Day 53: Road signs


Red CubeTHE main reason for going to the Queensland Transport Department in Boundary Street at Spring Hill is to pay a speeding fine and, oh yes, the car registration and driver’s licence renewal.

Usually eager to get the business done, I rush through the front doors thinking that one day I should stop and have a good look at the big, angular and colourful sculpture in the forecourt.

Today was the day and it was certainly worth the stop as not only is the sculpture impressive but on either side of the courtyard are pleasant little gardens with ponds and water features as well as seating, which would make a very nice shaded spot to sit in summer.

Red CubeA Government building on the fringe of the CBD seems a most extraordinary place to spot a work of art.

The sculpture itself has a story to tell.

It’s called The Red Cube and was made by Ken Reinhard AM (born in New South Wales in 1936) of steel, aluminium and polyurethane enamel.

It was commissioned in 1986 by Transfield, the company that built the first Gateway Bridge, to commemorate its opening.

The Red Cube was gifted to the Queensland Government and installed in the forecourt of the Queensland Museum at Southbank until its restoration and relocation to its current Transport and Main Roads Department site in April 2006.Red Cube

It’s quite intriguing as it captures a sense of roadworks ahead and traffic signals without being definite about either. The artist  of course, can describe it much better:

“It’s about geometry. It’s like the Bauhaus dictum, everything in nature can be described by a cone, sphere or cylinder and when reduced to the two dimensional – a triangle, circle or square. I work between these two aspects, it’s what forms part of my visual language. In addition, a circle with the diagonal can be seen as a traffic sign, just as the arrow is masculine and the circle is feminine. In essence I am about the visual language of shapes, lines and colours”.

Well said.Red Cube

The Red Cube was one of three very large public works that Reinhard undertook in the 1970s and early 1980s.

It’s worth a visit as there’s a post office and coffee shop right opposite and if you get it takeaway, you can sit among the ponds in the shadow of The Red Cube.Red Cube