Fish Lane has undergone a rapid process of revitalisation over recent years, with bars, restaurants, vibrant street art and more popping up in this now fashionable Southside destination. The lane itself is an outdoor gallery in itself, filled with public art, murals, sculptures, galleries, and performance spaces.


Originally known as Soda Water Lane in the 1800’s, Fish Lane was once a critical artery servicing the workings docks of South Brisbane.

The lane was renamed in honour of George Fish in 1906 in recognition of his services as a Brisbane City Council Alderman and prominent businessman.  Fish ran the Fish Steam Laundry from 1893 to 1921 and was instrumental in abolishing the Victoria Bridge Toll and establishing the Brisbane Cricket Club 9now known as The Gabba).  By 1930 Fish’s business had relocated and the laneway lost its prominence.

In 1988, the South Brisbane area underwent a major redevelopment as it was chosen as the site for World Expo 88. Nearly all of the service laneways from the old South Brisbane commercial district were removed to provide space for the venue. Fish Lane, and Fleet Lane, are the only surviving service routes left from the twelve lanes that were once an important part of the streetscape of South Brisbane’s commercial hub.     

 In 2014 Aria property Group had a vision to transform the neglected lane into one of Brisbane’s premier dining and cultural destinations featuring an eclectic mix of public artwork and creative lighting.  In 2019 Fish Lane Arts precinct was established by Aria to provide a new environment for dining, art, and culture to thrive – harnessing South Brisbane’s creativity and West End’s cultural authenticity with a host of festivals and events. Read more about ARIA’s vision here

Arts Precinct

Fish Lane Arts Precinct offers public art installations, pop-ups, restaurants, speakeasies, wine bars, cafés and more. Starting near QAGOMA on Grey Street, Fish Lane Arts Precinct stretches back towards West End, connecting South Brisbane’s creativity with West End’s cultural authenticity.

The best way to experience all that Fish Lane Arts Precinct has to offer is on foot (or on scooter if you wish). Nearly every surface within the precinct showcases signature installations from local and international artists that are inspired by place, checking into the laneway’s unique urban character and industrial working history. Galleries, murals, sculptures, lighting, landscaping, and signage installations await discovery, forming an open-air gallery ready to be explored.

‘Tiny Door’ – Mace Robertson 

Image courtesy: Must Do, Brisbane

Three tiny doors can be found in Fish Lane by artist Mace Robertson. Made from eucalyptus, ironwork & aluminium, these doors are skilfully crafted, evoking a whimsical narrative to the Arts Precinct. These doors form part of a series that can be found throughout Brisbane City & even inside the Gallery of Modern Art! Find these tiny doors near: Bar Brutus. Saccharomyces Bar and Five Sisters café.

Fish Lane Town Square 

Image courtesy: ARIA Property Group

If you step under the rail line you are in the middle of Town Square, a mixed-use development designed by local architects Richards and Spence and opened in 2021. Town Square is an exemplar of civic space renewal and architectural excellence. Fish Lane Town Square is the culmination of Aria’s urban renewal strategy for South Brisbane — transforming 38 private carparks previously used for commercial tenancies into a new public park.

Embracing over 3,000 plants, public seating and lighting installations with live music and performances from Friday to Sunday night, Fish Lane Town Square has quickly become a much-loved urban space for the public and community. Wander around the colonnade to discover the revolving art works in the three vitrines…and don’t forget to stop off in the middle of the rail line at the Melbourne Street end and explore ‘The Timeline’, a poignant ground plane artwork by Ellen van Neerven and BlakLash Creative that uses indigenous prose to tell the past story of this part of Brisbane.

Image courtesy: Explore Fish Lane

Mural – ‘Octopus’ by Fuzeillear 2019

Image courtesy: Explore Fish Lane

Hailing from England, Claire Matthews (better known as Fuzeillear) now calls the Sunshine Coast home. A prolific street artist with work across the south east, Fish Lane was lucky enough to have Fuzeillear create a masterpiece, taking its inspiration from the ocean. Bringing those enormous sea creatures to life alongside a striking message in a bottle, the monochromatic palette and shadowy strokes are recognisably Fuzeillear. The dark piece wraps around the entirety of Hello Please’s façade, and is brought to life by the bright yellow awnings and window seating of the vibrant Vietnamese eatery.

Sculpture – ‘Steam Machine’ by James & Eleanor Avery 2017

Image courtesy: Explore Fish Lane

On the opposite corner you will find 2 blue sculptures called “Steam Machine” by Brisbane local artists James and Eleanor Avery. This sculpture harks back to Fish Lane’s origins as the venue for George Fish’s Steam Laundry. Steam machine recognises the industrial and architectural heritage of the Fish Lane precinct. Two abstracted jets of “steam” make direct influence to the historical Brisbane Steam Laundry and the Eodone Aerated Water Company that were situated nearby.

The stripped abstraction and paired aspect of the artworks are informed by the gabled fronts and Art deco Style of the local heritage. The metallic blue colour references the blue glass of water bottles and the perceived colour off water. Steam Machine is fabricated from painted, rolled, and faceted sheet aluminium to create a dynamic light play throughout the day and night, celebrating contemporary Fish Lane as a vibrant cultural precinct.

Mural – ‘Head in the Clouds 2’ by Fintan Magee 2017

Image courtesy: Explore Fish Lane

“Head in The Clouds”, the lane’s largest mural was painted by Fintan Magee in 2017. Fintan was born in Highgate Hill, Brisbane, but now travels the world painting murals with this incredibly being one of his smallest commissions.

Fintan started creating graffiti at the age of 13, completing his first work in an abandoned building two blocks away from this site. ‘Head in the Clouds 2’ is loosely based on his old graffiti artwork that was once visible from the train line. The work features a woman whose face is covered by a cloud-like formation of fabric.  The fabrics featured in this large-scale painting are based on discarded cloths found in the Rocklea Spinning Mills, and abandoned factory in Brisbane.  

While paying homage to the disappearing factories and warehouses of south Brisbane and South Est Queensland in general, the work also comments on the ephemeral nature of the art, the de-industrialisation of the local area, and the ever-changing face of Brisbane.

Sculpture – ‘Greener Dogman & Rabbitwoman’ by Gillie and Marc 2017

Image courtesy: Explore Fish Lane

International duo Gillie and Marc’s iconic installations can be found all over the world, including New York; and now the pair’s Greener Dogman and Rabbitwoman call Fish Lane home. Topiary inspired, Greener Dogman and Rabbitwoman symbolises ties to Mother Nature as well as the unification of a dog and rabbit, two beings who otherwise wouldn’t get along in the wild. This piece was created to show that love is the most powerful force of all.

Mural – ‘Taste’ by @MCRT.Studio 2023

Image courtesy: Explore Fish Lane

Commissioned in celebration of Negroni Week in Fish Lane, the artists @MCRT.Studio, have distilled the taste of the Negroni into visuals. It features the core ingredients of gin like juniper and coriander, plus orange peel and lemon for that citrusy punch. There’s even a nod to the iconic orange net bag. The abstract shapes, vibrant colour palette of dark reds, oranges, and yellow shades, evoke Negroni’s complexity – look closely there may be a hint to Campari’s secret recipe.

@MCRT.Studio are two artists who met at the University of the Arts London and have been working together to create visual art for the last nine years. Their murals, installations and artworks have been exhibited worldwide in London, China, Sydney, Melbourne, and their hometown of Brisbane. The duo’s artistic style is figurative, employing collage elements to convey a narrative of their experience and the world around them.

Mural – ‘Sunshine of Your Love (Rise & Pine)’ by Samuel Tupou 2022 

Image courtesy: Explore Fish Lane

Samuel Tupou’s two-part banner artwork features playful and energetic ‘Queensland’ motif-characters. The imagery in these banners is inspired by the 1967 Cream song ‘Sunshine of your love’. The work presents a dream sequence featuring a flock of hovering olive-backed sunbirds pollinating a field of juicy pineapples. The strong Queensland sun and subtropical air cultivates fleshy humanoid figures, which rise out of the rich productive soil, growing upwards on a journey towards the sun. Full of flavour and pulsating energy, the figures sprout pineapple heads and prepare for a night out on the town.

Sculpture – ‘Cormorant’ and ‘Steam Fish’ by Christopher Trotter 2013

Images courtesy: Explore Fish Lane

These are some of the oldest artworks in the lane, made by Chris Trotter, well known for a series of Expo 88 sculptures using recycled automotive parts which is precisely the materials used in ‘Steam Fish’. You can also discover another Trotter sculpture perched up high on a nearby building parapet, named “Cormorant”. This pays homage to Christopher’s other pieces scattered throughout South Brisbane (some of which have graced the area since 1994), but looks stunning against a bright blue sky.

Discover more about Chris Trotter’s practice here.

Road Surface Artwork – ‘Fish Lane’ by Elizabeth Woods & Kevin Leong 2017

Image courtesy: Explore Fish Lane

A playful mural weaving its way down Fish Lane’s road surface, the patterned artwork leads pedestrians on the city’s greatest voyage of discovery. Individual scales intertwine to form a flowing river – a play on the laneway’s moniker. Unlike large-scale public spaces, crammed with crowds and stilted displays, a laneway has rhythm; a chance to flow, to lead its guests on a journey, much like the river this work embodies.

The Standard by ARIA

Image courtesy: ARIA Property Group

As you get to the end of Fish Lane and this walking tour stand back and take in the massive living green wall of The Standard with more than 10,000 plants and 60 different species. Read more about The Standard here.


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