Art & Design

Everything Worth Checking Out At Brisbane’s BAD Festival

By James Shackell
13th May 2019


Brisbane’s Art Design Festival (AKA the BAD Festival) has officially kicked off. All over the city, people in black turtlenecks are staring at modern sculpture and using words like “juxtapose”.

The festival is running till 11 August, so you’ve got plenty of time. Still, there is rather a lot to see: exhibitions, gigs, movie screenings, workshops and panel talks, art tours, studio weekends…the list goes on. And some shows are wrapping up earlier than others.

In the interests of speeding things up. Here’s a quick rundown of all the stuff worth seeing at this year’s BAD Festival.  


The always-kooky central BAD exhibition. If you only see one thing during BAD this year, make it this one. It’s running at the Museum Of Brisbane till 11 August and features work from some of Queensland’s hottest young artists, plus stalwarts like Justene Williams, Nicolette Johnson and Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan.

Where: Museum of Brisbane
When: 10 May – 11 August

Brisbane Street Art Festival

You actually don’t have long to catch this one. It’s a city-wide street art festival that’s running till 19 May. That’s 15 straight days of mural art, performances and graffiti workshops. Brisbane’s street art festival has been running for three years now. You can check out the full program here.

Where: All over town
When: 4 – 19 May

Digital Garden

Brisbane-based art duo, Man & Wah, are back this year with a trippy new exhibition. It’s called Digital Garden, and it’s basically a mash-up of art and plants, rocking the QUT Cube till 26 May. Considering we may not have plants for much longer (coz of, you know, the end of the world) this might be a good one to see. The guys are running a meditation session too.

Where: The Cube, QUT
When: 10 – 26 May

The Print Bar: Artist Takeover

Now we’re talking. An evening of bevvies, food, street art and screenprinting with some of Brisbane’s best local artists. The guys from The Print Bar are running this one around town on 18 May. You can get your mitts on an artist-designed t-shirt, and it’s free. Bonus.

Where: Brisbane Street Art Festival Locations (various)
When: 18 May, 6pm – 10pm

Primitive Motion | Botanica

Free on the 18 May? Head down to the Botanic Gardens to check out electronica duo, Primitve Motion. It’s made up of Sandra Selig and Leighton Craig – the idea is to play improve music, inspired by the twilight gardens. Could get weird.

Where: City Botanic Gardens
When: 18 May, 7pm – 8pm

Artist-led Mindfulness

You know it’s BAD when you’ve got a group of Botanica artists leading mindfulness sessions in the Botanic Gardens. Artist Julie-Anne Milinski will be chatting about urban gardens, then leading a shoes-off meditation class. There’s just one session left to catch her.  

Where: City Botanic Gardens
When: 19 May, 4:30pm – 5pm

BAD Curator Tour

If modern art makes your brain wrinkle, maybe consider joining one of BAD’s two Curator Tours. They’re led by Curator Miranda Hine, who basically organised the entire Museum of Brisbane exhibition, so you’ll get a real behind-the-scenes tour. If you don’t understand something, just nod and smile and reference Dali.

Where: Museum of Brisbane (level 3)
When: 17 May (2:30pm), 24 May (2pm)

Want more info on BAD events? You can check out the full program here.

Image credit: BAD Festival

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