South Bank Corporation has won Silver at the 2018 Melbourne Design Awards for Jem, a world-leading sculpture that lights up the heart of the Parklands with millions of LEDs.
'Jem' was commissioned with the purpose of delivering the community a never-before-seen interactive digital experience that would bring strangers together in unity and contemplation – set in South Bank's latest urban renewal development, Flowstate.
The installation is a custom-built, outdoor structure that uses 360 Lidar (interactive) technology to respond to people's movement and generate endless combinations of visual and audio content.
"I think that having such an engaging art installation appeals to people. For the city to permit art like this, it says a lot about the vision of the city. I think you should do more of it. There's nothing like this in L.A. – this is very progressive."
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick congratulated South Bank Corporation for delivering the award-winning installation and a much-deserved win.
"South Bank is Brisbane's premier urban and cultural precinct that annually hosts 11 million visitors every year. Jem is proving to enrich their experience by introducing them to new ways of interacting in public space," Mr Dick said.
"This new structure is evocative of the creative design prowess introduced to Brisbane during Expo '88 and it is fitting in this, the 30th anniversary year of Expo, an award-winning design outcome continues to light up South Bank."
South Bank Corporation Chair Dr Catherin Bull AO said Jem, commissioned by the Corporation and designed by Melbourne studio ENESS, was a Queensland first being an all-ages interactive play sculpture created for community engagement and enjoyment using the latest technology.
"Jem is an impressive, forward-thinking installation that combines art, science, design and technology; a complex build with a simple outcome: joy," Dr Bull said.
"We didn't understand what it meant by Flowstate and then we lay down in that sculpture and were were like: wow, it's this, this is the Flowstate. We are coming back, it's so awesome."
South Bank Chief Executive Officer Bill Delves said he was proud of the innovative project that underpinned the core values of the precinct.
"We are the caretakers of an incredible place here at South Bank, and it is our role to develop and deliver experiences that that are creative, innovative and bold; experiences that continually put us on the map locally and globally," Mr Delves said.
Jem is the visual centrepiece of Flowstate, South Bank's vibrant redevelopment of the former Arbour View Café site. Flowstate comprises three immersive creative zones spread across 3000 square metres and offers a dynamic new open-air platform to showcase the creativity and diversity of Queensland's independent arts sector. A year-long creative program of free activities is in train, with Jem as the stunning backdrop. Flowstate – and the gem at its heart – is part of South Bank Corporation's contribution to the cultural program of festivities for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.