Category Archives: Displays/ Exhibits

New Lights for Brisbane Festival’s Riverfire

As the 2011 Brisbane Festival approaches, we look forward to the Riverfire event, a showcase spectacular that signifies the beginning of Brisbane Festival, which this year runs from the 3rd to 24th September. The Brisbane Festival also marks the beginning of Spring.

This year’s Riverfire show’s creative director, Tony Assness, who is one of Australia’s leading directors of major events, including the 75th Anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, was part of the team behind last year’s spectacular Riverfire event. Internationally acclaimed Australian lighting designer, John Rayment, who created the lighting for the Sydney Olympic’s opening and closing ceremonies is also working on this major project. Wanting to build on the old favourite Riverfire show, this year’s event will last more than one night. The people of Brisbane will be treated to a new Laser lights show named Santos City of Lights, which is the first laser light show of its kind in Australia. It will be set between the Goodwill and Kurilpa Bridges showcasing the Brisbane River and surrounding cityscape with a nightly choreographed spectacle of lasers and lights that can be seen across the city.

Santos City of Lights is a free event and will give people the opportunity to see the city of Brisbane with a new perspective. Unless you are one of those lucky people who live nearby, the best vantage point for Santos City of Lights will be from the QPAC lawn and the Goodwill Bridge. Also, from the Santos Lounge at South Bank’s Cultural Forecourt, which will be alive with festival atmosphere, food stalls, music, beverage and art installations every night for the duration of the festival.

Let’s not miss being a part of this wonderful highlight of the Brisbane Festival celebrations, which this year promises to be even more spectacular than ever.

Yours in Brisbane Festival Riverfire

Angie Rapisarda

Ultimate Public Tea Party A Huge Success

On Thursday 30 June 2011 the Brio Group team held the Ultimate Public Tea Party in Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens. We shared 365 cupcakes with the community and raised almost $800 for the Cancer Council as part of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. The event celebrated our milestone: donating the equivalent of 365 gifts of sight by supporting The Fred Hollows Foundation over the past year.

Each cupcake represented one of the 365 gifts of sight we’ve donated in 12 months. The event was a huge success! The Nova Sandman and The Good Guide popped in for some fun too.

I hope you enjoy the video above which is a nice little wrap up of the event.

A huge thanks must go to our wonderful sponsors and media who helped make our event such a success. The delicious cupcakes were supplied by Cake Star and paper by KW Doggett. Thanks to MX, City News, Nova 106.9FM, 96.5 Family FM, The Good Guide and Cancer Council Queensland. Thanks must also go to Terry Kwong from Take Two Productions who produced the video above, thanks Terry!

Find out more at
View the photos on Facebook

5 Top Tips for Styling Dinner Parties

I recently joined a team of creative women for a huddle in the recent event for the Saviours of the Lost Arts 2011 program run by the Brisbane City Council.

The aim, to acquire new ideas for styling dinner parties and events. We have such a hoot throwing around ideas for our future events and even getting hands on with props supplied by the event hosts.

Here is a simple list to run through to start planning your next dinner party.

1. Greeting – What will greet your attendees at their entrance? a refreshing drink, canopes, tour of the new house, amazing viewing deck!…

2. Table setting – Have you picked a theme for the party? Choose 3-5 descriptive words e.g. French, simply elegant, pretty in pink. Now apply this theme to your table setting which could consist of a pretty runner or table cloth, candles, flowers, cute little fish in a huge glass vase…

3. Centre Piece – What is the main attraction? a special cake, a dessert bar, an arty area for everyone to contribute to the piece!? Get creative and inspire…

4. Lighting – Is it a day time event, dinner or supper time when all the kids have gone to sleep? Inside or outside… do you have the sun for natural lighting or do you need help with candles, coloured lighting or even spotlights around the pool?

5. Food decorations – cookbooks or recipes displayed? carved fruit, ice sculpture or garnishing. Buffet or served on elegant plates. Remember it needs to suit your party ‘theme’ so it all ties together.

Images courtesy of Explore their site for some great ideas.

So what’s your next event? Happy planning!

Yours in Party Planning,
Amber van Sloten

Functional turns decorative

Check out this fantastically creative fence art designed and produced by Dutch design outfit: DemarkersvanLace Fence. Dutch design strikes again!!!

Images by Lace Fence.

Lace Fence have crafted something which was purely functional with a hostile stigma into something aesthetic and decorative while still functional. They have crafted a variety of designs ranging from lace florals to contemporary designs. Their design range is not limited to these, as they are taking on new projects, each with their own weird and wonderful structures and briefs to work with.

I wish I discovered Lace Fence before I invested thousand$$ in my home fencing renovations!!!

Yours in beautiful home renovations!
Amber van Sloten

Design considerations

I chose this TED Talk to share with the Brio Group team this morning as I liked how Thomas Heatherwick’s London Architect firm considered their designs in a holistic approach. Not only did they consider the impact their designs have on the existing natural and built environment, but they also considered how it affects the audience which are not persay the people working or residing in the buildings but also the general public and passers by.

Heatherwick Studio conceptualises beautifully creative buildings that invite participation and provoke feelings/moments.

I hope you enjoy this TED Talk as much as we did.

Another TED Talk which I discovered and loved, was by a woman of my own heart… Jessi Arrington buys and wears only second hand clothing to reduce her impact on the environment [high 5 sister!]. She has a fantastic personality and rocks in her colourful outfits! She says, “If you believe you’re a beautiful person inside and out, there is no look you can’t pull off!’ Here is another feel good TED Talk…

Yours in awesome TED Talks!
Amber van Sloten

Cleanse and refresh your creative soul

The Dalai Lama is coming to Australia next month, and I managed to score a ticket to see his seminar in Melbourne. I’m really looking forward to dosing my soul in clean, refreshing perspective. So this month, I’m getting ready by cleansing my creative soul, and came across this great blog with some truly beautiful, simple poster designs. To refresh your creative soul, check out some more designs in Francesco Mugnai’s blog.

Yours in refreshed perspective,


‘The Fearful’ by Somerset Mills: creativity on a budget

On Friday night I was treated to a very interesting and exciting bit of theatre, as well as a lesson in ‘creativity on a budget’. In an abandoned lot in West End, Brisbane, against a grungy backdrop of rubble and graffiti, some very talented actors brought “The Fearful” to life as part of the Anywhere Theatre Festival.

This new festival brings theatre to strange places – anywhere you wouldn’t expect it – parks, houses, cars and even online, a little bit like Fete De La Musique, which does the same with music.

Using only the light of a few tea light candles and the spotlight on a shipping container each of the three short plays showcased some fantastic writing from Jeremy Wood, Joseph Sherlock and John DaConceicao.

Their work brought up some very interesting topics and showed people at their most vulnerable.

There were no bathrooms, no eftpos and no roof over our heads, but this just added to the atmosphere and made the production that bit more interesting.

The Fearful showed some amazing talent – if anyone in AdLand looking for an actor for their next commercial you might want to look here.

The up and coming Somerset Mills is sure to produce some great work in the future, so keep an eye out. And thanks guys for such a wonderful night!

Yours in creativity on a budget,

Come Together Brisbane TVC campaign

I really love the new Brisbane City Council’s “Come Together Brisbane” TV Advertising campaign. It’s fun, energetic and fresh and sends the message that its business as usual in Brisbane and this is the place to see and to have fun. I also love the Hungry Kids of Hungary and Ball Park Music’s rendition of the classic Beatles song “Come Together” played in the commercial.

In view of the recent natural disasters experienced in our beautiful city, this campaign clearly demonstrates that Brisbane has bounced back with much renewed enthusiasm and energy and is working together to be better than ever.

Through this campaign, Individuals, Community Groups, Sporting Clubs and Businesses are being invited to share their messages to the world that Brisbane is better than ever and to also become a part of a series of unique exhibitions held throughout Brisbane during the Brisbane Festival. A major prize, second prize and runner up prizes are on offer for the best entries.

You may view the TV commercial and some of the messages that have already been created on the together brisbane website. This campaign makes me feel very proud to be a Queenslander and a Brisbane local.

How would you share your message to the world about Brisbane?

Yours in Advertising

Annie Leibovitz – beyond the image

Today, anyone can be a photographer. But I think it still rings true that a special few have ‘an eye’ for it. I’ve particularly enjoyed watching the successful career of Annie Leibovitz, a renowed photographer to the rich and famous, who made a name for herself with magazine giant Rolling Stone.

Her eye for photography is exceptional, and her photographs, whether she intends to or not, reveal more than just a beautiful image. While looking through her images recently, I noticed a subtle trend that can be traced back to the beginning of her career. Not to do with her style… but her subjects. Her ability to capture a subject beyond the projection of self, to cut under the mask of what they want you to see. And if you look just that little bit closer, you feel like you’ve just glimsed a moment of pure thought, of true self and intention, and perhaps what is to come.

Her image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono is particularly haunting. Taken on the morning of John Lennon’s assassination, you can’t help but feel like you just witnessed what’s about to unfold in just a few short hours. Yoko, dressed in black, gazes into the distance, taking comfort in Lennon’s embrace, but not acknowledging his physical presence. Lennon, naked and vulnerable, has wrapped Yoko up almost in comfort, as if to reassure her he is always with her and loves her with such a passion it transcends the physical. It’s as if she has started mourning him already.

Kate Winslet’s divorce from her husband Sam Mendes might have come as a shock, but check out the pose Leibovitz set up. Another insight? Heath Ledger’s broody slouch suggests a disconnection, disinterest, almost a lack of care. That’s the beauty of photography, it’s always so much more than just a picture.

What do you think?

Yours in thought,


Budweiser pool ball

Just when you thought you had seen all the combinations possible for sports, think again. Budweiser have invented their own nightclub sport known as Pool Ball.

This is a clever marketing stunt by Budweiser who has been very active of late with their viral marketing campaigns. The idea of the “sport” is to combine football (soccer for us Aussies!) with pool, a pub classic. The playing field installed in the bar shown in the video below is a 7 metre long Astroturfed pool table complete with soccer balls that have been painted to represent a full set of billiard balls.

Check out the video below:


As marketers of alcoholic beverages, companies need to be quite careful and highly targeted and strategic in their social media marketing efforts given the worldwide differences in legal drinking ages and the company’s social responsibility to prohibit their advertising being viewed by minors.

I think this video is one of the better viral videos I have seen for quite some time, it’s use of popular sports to promote their product is well executed and very entertaining.

Where can I play?

Yours in clever viral videos,