You Are My Sunshine adorns Beirne Lane in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley like a giant, hand-crafted jewel that glistens with colour-changing light. In the early 20th Century, the Fortitude Valley was the epicentre of local fashion, and the TC Beirne Department store was one of its most popular destinations. While The Valley is now known for its vibrant night-life, the artwork lights the laneway with the elegance and style of a by-gone era – welcoming people to linger and explore.
The artwork’s title evokes memories of the Valley’s hey-day and the bitter-sweet tune of that era, which laments “please don’t take my sunshine away.” Many of Brisbane’s heritage buildings such as the Cloudland ballroom, were demolished in the mid-20th Century. We were touched by the grief still felt for this loss, which persistently emerged in familiar stories of the much-needed respite provided by balls at Cloudland during World War 2, and local families that began as couples met on ballroom’s sprung dance floor.
Loving restorations of landmarks such as the TC Beirne building and ‘Queenslander’ cottages across Brisbane reflect the city’s desire to preserve its remaining cultural heritage. You Are My Sunshine materially captures the memories associated with these spaces using pressed metal and decorative glass commonly found in Queensland architecture, together with a centre-piece of buttons and glass beads that once might have been sold by TC Beirne.
Location: Beirne Lane – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
Materials: stainless steel, perspex, resin, pressed aluminium, buttons, glass beads, LED’s, custom code and electronics.
You Are My Sunshine is a Kuuki Production, realised by:
Concept – Priscilla Bracks & Gavin Sade
Visual design – Priscilla Bracks
Lighting design – Priscilla Bracks, Gavin Sade,
Programming – Gavin Sade
Manufacturing – Remo Vallance, Priscilla Bracks
Installation – State Wide Signs Pty Ltd
Project management – Priscilla Bracks
Made with Arduino.