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A Simple Story

posted on 2023-03-28, 00:29 authored by Sam CranstounSam Cranstoun

A Simple Story places an historic Brisbane landmark in direct conversation with the current climate issues facing the world. The scaled-down replica of the Story Bridge is symbolically reclaimed by the Brisbane landscape. Each night of the outdoor art festival, the bridge recreates the lighting of the actual Story Bridge, playfully changing colour and pattern while it slowly submerges in the garden's lagoon.

Presented at Botanica 2022 in Brisbane's Botanic Gardens, this site-specific sculpture explores our precarious relationship with an increasingly threatened climate, the way we shape the cities we inhabit, and the way those cities shape us.


ERA Category

  • Original Creative Work - Visual Art

Funding type

  • Public funds

Eligible major research output?

  • Yes

Research Statement

A Simple Story Sam Cranstoun 2022 Botanica, Museum of Brisbane Background Presented as part of Botanica: Contemporary Art Outside 2022, A Simple Story is a site-specific installation by Sam Cranstoun. The work consists of a sculptural reimagining of Brisbane’s Story Bridge made of stainless steel, aluminium and LED lighting. The scale is approximately twenty times smaller than the actual bridge. The bridge is partially submerged in one of the City Botanic Gardens’ lagoons, this work places one of the city’s key architectural landmarks in direct conversation with the climate issues currently faced by Brisbane, Australia, and the world more broadly. Contribution For this installation Cranstoun responds directly to one of the city’s most recognisable structures, the Story Bridge, prompting viewers to consider their own place within the city’s ecology, as well as what the current global climate crisis means for Brisbane specifically. The work contributes to the growing area in contemporary practice of art about climate change. The approach of the work uses a light touch and humour to tackle this pressing issue. Significance Botanica is a yearly popular event in Brisbane with audience numbers of 47,000. A Simple Story was a central work within the Botanica festival, and was used extensively as part of the Museum of Brisbane marketing campaign for the exhibition. It has since been used widely to promote the 2023 Botanica festival Cranstoun was interviewed about A Simple Story by Bec Mac of Pops Art Reviews, and the work was well received by the public, being shared widely on various social media platforms. Cranstoun received $35,950 in funding from the Museum of Brisbane to fabricate and install A Simple Story.


Stainless steel, aluminium, LED lights

Size of work

20,900mm W x 1,660mm H x 700mm D

Exhibition date from


Exhibition date to



Brisbane Botanic Gardens

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