Queensland Premier and Minister for the Arts Anna Bligh today named Judy Watson and Alick Tipoti as the artists whose work will adorn the first of two unique Indigenous Tilt Trains travelling from Brisbane to Cairns.

“This moving canvas will travel through some of our state’s most stunning locations, and it is only fitting that it should end in Cairns in Far North Queensland, home to some of the most exciting Indigenous artists to emerge in recent years,” Ms Bligh said.

“It is a fabulous tourism opportunity that combines our iconic Tilt Trains with our unique Queensland Indigenous art.

“This is an Australian first and at 185 metres long – that’s seven carriages and two locomotives – this is Australia’s largest piece of contemporary Indigenous art.

“The first Tilt Train is due to be on the tracks by the end of the year, with the second Indigenous Tilt Train ready in early 2011.

“Thirteen artists have been shortlisted for this exciting project that will feature our emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.”

Ms Bligh said Indigenous Tilt Trains were the result of a partnership between Arts Queensland’s art+place Queensland Public Art Fund and Queensland Rail.

“I am proud of Queensland Rail’s world-class Tilt Train service, and am delighted that my Government is able to showcase this stunning art to domestic and international visitors.

“The Tilt Trains are an iconic rail service, and the artwork will be a perfect complement to this internationally known operation.”

She said the artwork produced by the artists will be recreated digitally to cover the trains like a second skin.

“Judy Watson is one of our most well known Queensland Indigenous artists whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Born in Mundubbera and from the Waanyi people from north-west Queensland, Judy now lives and works in Brisbane.

“Her designs for the tilt train are based on etchings from her acclaimed heron island suite 2009-10 which she completed from drawings made on Heron Island in 2009 as part of her artist-in-residency at The University of Queensland’s Heron Island Research Station.

“Alick, from Badu Island, is one of Australia’s leading Torres Strait Islander artists who won the Works on Paper Award at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2007.

“His designs for the tilt train are based on animal trails and tracks, depicting the movement of animals and sea life, as well the flight of migratory birds unique to the Torres Strait.”

Ms Bligh said the Indigenous Tilt Trains perfectly illustrate the depth and diversity of Indigenous artists emerging from Queensland.

“Both Alick and Judy have work on display at this weekend’s Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and I urge everyone to attend this event to see what great work is being done by our Indigenous artists in Queensland, from those living in urban centres to the artists working in remote art centres on Erub Island and Mornington Island.”

For more information visit the Arts Queensland website www.arts.qld.gov.au or www.ciaf.com.au

Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Anna Bligh