Paddington Terraces Kooka! Trail

As part of the Paddington Terraces Village Precinct Project, Council introduces Kooka!, a playful nod to an Australian icon and a Paddington neighbourhood local, who has landed at 16 key locations along Given and Latrobe terraces, establishing the innovative and creative Paddington Terraces Kooka! Trail.

Reflecting the native bird's social behaviour, Kooka! and its offspring 'baby' Kooka! can be found in a variety of combinations along the terraces.

Designed by Brisbane’s Derlot and fabricated from waste concrete, each Kooka! includes artwork by 13 local Brisbane artists, further celebrating the Paddington terraces neighbourhood centre’s unique character and heritage, encouraging exploration of the artwork trail and centre, and creating a unique identity for the Paddington Terraces.

Kooka! artwork videos

Kooka! creation

Kooka! artists in action

Kooka! artwork

Paddington Terraces Kooka! Trail

Kooka! artworks

1. Latrobe kookaburra (2022) - Zoe Porter

For Meanjin/Brisbane based artist Zoe Porter the inspiration for the Kooka! artwork design comes from living and spending time in Paddington for the past 20 years. The suburb is a leafy, overgrown and hilly area with various flora and fauna.

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Latrobe kookaburra (2022) features the bright colours of local neighbourhood bird species including the pink crested galahs, cockatoos and lorikeets as well as the kookaburra feather patterning. This artwork reflects the vibrancy of the Paddington Terraces and the neighbourhood’s local environment.

Location: 163 Given Terrace Paddington

2. Vista (2022) - Rick Hayward

Vista (2022) is an abstract visual response to the intersection of the typology of colonial architecture and the vibrant, lush nature of the Paddington neighbourhood. The work takes cues from angular tin rooftops and sinuous powerlines, often adorned at either end of the day with laughing Kookaburras.

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Rick Hayward is a Meanjin/Brisbane-based artist who employs traditional sign writing into his art practice. Hayward's practice considers the universal nature of existence, seeking to realise the union of the material and the spiritual through craftsmanship and presence of mind.

Location: 2 Campbell Street Paddington

3. A very large bill (2022) - Hailey Atkins

Resembling the brown eye band of the kookaburra, Hailey Atkins’s A very large bill (2022), also draws on the bird’s plumage and bill colours, with ‘spots’ of oranges and purples reminiscent of deep summer skies and the bright local Paddington flora.

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Capturing the dynamism, fun and natural beauty of the area this abstract work also reveals an intimate handmade quality reflecting the neighbourhood’s creativity and sense of community.

Hailey Atkins is a Brisbane-based artist whose sculptural practice playfully centres materiality and reflects on the personal.

Location: 211 Given Terrace Paddington

You will find this Kooka!s sibling at 15 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

4. Bird of a feather (2022) - Stephen Mok

“I always see the kookaburra smiling and laughing”.

Local Brisbane artist Stephen Mok is known for his distinctive cartoon-like works.



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With a bold use of colour and line Stephen’s work is fun and fanciful conveying both humour and narrative. In Bird of a feather (2022) Stephen playfully captures the true spirit of the kookaburra.

Location: 244 Given Terrace Paddington

5. Evening Perfume (2022) - Phoebe Paradise

A bold and graphic illustration, depicting miniature Queensland workers' cottages (iconic to the Paddington area), engulfed by the subtropical landscape. This enchanting, naively illustrated piece celebrates the subtropical flora and fauna with whom we share our gardens and parks.

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When day turns to night, the suburban rainforest comes to life. Parks, creeks & tropical gardens glisten with neon hues. They release their evening perfume - the orange blossom - so intense it could give you a hangover. It is LOUD. The nightly competition for airtime between the birds and the bats has begun. Our cottages are suddenly dwarfed by their surroundings; invisible but for the twinkling lights of warmly-lit living rooms and kitchens. 

Whilst aesthetically pleasing from a distance, the piece is best engaged up close, with discoverable ‘easter-eggs’ in the form of insects and critters for families to enjoy.

Phoebe Paradise (aka Phoebe Sheehy) is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist based in Meanjin/Brisbane.

“Developed from strong memories of a childhood growing up in the local Paddington area and how WILD it felt despite being so close to the city centre. I treasured the overgrown garden my Nan tended to, and felt like an intrepid explorer whenever we would wander across to the park and climb the fig trees on weekends.”

These are pieces that build on the mythology you create in your head as a kid, when the world still feels enormous.

Location: 285 Given Terrace Paddington

6. Astronomical dusk (2022) - Shilo Engelbrecht 

Having spent her formative years in the Paddington area and with a studio in nearby Red Hill, artist Shilo Engelbrecht has an enduring connection with the Paddington neighbourhood and community.


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With a passion for the natural environment Shilo has painted the Paddington Kooka!s as mementos of our natural world capturing the tended and wild nature of Paddington. Painted in an expressive style Astronomical dusk (2022) celebrates the vivid contrast of the dusk sky and the golden trumpet trees in a lyrical and abstract manner.

Location: 2 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

7. A very large bill (2022) - Hailey Atkins

Resembling the brown eye band of the kookaburra, Hailey Atkins’s A very large bill (2022), also draws on the bird’s plumage and bill colours, with ‘spots’ of oranges and purples reminiscent of deep summer skies and the bright local Paddington flora.


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Capturing the dynamism, fun and natural beauty of the area this abstract work also reveals an intimate handmade quality reflecting the neighbourhood’s creativity and sense of community.

Hailey Atkins is a Brisbane-based artist whose sculptural practice playfully centres materiality and reflects on the personal.

Location: 15 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

You will find this Kooka!s sibling at 211 Given Terrace Paddington

8. Home (2022) - Tori-Jay Mordey

This ‘community’ Kooka! is inspired by the Kooka! engagement activity undertaken with the local Paddington community. Tori-Jay Mordey is a Torres Strait Islander artist and illustrator based in Meanjin/Brisbane.


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Tori-Jay has responded to the bright colours, forms and themes of the neighbourhood’s character and environment reflected in the communities Kooka! drawings showing ‘what they love about Paddington’ and an area they call home.

Location: 44 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

9. Yellow trumpet trees (2022) - Spectator Jonze

Spectator Jonze (aka Deena Lynch), is a multi-talented artist and Paddington local, born in Yokohama, Japan to a Taiwanese mother and an Australian father. Deena has dedicated each Kooka! – one to her beloved grandma Waipo, the other to her family dingo dog Simba. “They were both as bright and beautiful as the yellow blooms of Paddington.”

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The yellow blooms of the street trees dotted along Latrobe Terrace are mesmerising in spring. Every year, they catch my attention immediately. I always stop to take a closer look at the shape of the flowers, the colour of the bark and the form of the tree and end up talking to local shop owners about how gorgeous the trees are at this time of the year. In Yellow trumpet trees (2022) I wanted to frame that moment for Paddington to enjoy all year around no matter the season, no matter the time of day. To take in the season, to take in the bloom, to take in the vibrancy of Paddington.  

Location: 79 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

10. Meet the neighbours - wings of Paddington (2022) and A bugs life (2022) - Ronelle Reid

Ronelle Reid knew from an early age she was going to be an artist, she also knew that she was passionate about animals and the environment.

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The Paddington Terraces is a place alive with exciting movement, activity and music but it is also full of wildlife, especially birdlife. From tiny fairy-wrens to large bush turkeys everywhere you look there are wings flapping and songs to be heard. It is colourful and vibrant with cheeky pink galahs and flocks of noisy rainbow lorikeets flying by.

The Paddington neighbourhood is a paradise to some of Australia’s favourite birds with lush gardens and tall trees. The laughter of kookaburras and the iconic ‘kadooodle-doo’ of magpies are the soundtrack of the suburb.

In Meet the neighbours - wings of Paddington (2022) a magpie watches a white ibis with a rainbow lorikeet sitting on its beak. A large scrub turkey ruffles its feathers as a tiny superb fairy-wren dances on its head. A kookaburra sits quietly as a pink galah flies toward it. Blue-banded bees swarm all around.

Through these engaging pairings, Ronelle draws attention to interconnectedness between species and invites viewers to see how they are being forced to adapt to rapidly changing ecosystems, or risk extinction.  To engage in the character and personality of the individual animals, challenging them to be seen more than just objects to be studied and classified.

A bugs life (2022) is inspired by the fascinating micro-environment of the butterflies, beetles and bees. Even in an urban environment if you look closely enough you will see the tiny life working away making the area come to life, churning the earth, pollinating and cleaning.

With a childlike curiosity and wonder Ronelle Reid celebrates the endeavours of nature’s tiny creatures found along the Paddington terraces. Set among the blue sky and the green leaves, the various butterflies, moths, beetles, dragonflies and swarming honey-bees you may even find a cicada!

Ronelle Reid is represented by Aspire Gallery in Paddington.

Location: 72 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

11. Care (2022) and At night (2022) - Tori-Jay Mordey

Care (2022) depicts a young girl in a warm embrace with the Kooka! while At night (2022) depicts a young boy lovingly holding a wrapped-up possum in his arms within an urban backdrop.

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Tori-Jay Mordey, a Torres Strait Islander artist and illustrator based in Meanjin/Brisbane, has created works that reflect the struggles and challenges native animals face to thrive and survive in a modern city landscape; each work acting as a gentle reminder to care and be mindful of our native wildlife.

Location: 103 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

12. Paddington labyrinth (2022) - Jade Thompson

As a Paddington local, artist Jade Thompson’s work reflects his love for the beauty of the Paddington area, which has a harmonious combination of unique architecture and nature.

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Inspiration for Paddington labyrinth (2022) comes from the east side of Latrobe Terrace, combining many views of Paddington into a labyrinth of streets and features including the iconic water tower.

Jade Thompson is represented by Aspire Gallery in Paddington.

Location: 104 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

13. Kooka in the Hood and Confetti Kooka! (2022) - Debra Hood

Artist Debra Hood is inspired by Brisbane springtime when the blossoms of jacaranda, poinciana, pink trumpet and golden penda trees fall on mass, like confetti, to create a multicoloured carpet that displays around the iconic Queenslander houses found In the inner suburbs of Ithaca.

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Her work celebrates the love affair we have with the Queenslander architectural heritage.

"I see Brisbane as the “City of Confetti”; a place of unique light and uplifting colour."

Kooka! in the hood (2022) is a colourful show of the different style Queenslanders that float on the hills of Ithaca. Can you find the pink three-walled ‘dunny’?

Confetti Kooka! (2022). The arrival of baby Kooka! to Ithaca has him covered in celebratory confetti with big colourful brushstrokes. Not yet matured, baby Kooka!’s white houses, sitting on hills and by the Brisbane River, will develop as he grows, but for now, we can only guess what colours they will be!

"I hope the viewer continues to marvel at the world of glorious colour that is gifted by this city."

Location: 129 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

14. Love the view from here (2022) - Jordan Azcune 

Love the view from here (2022) consists of a hand-painted white grid projected upon a candy-coloured gradient, covering the surface of the concrete Kooka!.


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Much like the topography of Paddington streets, the grid seems to slip from straight lines to large sweeping curves, depending on the viewers perspective to the sculpture. The blended colours of green, yellow, peach and pink filling the squarish forms left in between implies a western sunset view of the sky seen through timber balcony lattice that lines the streets of our inner-western suburbs.

Jordan Azcune is a queer contemporary artist who explores spiritual representations in patterns of abstraction.

Azcune lives and works in Meanjin/Brisbane on Jagera and Turrbal land in a neighbouring suburb to Paddington. His studio faces north-west overlooking the hills where the sun sets.

Location: 175 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

15. Well the plants will be happy (2022) - Phoebe Paradise

Developed from strong memories of a childhood growing up in the local Paddington area this work is a nostalgic and moody piece that plays with the negative space carved out by the subtropical gardens, palm trees and iconic stilted homes of the precinct - set against a backdrop of the brilliant setting sun after a storm.

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“Well, the plants will be happy"

Every time it stormed, this is what Nan would say.

That kind of sunset that's unique to Brisbane after a big one. The kind that feels like it lasts for three hours, but if you blink you'll miss it. The homes in the area carve a unique silhouette against this sunset. Building or beast? As the sky slowly desaturates, little yellow lights of balconies begin to flicker on. As if the houses themselves are waking up, ready to stand up and wander off. The air is so hot and wet it feels as though you could swim in it, but at least ‘the plants will be happy’.

Phoebe Paradise (aka Phoebe Sheehy) is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist based in Meanjin/Brisbane exploring the visual identity of her hometown and mythologization of the mundane.

The Paddington area still lives in Phoebe’s mind as the platonic ideal of Brisbane – hilly and green and, when the winds blow in the right direction, kind of drunk with hops from the brewery.

Location: 176 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

16. Catholic immigrants (2022) - Michelle Jae Andrews

Michelle Jae Andrews is a Brisbane-based artist whose work sits at the intersection of culture, time and modernity; reflecting a love of pattern and texture.

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This design is inspired by the history of Paddington’s first Catholic immigrants to the area. The Celtic knotwork represents the Irish, who were first immigrants to arrive. The lace and leaf design (based on tattoos worn by women) represents Croatia while the Italian side by a pattern of bright ceramic tiles. The Polish design demonstrates the art of paper-cutting traditional florals, and the Hungarian side depicts redwork embroidery.

Interwoven like the signifying fabrics and aesthetics; this work portrays the interconnection of cultures and histories across generations in Paddington that has influenced its unique vibrancy today.

Michelle Jae Andrews is represented by Aspire Gallery in Paddington.

Location: 190 Latrobe Terrace Paddington

Kooka! by Derlot

Designed by local Brisbane design group Derlot, Kooka! is an ode to an Australian icon and a Paddington neighbourhood local – the kookaburra.


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With an aim of inspiring, Kooka! is a memento to the importance of our native species, biodiversity and their role in a more liveable, sustainable city.

Created from waste concrete, the clean, fluid silhouette of Kooka! provides a unique sculptural element suitable for pausing or play.

With its engaging form, Kooka! adorned with a fabulous coat of artwork by local Brisbane artists is a distinctive celebration of the community and an inviting centre icon for all to enjoy.

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Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.