Gestation Sculpture, Queen Street Mall


Brisbane is teeming with people, enjoying the sights. Tourists and locals alike window shop or enjoy a bite to eat. The sound of steel drums carries over the hubbub of friends chatting.

From the golden sculpture you hear a scuttling sound, like paper on paper. You edge closer and see what you think are two thin strands of brown grass, about a metre long. But why would grass be growing in a sculpture, and why are they waving back and forth?

You edge closer and see two gleaming eyes, staring back at you. What the? The brown things aren’t grass, they’re antennae. You jump back and look around. People are waiting to cross the road, staring at their phones. You blink. What you saw was insanity.

The pedestrian crossing starts blipping but your attention is brought back to the thing. It’s emerging. It’s big – about the size of a dog. Brown. You know what it is, you see them scuttling across the kitchen floor all through summer, but your mind refuses to believe.

The giant cockroach launches itself from the sculpture, latching onto a shabbily dressed man, running up his legs and onto his back. He yells and finally people see it. Some scream. Others just stare in disbelief. The smart ones run.

You’re about to step forward to help the man when a hand drops onto your shoulder. You turn and see a woman, mid-30s, dressed in smart business attire.

“He’s as good as dead,” she says. “But you can save millions, if you help me. Come with me to City Hall.”

The man is jerking around, wrestling the bug. He runs away from the golden sculpture, and ducks down Burnett Lane.

Do you:

Back of City Hall: Agree to help her? Walk along George Street towards City Hall, then right onto Adelaide Street, looking for the bins at the back of City Hall.


Burnett Lane: Shake her off to save the man with the roach on his back? Follow him to Burnett Lane and stop in front of the artwork and the image of the tree.