Annabel Bowles

Tropic Now journalist

Email Annabel Bowles
Share this article

Public art proposals sought for Cairns Esplanade


Artists from around Australia are being invited to create public art pieces for Cairns city. 

Expressions of interest are now open for two public art pieces on the Esplanade and a third smaller piece on Shield Street. 

Proposals of “any kind of art” are welcome including murals and sculptures, which “add to the vibrancy of the dining precinct (and) encourage people to stop, linger and have a photo taken.”



The art installations will form part of the Cairns Regional Council’s $28 million Esplanade Dining Precinct redevelopment, due to be completed in May this year.

Mayor Bob Manning said the new-look dining precinct will offer uninterrupted views from restaurants and cafes over the Esplanade parklands and through to Trinity Inlet.

“The intention of the Esplanade Dining Precinct redevelopment is to create an al fresco dining experience that capitalises on our tropical climate and the casual, laid-back attitude synonymous with the Far North,” he said.

“The new public artworks will add to that experience, not only for diners, but other visitors to the Esplanade.”

Artists are being asked to develop pieces that provide an “irresistible” backdrop for photos and selfies.

“Social media is an amazing platform for people to share their holiday experiences and memories and as a consequence showcase just how amazing Cairns is,” Mayor Manning said.

“We hope that these new pieces of public art will become as well photographed as the much-loved Woven Fish in the Lagoon.”

In addition to the Dining Precinct redevelopment, the undergoing upgrades to Shields Street and the Esplanade Plaza are expected to form a pedestrian-friendly spine that draws visitors and residents from the waterfront to the wider CBD.

Along with the three larger pieces, artists are also invited to design a vinyl wrap to brighten an electricity box in Shields Street.

Expressions of interest are open until 10 February, with the chosen artworks to be installed by the end of July.

Further information can be found on the Council’s website.

GALLERY OF CAIRNS' MURALS: 

“Inside Out” by Brontë Naylor
(Click image to open gallery)