

Based in the Netherlands, Mr Hofman worked with Brisbane’s Urban Art Projects to bring his concept and designs to life.

Gouldian finches, also known as rainbow finches, are recognisable by their vivid feathers and bright colour, a trait that is amplified in Messengers of Brisbane.

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said each finch will wear a party hat, creating colourful beacons that inject a sense of fun throughout the city.

“These giant Gouldian finches are glorious visual reminders that September is synonymous with Brisbane Festival and a cause for celebration,”

Louise Bezzina

The six sculptures are strategically placed across the city so they can be seen on a leisurely stroll, a bike ride, a City Cat journey or even on the work commute.

Messengers of Brisbane is a daily reminder to look up and smile.”

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said events like Brisbane Festival would play an important role in the state’s economic recovery.

“Major events like this pump thousands of dollars back into the local businesses, support local jobs and help to rebuild our economy,” Ms Jones said.

“Because Queenslanders have done such a great job fighting COVID-19, we can now welcome tourists back to our state.

“This event will deliver a great boost for local businesses at a time when everyone is doing it tough.

“Brisbane is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit and Brisbane Festival gives visitors another reason to book a trip.

“Only the Palaszczuk Government has a plan to rebuild our economy and create local jobs. Events like this that support local businesses and local jobs are crucial to that strategy.”

Mr Hofman is well-known for creating playful urban installations that scale animals up to enormous proportions, including Rubber Duck which has graced waterways across the world and HippopoThames which floated down London’s River Thames.

Gouldian finches are native to Australia and within Messengers of Brisbane, symbolise freedom and the fragility of our environment while offering hope to Brisbane for brighter days to come.

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