We appreciate them when we need to cross a busy intersection; we curse them when we are in a hurry, but there is no getting away from it, traffic lights are a feature of urban life.
As part of the Brisbane City Council’s Artforce program many of the signal boxes that house the electronics that control our traffic lights have been painted, either by professional artists, or by people who simply wanted to ‘have a go’.
My favorite is the ‘Rabbit’.
It’s interesting that the artist has positioned the animal behind a chain wire fence. Whilst children may have a love affair with these furry creatures, they are in fact a declared pest in Australia and it is illegal to keep them as pets in Queensland.
Domestic rabbits were first brought to Australia with the First Fleet and wild rabbits were released into Victoria in 1859. They spread rapidly.
Recognised as Australia’s most destructive introduced pest a great deal of effort has gone into their control. The Rabbit Nuisance Bill of 1878 and then an Act in 1880 were the Queensland Governments first response to the problem and fences were built in a effort to keep them a bay. By 1929 there was something like 47,000 km of rabbit fencing around Queensland, part under Government control and part in private hands.
Today about 555 km of fencing still remains to protect 19 local authorities from rabbit incursions.
Another particularly impressive piece of work is the signal box titled ‘Stories’. It just about compels you to check out the bookshelves as if you were in a library. The cats, the bats, mice, cups of tea etcetera, in amongst the books on display really holds the interest and is an example of lengths that some artists will go to to make these drap boxes really interesting.
I hope you enjoy the gallery.