Jon Barlow Hudson’s Paradigm Maquette at SLQ

Over the past few days, visitors to State Library of Queensland may have noticed a hive of activity as work was undertaken to install the sculpture, Paradigm Maquette, near the library’s entrance. This work, by acclaimed American sculptor Jon Barlow Hudson, is a sectional model of his Paradigm sculpture, which was created for Brisbane’s Expo ’88.

Paradigm at Expo '88, Brisbane.

Paradigm at Expo '88, Brisbane.

The original Paradigm sculpture was constructed of stainless steel, measured 30 metres in height, and was a dominant feature outside the USA pavilion at the northern end of the Expo site. Paradigm was based on the double helix of the DNA molecule, and during Expo ’88 it housed 66 aeroplane landing lights, making it a memorable feature of Brisbane’s night-time landscape.

Expo '88, Brisbane with Paradigm sculpture.

Expo '88, Brisbane with Paradigm sculpture.

Paradigm Maquette – a “maquette” is a small model of a sculpture or architectural project – is also made of stainless steel, measures 1988cm in height, was a gift to the Museum of Brisbane collection from Jon Barlow Hudson and Peter Rasey in 2014, and is on loan to SLQ for five years.

Jon Barlow Hudson has been making public sculptures since 1976. He made a second sculpture for Expo, Morning Star, which is now installed in Brisbane’s City Botanical Gardens. Other installations in 23 countries include Wind Dragon, which was created for the Beijing Olympic Games and now resides in Chaoyang Olympic Park.

In January of this year, Jon Barlow Hudson’s original papers were handed over to SLQ. The collection includes photographs and slides documenting the construction of his two Expo ‘88 sculptures, as well as plans, correspondence, newspaper clippings, rough notes and a structural engineer’s report for Paradigm. Details of this material can be found in our One Search catalogue by searching “Barlow Hudson”.

For those of you who are interested in the practicalities of how Paradigm Maquette was actually installed outside SLQ, you can see it on this YouTube clip.

We are delighted to welcome Paradigm Maquette to it's new home at SLQ, serving as a reminder of Expo and showcasing the work of such a talented sculptor.


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Fiona, thank you for sharing this. I heard an interview on the radio on the weekend about the maquette statue, and not living in Brisbane I am not likely to see it. I couldn't remember what the maquette was from Expo 88 ~ but you blog post has helped me recall that now. Off to see if I ever took a photo of it myself.

Thanks SLQ!This is an important initiative which highlights the ongoing work being conducted by the artist Jon Barlow Hudson and Peter Rasey and myself to see the original 30 metre high Paradigm, now owned by Brisbane City Council, re-erected in a prominent location in Brisbane.Celebrate 88 has several YouTube's pertaining to Jon's work on Paradigm for Expo at its dedicated YouTube channel at, a virtual catalogue and oral history of the persons and art work behind the success of Expo, and is a sister site to the Celebrate 88 website at hope that the maquette's loan to SLQ shall raise the profile of Jon's work and assist in bringing the original Paradigm "back into action."John McGregorFounderCelebrate 88Celebrating Brisbane's World Expo 88 and Australia at World Expositions