Shields St Heart Project and Craig Walsh

As part of the Shields St redevelopment this series of animated projection artworks, commissioned by Cairns Regional Council through Cultural Services is the biggest investment in permanent digital infrastructure and interchangeable  public art technology in Far North Queensland. This artwork is a major interactive component of the new green spine linking the Cairns Esplanade with Cairns Central.


Craig Walsh is a leading Australian artist, known for his site-responsive artists. ‘Cause & Effect’ consists of a series of animated projections (visible after dark) which interact with the existing pavers to expose and explore a virtual environment below the surface. This underground environment undergoes a series of transitions responsive to the dramatic seasonal change so present in North Queensland. The artwork is inspired by seasonal change but also local aboriginal interpretations of these environmental shifts, both subtle and extreme. Defining seasons for Aboriginal people is not only linked to climatic change but flora and fauna ‘indicators’ in the form of migration, breeding, , flowering , fruiting etc. Given the specific conditions enabling these ‘indicators’ to emerge, there are highly complex interpretations of seasons for local aboriginal communities than the common astronomical seasons of Spring, summer, Autumn and winter. The work acts to identify some of these changes and offer a more random and unexpected emergence of the seasonal indicators than the astronomical system. The 3D animator is Steven Thomasson. The soundtrack incorporating samples from the tropical North Queensland rainforest is designed by Tai Inoue.


This installation continues a series of projections which explore the influence environment has on our ‘sense of place’ and to celebrate ‘local knowledge’ intrinsically linked to an acute awareness of an immediate environment. This artwork embeds a virtual space permanently in Shield Street, Cairns with the objective to enrich ‘local knowledge’ whilst also providing some insight into the diverse ecosystem of this region for visitors.

Additional monochromatic projection artworks by local Indigenous artists Wayne McGinness, Andrew Garrett, Patricia Singleton, Lynelle Flinders, Simone Arnol and Brian Robinson line the mall towards Lake Street.

'Cause and Effect' and these artworks can be viewed for the duration of illuminate Cairns and beyond in the newly developed Shields Street mall between Lake Street and Grafton Street.

List of works: 

Wayne McGinness - Midnight Feed; Mango Hunt

Andrew Garrett - Swirl; Crayfish; Caught in the Net (various versions)

Patricia Singleton - Stingray Dreaming; Baby Rainbow Snakes

Lynelle Flinders - Ganharr (Crocodile); Olive Shell 

Simone Arnol - High Tide (Mangrove Ray)

Brian Robinson - Malu Mandala II, Ilan Garland