Brisbane show embraces the art of play

Liz Hobday |

Michelle Vine’s Affirmation Tub is an invitation to relax and listen to an uplifting soundtrack.
Michelle Vine’s Affirmation Tub is an invitation to relax and listen to an uplifting soundtrack.

Anyone who has ever wanted to bathe in a fluffy white bathtub or boogie with their office pot plants will find amusement aplenty in a new show at the Museum of Brisbane.

Play Moves, opening Saturday, invites visitors to not just look at art installations but play with them.

The all-ages show features six large scale artworks by Australian artists including Brisbane collective Counterpilot, with the premiere of their installation Escape from Monotony.

It’s a strange corporate purgatory of carpeted walls and flickering fluorescent lights, and people encountering the work are uncertain whether they have accidentally wandered into an office, according to curator Lucy Quinn.

“Escape from Monotony is completely original, I’ve never seen anything like it in the museum before, it’s a very exciting piece for people to come and see,” she told AAP.

Exploring the surreal office environment quickly triggers some bizarre interactive elements, including animated water coolers and dancing pot plants.

“There are even coffee stains that have hidden meaning, so the more you explore, the more you discover, the more enchanting it gets,” she said.

There are also two fresh versions of the comforting Affirmation Tub by another Brisbane based artist, Michelle Vine.

Visitors are encouraged to sit back in a fluffy bath, put on a set of headphones and listen to an electronic soundscape, with affirmative messages just beyond their range of hearing.

There’s also a giant woven structure from Melbourne’s Slow Art Collective and an interactive digital generative work from Brisbane’s Sai Karlen, along with work by Tara Pattenden and Sydney’s UnitePlayPerform.

The show builds on the success of previous interactive exhibitions at the museum including RMXTV and Storytellers: Next Chapter.

Play Moves opens December 10 at the Museum of Brisbane.