If you’re a local in the Brisbane area, you’ve probably walked through Brisbane Square, the area at the river end of the Queen Street Mall. If so it would have been hard to miss the group of strange metal spheres adorning the square. Well, what are they? What purpose do they serve?
The spheres are a form of street art by renowned sculptor, Donna Marcus and the official name of artwork is “Steam”. Most of Donna’s art is actually created from discarded aluminum kitchen appliances and true to her style the balls are made of used vegetable steamers, 7000 to be precise! These steamers were welded onto metal plates, which once joined together form the perforated spheres on display.
At night the spheres light up the square with colorful fluorescents lights, integrated into the sculpture. Originally the sculptures were to be part of an impressive water display, however at the time of their installation Brisbane was affected by harsh water restrictions and this feature was unfortunately removed.
The placement of the individual balls was actually intended to be random. The artist determined their placement by throwing miniature versions of the sculpture across a miniature Brisbane square and then places the real sculpture in the same location. The balls weigh 200kg each and were transported to the site by two semi-trailers from Universal Cranes. The balls were lifted into place by crane in the early hours of the morning, the whole process only taking 6 hours. The people of Brisbane were then able to admire the amazing artwork the next morning.