Brisbane Art Design Is Returning for Three 2023 Weekends Filled with 150-Plus Events and Exhibitions

Lighting up the City Botanic Gardens, celebrating ceramics, a wearable art and fashion parade, and up-late gallery parties — they're all on BAD's lineup
Sarah Ward
March 16, 2023

2023 keeps being kind to Brisbane's lovers of art and design, with stunning exhibitions and installations popping up all around the city already — and more on the way. GOMA is currently hosting the stunning Air, and will end the year with a fairy tales showcase. Getting interactive with art is presently on the agenda at Museum of Brisbane, Australian Geographic is projecting its stunning sights and Night Feast features spectacular sights as well. Separate Banksy and Monet exhibitions have locked in visits, too, and Botanica is returning to light up the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens.

The latter — a mix of leafy greenery and luminous installations — isn't just a standalone festival, however. It forms part of the broader Brisbane Art Design fest, which has just confirmed its 2023 dates and lineup. As the name gives away, this event is all about both art and design in the River City, complete with that radiant patch of nature in the middle of the CBD, celebrating ceramics, a wearable art and fashion parade, and up-late gallery parties.

Botanica via Brisbane City Council

BAD 2023 will run across three weekends between Friday, May 12–Sunday, May 28, with each three-day stint offering something different. Think of it as three programs in one, all focusing on its own part of the city, and spanning more than 150 events all up. First, the heart of town gets some love from Friday, May 12–Sunday, May 14, then it's the northside's turn from Friday, May 19–Sunday, May 21. Finally, the fest will head south from Friday, May 24–Sunday, May 28.

Weekend one will indeed start with Botanica: Contemporary Art Outside, and also feature the flagship Clay: Collected Ceramics  at MoB — which includes five new exclusively commissioned works, plus plenty of pieces by Brisbane's best ceramicists. The CBD's time in BAD's spotlight will welcome pop-up art studious around the place as well, live projections at Howard Smith Wharves, and exhibition talks at Birrrunga Gallery and QUT Art Museum.

Andre Cois

Then, for weekend two, the action focuses on Fortitude Valley, Newstead, Albion, Bowen Hills, Northshore and Toowong. The Finders Keepers markets are part of the bill, as is an In Conversation series hosted by Design Institute of Australia. A hefty highlight will be the weekend's Up Late parties, thanks to shindigs held after hours in independent art spaces such as FireWorks Gallery in Bowen Hills, POP Gallery and The Station Brisbane in the Valley, Superordinary at Northshore and Toowong's Land Street Gallery.

Also, Fortitude Valley's industrial, product and architectural studios will be showcased on a walking tour, The Black Market Albion is doing live art and food trucks, and ceramics get pushed centre stage again via a workshop at Mas & Miek Ceramic House in Newstead.


Last but by no means least, Brisbane's south gets its time to shine over the final three-day stretch, heroing South Brisbane, Woolloongabba, West End, Yeronga and Yeerongpilly — and specifically their creative outlets and fine art institutes. So, visits to Dead Puppet Society's space, Queensland College of Art at Griffith University, Metro Arts, The Paint Factory and Bag End Studio are all on the lineup. So too is Clayschool's latest alumni show and market.

Like art that you can strut around in? That's where Fish Lane's fashion parade comes in. At Southside, the precinct will also host an art dinner. And if you're keen on a soundtrack, Echo & Bounce in Woolloongabba is welcoming in local DJs at a laneway soiree. Don't forget to hit up the closing party, too, at Yeerongpilly's Station Road Creative Precinct.

Phillip Perides and workshop colleagues prepare bronze castings at Perides Fine Art Foundry, in preparation and production of artist Hiromi Tango's collaborative artwork 'Roots' 2020, commissioned by the Brisbane City Council for the Platform Project.

Other highlights across the entire program include an International Tea Day mini market, a food truck night in Hawthorne and the ongoing Making Place: 100 Views of Brisbane.

Or, there's You'll Know It When You Feel It at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, which challenges how women who've overlapped with the prison industrial complex are represented; Brisbane Street Art Festival's annual party at Felons Brewing Co; animation drawing classes; and the classic kombi getting a whole lot of arty attention.

Making Place, Josh Woning

Brisbane Art Design 2023 will run across three weekends between Friday, May 12–Sunday, May 28. Head to the festival's website for further details.

Top image: 'Musa' (2022) by James Voller / Joel Zika via Brisbane City Council.

Published on March 16, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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