Band of Gold – since you’ve been gone


Billy Shannon

Acrylic on Canvas
152 x 102cm


In this painting I am looking at the long life of the ‘New Farm Cliffs’. I imagine the breath of the wind flying across the cliffs, time blowing past our beautiful houses, bridges and lives, leaving only the cliffs and river again. All life is exquisite and transitory.

For me it the cliffs are the eternal natural gold within this place. To give the cliffs both emotional solidity and visual translucency, I’ve used gold leaf, increasing the reflected interplay of light as I glaze/paint over it.

The various developments of this area truly reflects it being a ‘band of gold’ to us. The wharves and the Story Bridge, seen here in shadow, were constructed 1934-early 1940s to provide employment-generating, relief work during the depression years. Less than ten years ago indigenous and homeless people lived in the caves in the cliff face because it was safe for them. In the last few years the area has been developed and is now home to some of Brisbane’s most upmarket bars and restaurants.

Band of Gold (now that you’ve gone) is part of the Mountains of Gold series, which explores the question of where the ‘gold’ is in nature. Is the gold within the intrinsic beauty of nature, or is the gold palpable with us profiting by its natural resources. This landmark area of inner city Brisbane continues to be a source of gold for us, but also relaxes the heart of everyone who walks over it, under it and who dreams over it as they cross the Story bridge..

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