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QUT billboard goes Bollywood

2nd October 2007

Commuters travelling along Kelvin Grove Road could be forgiven for thinking they were in downtown Dehli, as the latest Bollywood-inspired billboard takes centre stage at QUT's Creative Industries Precinct.

The latest public artwork to go up on QUT's massive 45-metre long billboard is an extravagant celebration of the large iconic Bollywood billboards of India.

Titled Shellywood™, the work takes full advantage of the expansive Kelvin Grove site to promote a fictional movie blockbuster in a Hollywood/Bollywood context.

The billboard focuses on "Shelly" who is the fictional alter ego of Melbourne-based artist Peter Burke.

Using the typography, color and exuberance found in Bollywood hoardings Peter Burke features Shelly in a Bollywood-style love triangle/melodrama, surrounded by arranged marriage partner, boyfriend, doting grandmother and disapproving father (all played by himself).

"Shellywood™ is an experiment in adjusting and manipulating public perception," Peter explained.

"It aims to challenge the borders between art, advertising and entertainment, delivering to a mass audience in a commercial/urban context.

"The intention is to engage, amuse and astonish," he said.

The text on the billboard includes movie credits (listing project collaborators) and two web addresses (www.ciprecinct.qut.edu.au and www.shellywood.com) where the public can learn more about the project.

QUT's technical staff spent three days scaling the side of QUT's Z Block, which faces Kelvin Grove Road, to fix panels of the 405 square metre billboard in place.

The work will be featured on the billboard for about three months.

For more information, contact Janne Rayner, QUT media manager on 07 3138 2361 or j2.rayner@qut.edu.au.

A high-res image of the billboard is available for media use. The artist is in Brisbane tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday October 3 and on Thursday October 4, and would be available for interviews.

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