Brisbane, Australia – Covering two passenger trains operating between Brisbane and Cairns (a distance of nearly 1,056 miles), Tilt Train Public Art Project is the longest piece of public art in Australia—and a major accomplishment for indigenous art and artists in Australia.
Over 30 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists, including Judy Watson and Alick Tipoti, came together in this joint initiative between Queensland Rail and art+place, Queensland’s public art fund, to paint traditional indigenous images for the exterior sides of the trains. After the artwork was created, it was photographed and reproduced by a graphic designer, then transferred to a vinyl wrap that was applied to the trains. Both trains were launched in 2011.
The project was part of the Queensland Government Reconciliation Action Plan. In 2008 the Australian government apologized to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for the unjust policies of earlier governments, and especially for the removal of children from their families. The Tilt Train project represents both a continuing acknowledgment of that regret and an uncovering—and celebrating—of the buried histories of Australia’s indigenous people.