Shields Street Heart public art

Council's City Centre Alive Shields Street Heart project includes a substantial Indigenous art component incorporated into the landscape design.

Meeting Place 2016

"This place in Shields Street was a meeting place for all people who visited Cairns in the old days. We would meet family here from other communities and yarn for hours." More

The Reef 2016

“The reef is an important source of marine life, we depend on it for food. We watch the weather and the tide times. On a good day one boat after another will head out to fish.” More

BIDI BIDI (Beetle) 2016

"In November and December festive season arrives, as do the different coloured Bidi-Bidi species." More

Mind Games 2016

“Some people are successful while others get left behind. The colours in this painting represent different ways of thinking.” More

Wild Flowers 2016

"This mosaic tells a story about the wildflowers of Yarrabah. When there’s a bushfire, all of the plant species burn but return even more beautiful when it rains. More

Utku and Alarrakudhi 2016

“This artwork is my interpretation, recreating chapters of the story Utku and Alarrakudhi (Emu and Brolga) told to me by our cultural teacher, the Late Gordon Pablo. More

Gurrabana Gurraminya-djada 2016

These Storywater Brothers were sent by Bulurru, our creator, the ancestors, the spirits. They brought with them the wet and dry seasons, language and law. More

Yam Vine bike racks 2016

These bike racks were created to be a functional piece of artwork. The yam vines are found throughout our beautiful rainforest, and are a popular food source for local tribes. More

Ilan Garland 2016

Land cultivation and gardening was one of the pivotal daily activities across the Torres Strait as it provided a staple food source [apart from fish and shellfish] for each community More

Malu mandala ll 2016

"People in most communities belong to clan groups associated with one particular augud or totem. More

Baby Rainbow Snakes 2016

"This is a story that was handed down by my mother about baby rainbow snakes were seen in one of the waterholes. More

Stingray Dreaming 2016

"This image is from a painting that depicts the rebirth of the stingray as not only a food source it also had medicinal and cultural purposes for our people. More

Caught in the Net 2016

"Local Yarrabah people will know when the weather is right to set a net for fishing traditional food sources. More

Swirl 2016

"Different fish are available during different seasons. Mostly older people will fish from the beach and they will know which fish is available for the season. More

Crayfish 2016

"Crayfish is a local food source that we gather when we go to the reef and around the coastal shores diving/spear fishing. More

Midnight Feed 2016

"Eels are a favourite food of local indigenous tribes including the Yidinji and Ngadjonji, the people of my mother's parents. More

Mango Hunt 2016

"Flying fox are a big part of life in the north. Reaching ripe mangos before the bats is always a challenge." More

Cause and Effect 2016

This artwork is inspired by seasonal change and the local ecosystems which react to these climatic shifts. More

Crocodile 2016

Crocodile More

High Tide (Mangrove Ray) 2016

"The Mangrove Ray portrays high tide in Cairns. The ray incorporates the relationship of the waterways within tropical and sub-tropical waters More


  • The Shields Street Heart Public Art Selection Panel will be made up of arts professionals from the A&TSI community, members of Cairns Regional Council's Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC), select representatives of the project team and an A&TSI Cultural Awareness Consultant specially engaged for the purposes of the project.
  • The Shields Street Heart Project is being led by Council's City Centre Alive Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was established in June 2013 to make decisions with regard to the design, engagement and deployment of aspects of the project that are within scope of the project budget. It meets on a monthly basis or as deemed necessary to advance the project in a timely manner.
Last updated: 02 May 2019