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Traffic Signal Box Masterpieces – Quirky Brisbane

Brisbane is a great walking city. There are plenty of pedestrian zones and bridges, parklands and river walks. At some point though, you’ll need to cross at a traffic light. While you’re waiting, make sure you take a closer look at the traffic signal box.

Traffic Signal Box with pineapple, train and rail tracks painted on

Chances are, it’s a mini masterpiece.

Drive Through Art Gallery

The Brisbane City Council provides an opportunity for the community to channel their inner Ken Done or Banksy by painting traffic signal boxes across Brisbane.

The idea behind this is that signal boxes painted by local artists, are less likely to be targeted for graffiti. The council calls the program ‘Artforce’, describing it as a drive through art gallery. Once you spot one, you’ll start seeing them all over town.

Favourites from my Camp Hill Neighbourhood

Artwork on the boxes generally reflects the character or activities of the area. The theme and design need Council approval prior to painting.

A Rare Pair

The extra section on top of a traffic signal box is called a ‘top hat’. This gives some artists a chance to embellish their design. If an artist is very lucky, they will have a chance to paint a pair of boxes, sitting alongside one another.

Do You Have an Idea Worth Painting?

There a limited number of boxes that the Council offers up for painting every year. As you can imagine, interest is strong. Sometimes boxes are removed or need a refresh. There are also new boxes installed on a regular basis.

You can visit the BCC website to find out about painting a traffic signal box in Brisbane. They also run an annual competition to encourage community participation. www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/art-traffic-signal-boxes-artforce

Birds are a popular theme

So the next time you’re stopped at the traffic lights, take a look at the ever-changing art gallery right beside you.

7 comments… add one
  • sherry October 16, 2018, 10:46 am

    oh yes i love the signal boxes. there are so many beauties around. i love the debra hood one in morningside, and there’s a great one in the Valley near a church. can’t remember the name of the church. such a fab idea to do this. I bet the Council stole it from another city:=)

  • Lyn Riddett October 16, 2018, 11:01 am

    These are great! Thank you for posting these photos.

    Talking of posting: a small parcel just posted to you!

    • Fiona Ryan October 17, 2018, 9:50 am

      I have so many more that didn’t go in. There is a similar program in Ipswich. I’ll look out for the parcel.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime October 16, 2018, 4:41 pm

    This is such an amazing idea and thank you for sharing. I have a few Ken Done pieces myself and they always remind me of my family 🙂

  • Jan Rhoades October 18, 2018, 12:32 pm

    Great. The ones I really love are those that reflect their immediate surroundings such as schools, dog parks etc.
    So creative.

    • Fiona Ryan October 19, 2018, 4:08 pm

      I love that Snail Mail one. It’s so clever. Yes, the ones that reflect the location are often very good. I always wished I’d taken a photo of the Peter Beattie done ala Warhol, in town. Alas, it’s gone now.

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