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Billilla Mansion Gardens art activation: Lightboxes and Anne Ross' three-part sculpture 'She gave me a daisy'

Mark Forbes, Jane Burton, Kent Morris and Anne Ross

Anne Ross, She gave me a daisy from July 2023

The three-part sculpture titled She gave me a daisy (2003 - 2023) by artist Anne Ross has been installed in the Billilla Gardens as part of Ross’s major solo exhibition at Bayside Gallery, held 8 July to 27 August 2023.  The work will remain on loan to Bayside City Council until further notice.

Location and opening times:

She gave me a daisy is currently on display in the Billilla Mansion Gardens, 26 Halifax St, Brighton. Visitors are welcome to visit the sculptures during the day or evening – the grounds have pedestrian access 24 hours a day.

Bronze sculpture of daisy attached to human legs in Billilla gardens
Installation views, Anne Ross: She gave me a daisy, Billilla Mansion. Photo: Mark Ashkanasy.


Lightboxes Project July - December 2023*

*Update January 2024: Following the successful illumination of Billilla Gardens throughout 2023, The Lightboxes Project has now come to an end.

Three contemporary artists have been asked to engage with the Billilla site and each create three artworks for display on temporary lightboxes installed in the Gardens at Billilla from July to December 2023.

Photographers Mark Forbes, Jane Burton and Kent Morris have fostered a connection to the site during the commissioning process, engaging with the building’s history, past inhabitants, and the community’s future vision for Billilla as a site of creative engagement.

Exhibitions and Display dates:

July and August: Mark Forbes

Bayside-based artist Mark Forbes is known for his documentary photography that captures the beauty of the everyday. Forbes worked with ballerina Aimee Hodgkinson from the Victorian State Ballet to instil elegance and beauty within the interiors of Billilla, creating a sense of artistic energy infused with determination and drive that is suggestive of the future importance of creativity at Billilla.

Female ballet dancer en pointe in the middle of Billilla dark hallway
Photo: Mark Forbes. 

September and October: Jane Burton

Nationally renowned photographer Jane Burton works largely with female subjects to create mysterious images with gothic overtones. Her works often allude to the histories of the sites she depicts, capturing elemental remnants associated with past activities and personalities. Her commissioned works draw on the previous matriarchs of Billilla, Mrs Jeanie Weatherly and her daughters Violet and Gladys, who variously lived at Billilla from 1888 to 1972.

Installation view of Jane Burton on lightboxes at Billilla
Installation views, Jane Burton 2023, Billilla gardens. Photo: Mark Ashkanasy. 

November and December: Kent Morris 

By reconstructing the built environment through a First Nations lens, Kent Morris reveals the continuing presence and patterns of Aboriginal history, culture and knowledge in the contemporary Australian landscape, despite ongoing colonial interventions in the physical and political environments.

As the final artist in out Billilla Lightboxes commission, Morris has produced three images documenting Brighton's historic mansion Billilla, reflecting on the site as Aboriginal land. His photographs combine fragments of the building’s Art Nouveau architecture with Rainbow Lorikeets that visit the gardens, creating a subtle statement about the ongoing presence and necessity of the natural world in our urban environments. The lorikeets’ large scale and frontal pose meet the viewers gaze and demand attention. These works provoke thoughts about the rights of all living beings to live as they were born to, and their resilience to adapt to new environments.

Kent Morris portrays artwork of birds displayed on lightboxes at Billilla
Kent Morris.