STARS Artist Profile – Tamika Grant-Iramu

The main foyer of our wonderful STARS building is such an inviting space. As many people have commented, entering the foyer of STARS feels more like arriving at a luxury hotel lobby than at the doors of a public hospital.

The warm and welcoming nature of the space is, in part, due to the amazing series of inlaid carpets, brass main entry screen and window privacy screens designed by First Nations artist Tamika Grant-Iramu.

Since graduating from Queensland College of Art in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Interdisciplinary Print Media, Tamika has continued to develop her love of relief printmaking. Tamika utilises linocut, a printmaking technique which involves carving a design into the surface of linoleum with the raised areas inked and impressed onto paper or fabric.

This form of expression allows Tamika’s artwork to be translated into other mediums such as public art fabrications, wall vinyl applications and interior furnishings.

“The physicality of carving linocut not only allows me to realise these artworks, but it also has revealed a connection to my Torres Strait Islander and Papua New Guinean heritage. My body of work continues to build with a focus on traditional printmaking techniques and storytelling aesthetics,” said Tamika.

For the main foyer of STARS, Tamika collaborated with public art consultants and curators One Space, Australian Unity, WATPAC, and specialist fabricators to produce the body of work.

The artwork consists of two large inlaid carpets, fabricated by Designer Rugs, a foyer screen of brass poles, manufactured by Precision Engineering and Manufacturing and a privacy vinyl screen applied to ground floor windows, fabricated by Colour Synergy.

The inlaid carpet consists of repeated patterns that act as an extension of the designs patinaed on the screen, allowing the viewer to experience the organic style of the artwork across different mediums. The inlaid carpets are primarily black and white, with sections of the carpet design highlighted in a warm orange colour and navy. This inclusion of colour compliments the existing materials in the architecture.

View of Tamika’s inlaid carpet from Level 1, STARS

Tamika’s vinyl screens on windows at STARS

Tamika’s artwork at STARS is inspired by the native and introduced flora found in the immediate environment, including the adjacent Bowen Park. Moreton Bay fig, bromeliads, ixora, Australian goldvine, wild iris, tarovine, and others, all form part of the inspiration.

“By drawing inspiration from the garden’s flora, the design imagery also reflects the influential and innovative approach this hospital is taking to be part of a new era combining industrial city living within flourishing green spaces,” Tamika said.

“By incorporating the intricate repetition of carved line through organic patterns and forms, I create pieces that allow one plant (one story) to finish as another plant begins (a new story). The stories in these pieces for the main foyer aim to highlight the complexity of nature, mirroring our own complexity in how we choose to live, converse and interact with each other.”

Next time you are on Level 1 at STARS, take a moment to look down and view Tamika’s beautiful foyer rugs from above to fully appreciate their design.

You can also find examples of Tamika’s relief printmaking displayed on Level 3, on the left, just inside the doors that open to the retail area.

Tamika’s art forms part of Australian Unity’s collection of artworks which includes a significant number of First Nations artists. The collection is designed to enhance the architecture of the building while also providing patients and their families with objects of beauty and interest during their stay or visit.

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