Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 25 Winter 2010 Contents 122 INSITE WINTER
screens, which were incorporated into the
building facade seamlessly -- so much so that
you can't really tell where the art starts and
the architecture stops."
Another upshot from this collaborative
approach is that the artwork tends to fill
a structural role in the building, which,
in turn, cuts costs on installation and
materials. Perhaps the best example of
this is Central Park Tower in the CBD,
where five magnificent murals by Perth
artist Brian McKay have been integrated
into the building's lobby.
"It was decided that rather than lining
the walls with marble and granite, we could
-- for the same cost -- incorporate this huge
artwork," says Steve Woodland, who worked
on the Central Park building project. " at's
how I'm hoping people will start thinking
about art -- as something that's intrinsic to
Of course, there is still a place for public
artworks that stand out on their own,
pieces that have been made to purchase or
even commissioned without architectural
direction. ese are the works we typically
see in parks, laneways and train stations.
Just recently, the City of Perth unveiled a
new sculpture outside the Esplanade Station
that was bought at last year's Sculpture
by the Sea exhibition. e abstract piece,
created by acclaimed Japanese artist Keizo
Ushio, is carved out of a solid piece of granite
and finished with red ochre to create a
cherry blossom effect.
" e range and variety of our public art
is becoming more diverse, much in the same
way that Perth, as a city and a community, is
changing," says Lisa Scaffidi.
In February this year, the
Perth city council adopted
the Public Art Survey: Review
Report, which provides
research into past and
present processes around
public art, as well as ideas
and comments from art
and architects. It also looks at what other
capital cities around the world are doing to
creatively enhance their urban landscapes.
" e findings of the report will be used to
prepare a public art policy and a masterplan,
providing concrete guidelines and an
innovative new approach to advancing
public art in Perth," says the Lord Mayor.
Local redevelopment authorities have
also implemented public art policies, with
many adopting their own versions of the
government's Percent for Art Scheme.
e East Perth Redevelopment Authority
has helped fund about 20 public artworks in
the New Northbridge project area, including
the seven-columned piece Nexus, located in
the Plateia Hellas.
It is these precincts where public art
should work to enhance Perth's cultural
scene and encourage the wider community
to participate more actively in city life.
Earlier this year, a dynamic water
installation outside the Perth Institute of
Contemporary Arts (by Danish artist Jeppe
Hein) brought the entire centre alive, with
families, elderly couples and teenagers all
interacting with the fountain's maze.
"Even though it was temporary, it was
still a fantastic work because it got people
talking and having fun with art," says JCY
architect Elisabetta Guj. "It also got children
and teenagers engaged, which doesn't
happen a lot in this city.
" e youth of Perth are generally seen as
a pain, but 99 percent of them aren't and the
city should be a place where they're able to
congregate and socialise. We need to make
these areas more useable and fun, so we can
attract our young people and improve the
vibrancy of city life."
Street art is one way this is starting to
happen. Just recently, the City of Perth
completed its redevelopment of Howard
Lane, which features two illustrative wall
murals by local urban artists Stormie Mills
and Yok. "Street art can bring a really
youthful energy to a public space," says
Ahmad Abas. "So long as it's done legally
and effectively -- like the group work on the
old Berlin building (which is WA's largest
street art mural) -- there's no reason why we
shouldn't have more of it."
"We need as much and as many different
types of art as possible," declares Janet
Holmes à Court. "Everything from the
kangaroo statues at Council House to the red
sculptural work outside QV1, it's this variety
of forms that will make our city more
liveable for everyone." I
ISSUE PUBLIC ART
Janet Holmes à Court was part of a committee that commissioned these scultpures, which are part of Victoria's
EastLink project: Ellipsoidal Freeway Sculpture, by James Angus, (far right) Hotel, by Callum Morton, (below
right) Desiring Machine, by Simeon Nelson. "We need more projects like this in Perth," she says.
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