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to install in the police beat on Adelaide Street

in the city. I’m also working with another artist,

Sonny Au, who specialises in signwriting and

airbrush. We have worked with the kids on heaps

of activities to open them up to creating whatever

they wanted for these final works. The project

is all about the young people feeling welcome

and sharing what ‘welcome’ means to them. We

spoke about gestures, facial expressions, colours

that affect our moods and symbols. From this it

will end up with the murals expressing each site’s

different views on welcoming artwork.

What have you learned by doing those


That young people are resilient beyond measure.

The small interactions with some of them, and

their bravery to complete school, reminds me of

why I need to keep pushing hard in my art and

my life. They definitely teach you a lot about

education being a privilege and I respect them

all for turning up and making such effort to be

present. Also the humour they bring to each

workshop – we are always laughing while we work

and laughter can turn your whole outlook around.

Where do you feel happiest?

The river settles me. There’s a secret spot in West

End along the Brisbane River that I can sit and no

one can find me, I can draw, weave, cry, think and

dream there uninterrupted.

Where’s your favourite place to catch up

with your mum?

We usually just have a coffee in West End or on

her back deck if we need secret goss chats. As I’ve

gotten older Mama and I have started trying flash

restaurants and coffee shops, which is fun. We’ve

been to some lush spots but a particularly nice

one we go to is Anouk (212 Given Tce) in

Paddington. It’s run by our friend Justine and

it’s delicious, always.

Your mum was a swimmer and now you

also teach swimming. Where did you learn

to swim?

I think Mum dunked me in the pool and the

ocean super early. My most vivid memories of

swimming training are definitely at Yeronga

Park and Musgrave Park pools. I deeply

believed that I was a mermaid when I was

little so I was always in the water. I don’t ever

remember not being able to swim and feeling

confident in deep water.

Your favourite place to swim – pool

or beach?

If it’s sunny, Musgrave Park (100 Edmonstone

St, West End) is a great inner city pool with

a huge grassy hill to lay in the sun and read

a book; if it’s overcast the Spring Hill Baths

(14 Torrington St) are beautiful. The different

coloured painted doors make it feel like you’re

in a movie set. The beach is a bit further away

but I love Elephant Rock at Currumbin where

you can surf or swim and, if you have time, you

can check out amazing waterfalls in the Gold

Coast hinterland.

Where do you go to see good art?

Milani Gallery (54 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba)

and my friends’ studios.

What do you like to do most when you’re

not working?

I love being outside so having a really long yummy

lunch with friends is a good day off for me. I also

recommend rollerblading along Kangaroo Point

cliffs – not the top of the cliffs (which is very

busy) but along the river walk.

You can hire skates (at Riverlife) complete with

dorky helmet and knee guards (take the knee

guards), then you can cruise up and down the

river skating along. It’s really fun and, from the

sore quads I get afterwards, I guess it’s a pretty

good workout for the legs.

What is your favourite short break outside


Quandamooka country, ‘Minjerribah’, North

Stradbroke Island. Lots of my beautiful sissys

are from there and it’s the most magical place to

settle your soul. That island has a lot of magic

and power and I come back feeling grounded

and fearless. You have to come with respect to the

island and honour the local mobs’ ways. If you do

that you’ll witness one of the most majestic natural

landscapes we have left.

Still I Rise,

Hannah Bronte’s latest video

installation, will be shown 14-30 September

as part of

Unbuttoned // A festival of gender,

art and you

at Metro Arts Gallery, Level 2, 109

Edward Street, city. Bronte will give an artist’s

talk about her work on 21 September at 6pm.


Living 50 metres from Brisbane River

is beautiful. I can open my door and

see water. That’s pretty grounding.

BNE September/October 2016 |