'The Dancers' – South Brisbane, Australia - Atlas Obscura
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'The Dancers'

South Brisbane, Australia

The unique work of art celebrates the 30th anniversary of the 1988 World Expo.  

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Looking almost like jesters, these white-colored bronze male and female dancers can be found at the corner of Manning and Melbourne Streets. They were re-imagined by the Artbusters for the 30th anniversary of the 1988 World Expo.

The fair was designed to celebrate the bicentennial of when the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour. The goal of the event was to further promote the state as a premier tourist destination, and it worked—more than 15 million people visited Queensland during the celebrations. The massive expo took place in the capital city of Brisbane.

Inspired by rather amusing depictions of Australian life, “The Human Factor” series was comprised of 80 statues installed across the city as a form of street art and entertainment. In 2018, around eight new statues, including “The Dancers,” were introduced as part of an extended version of the 1988 World Expo’s Public Art Trail. The trail itself features a variety of different pieces, many of which have been restored.

Update as of March 2021: The sculpture has been moved to Melbourne Street and Manning Street, South Brisbane.

Know Before You Go

Free and open 24 hours. 


Elsewhere, near the entrance to the hillside King Edward Park, are four large copper sculptures. The Forme del Mitro by Arnaldo Pomodoro are especially interesting and eye-catching. Spiky and futuristic in nature, they look as though they are some sort of alien musical instruments. 


In the nearby trees is the city’s only remaining stone air-raid shelter (closed to the public). There’s also the Memories of Wind, created by Japanese artist Fumio Nishimura for the Expo. The stones slowly reveal the soft lines of a female figure—changed by memory, but permanent as stone.

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