Saturday, 16 August 2014

Public Art in Perth 3

Continuing the series about Public Art in the city of Perth, here are a few more statues scattered around the city centre.

Der Rufer (The Caller) - Perth Cultural Centre

Surrounded by the State Library of WA, WA Museum and Art Gallery of WA, and a stone's throw away from the Perth train station, is the what is know as "Perth Cultural Centre", bound by Roe, Beaufort, Francis and William Streets, is the statue of Der Rufer, cast in Berlin and sculpted by the German artist Gerhard Marcks in 1967.

It's believed to have been inspired when the artist stood beside a man who called across a river to attract the ferryman on the other side, and it is dedicated to the victims of torture.
There are a few more "Rufers" produced by the same artist, and one of them was erected in Berlin in 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, where the "The Caller" is said to be calling for peace.

File:Public art - Der Rufer, plaque, Perth Cultural Centre.jpg

Bulb - Wetlands garden, Perth Cultural Centre

This filigree style metalwork now sitting by this ecological water garden was originally displayed at the Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe in 2010, by Perth artist Stuart Green.

Bulb - Sculpture by the Sea 2010 (photo from the net)

Captain James Stirling - Foundation Park, behind  Perth Town Hall, Barrack Street

The statue of Captain Stirling, who was the first Governor of Western Australia from 1829 until 1837, having established  the Swan River Colony, now known as Perth.
The statue was unveiled in 1979 and sculpted by Clement P. Somers.

Gate 2/ Coalesce - State Library of WA, Perth Cultural Centre

Japanese born Akio Makigawa created the "central gate" outside the library as a symbol of the meeting place, exchange of ideas and a passage for development.
Next to the gate the stepped structures symbolise the stages to knowledge and the totems represent marks of progress through the stages of development.
Inaugurated in 1987.

And today I finish this post with another super modern piece of art.

Totem - Perth Arena, 700 Wellington Street

Totem, also goes by the name of The Big Pineapple, Corn Cobb, Banksia Cone, but whatever you call it, this 10,5 mt high, 3.5 mt wide origami like structure is a talking point.
Situated just outside the Perth Arena, our entertainment centre which opened in December 2012.
Former IT specialist, Perth's Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, is the genius behind this piece of art that took 6 years to be put together. The 108 purple and yellow aluminium triangles have sensors that are programmed to open and close like flower petals in response to people talking nearby.

At night the Totem also shoots geometric laser projections onto the Arena's wall.

Perth Arena, seen from Central Park Building

Two of Geoffrey's other works have been shown at the Sculpture by the Sea in Cottesloe: 
the Walk-through counting machine in 2010, and the robotic Ballerina in 2014 (photos below), both intertwining art and robotics.

Walk through counting machine (2010) photo from net
Solar Jayne, 2014 

Sadly I didn't visit the Sculpture by the Sea in 2010, but I have every year since then and the photo of the above ballerina appeared in this post.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Public Art in Perth 2

Following from my previous post,  here are a few more wonderful works of art from Perth's streets.

Ascalon - St George's Cathedral, St George's Terrace. 

On St. George's Terrace, in front of  St. George's Cathedral we find a modern interpretation of St George and the dragon, with a 18mt high cape like structure around a lance.
It was unveiled in 2011 by the Lord Mayor of Perth (Lisa Scaffidi) to celebrate the completion of the Cathedral's forecourt.

The statue was done by Perth artists Marcus Canning and Christian de Vietri, who won the commission having competed with 98 other artists from 17 countries.
The work was possible due to a generous donation to the Cathedral Arts Foundation, of $500,000 donation by Mark Creasy, a wealthy Perth prospector. 

Ascalon in front of  St. George's Cathedral

In this photo taken from the top of  City Council building, "Ascalon" can be seen on the left, and to the right of the pine tree you can see the "Ore Obelisk" and the "Kangaroos on the Terrace" by the pond (photos on the previous post).

The Unidentified Photographer -  at the end of St George's Terrace (East side), near Barrack's Arch. (Crn Barrack and Elder Street).

Sculpted by Anne Neil in collaboration with Greg James, in 1996, this life size bronze statue holds a Box brownie camera and photographic plates, and the bag at his feet has various professional tools symbolic of the professionals that once worked on the Terrace.

Through the Barracks Arch, you can see St. George's Terrace (the street ahead) and the statue of the Unidentified Photographer, is to the left, where that grassed area is.
The Arch is all that remains of the former Pensioner's Barrack built in 1863. The building was demolished in 1966 to make way for the Mitchell Freeway (this side of the arch) and so that the newly built Parliament House would have a clear view down St. George's Terrace.

Sir Charles Court - St George's Terrace, near Parliament House

The statue of Sir Charles Court, was unveiled on 29th September 2011,  on what would have been his 100th birthday (he died in 2007).

He was a member of the Western Australian parliament for 29 years until 1982, and was the Premier from 1974 to 1982. Was responsible for the mining boom in W.A. and a strong advocate for the right of the W.A. State to manage it's own affairs. He also made some controversial decisions such as the closing of the railway service between Perth and Fremantle and was involved in land right disputes with Indigenous communities. 
The statue weighs 150kgs, and sits on top of a weather resistant steel platform, and was sculpted by Tony Jones.

Here you can see the statue of Sir Charles Court and in the background to the right is the "State War Memorial" in Kings Park (Botanic gardens).

Percy Button - Hay Street Mall (city centre)

A bronze statue of English born Percy Button , who emigrated to Western Australia in 1910.  He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, and fought in World War I, but was later discharge home.

He was a street artist in the 1920's - 1940's, well know for performing somersaults from a standing start, in this very street. This street was at the time full of theatres and cinema houses, and the delighted crowds would throw him pennies.
He died in 1954.

Hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Perth's statues and I'll be back with more soon...

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Public Art in Perth 1

This will be a series about the Public Art - sculptures and other works of art - that I have come across on my wanderings around Perth and surrounding suburbs.

There are lots of statues scattered all over Perth, and new ones seem to pop up every once in a while.
Apparently for every Public building work over $2 million, 1% of the budget has to be allocated to a work of art. Over 700 works of art have been installed since 1989 when this scheme was started.

Some are loved, others are hated or controversial, but of course that's the point of art, to stimulate and to get people talking about it...

I'll start with one of my favourites - the Kangaroos!

Kangaroos on the Terrace - located in Stirling Gardens in St. George's Terrace.

These 5 gigantic bronze kangaroos are the delight of children and adults alike. The almost life like kangaroos are in the park in front of the City of Perth council building.
The statues were created in 1997 by Irish sculptor couple Joan Walsh-Smith and Charles Smith. They weigh between 850-1000kg each.
They were also the sculptors of the HMSA Sydney II Memorial in Geraldton, a very beautiful memorial that we visited on our way to Coral Bay in the North of Western Australia in March 2013.

My nephews a few years ago when they visited, one of them mimicking the Kangaroo drinking from the pond

The Council building can be seen behind (a visiting cousin in the photo)

Harmony of Minerals Obelisk - located in Stirling Gardens, St George's Terrace.

Behind the Kangaroos on the photo above, you can see the Obelisk, also called the "Ore Obelisk". It's a symbol of the economic importance of the mineral expansion in Western Australia during the decade of 1960-1970, and was erected to celebrate the millionth citizen of Western Australia (WA has now over 2,5 million people).
It was erected in 1971, and the sculptors were Paul Ritter and Ralph Hibble.

Perth Council House

Pen Nibs - Stirling Gardens, Corner Barrack st and St George's Terrace.

These aluminium pen nibs honour those who recorded the written history of Sterling Gardens, the first Botanical Garden in Western Australia, which was opened in 1845, the oldest garden in Perth.
In 1965 the gardens were reconstructed with a low stone retaining wall around them and shallow pools, such as the one where the kangaroo statues stand.
The park is very popular with city workers at lunch time.
The nibs are 3,5mt high with some delicate engraving at the top, and were also done by Perth sculptor, Anne Neil (just like the Going Home Kangaroos below).

Conic Madrigal (Enigma) - St George's Terrace.

Further up the Terrace, on the corner of Milligan Street, is a very striking red steel modern piece, right outside the QV1 building, a building I visited during the "Open House Perth", in November 2013.
Unveiled in 1991 and done by Charles O.Perry.

Going Home - Kangaroos with Briefcases - St. George's Terrace

Across from the QV1 building,  on the corner of Mount Street and St. George's Terrace, 7 Kangaroos bounce up St. George's Terrace towards Kings Park carrying briefcases, simulating Perth's business people going home after a day's work.
Unveiled in 1996 and sculpted by English born, Perth artist Anne Neil.

My daughter and I in front of the kangaroos a few year ago

Bishop Matthew Hale - The Cloisters, 200 St George's Terrace.

Further up towards the Perth Parliament is the statue of Bishop Matthew Hale, in front of a door at The Cloisters, a brick building which was built by convicts in 1858, to serve as a boy's school. It now has commercial use, but is heritage listed after having been restored.
 The statue was done by Greg James in 2008.

The Cloisters and the statue of Bishop Hale at the far end

Hope you enjoyed the tour of St. George's Terrace. Although there are more works of art in this street, I will continue in the next post.
Does your city also have great works of art?
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Good-bye and Hello

On Saturday I pick up my husband from the airport. He is coming home after having worked and lived in Adelaide (South Australia) on a project for the last 3 years.
We had 3 years of weekends together, other short visits from me to Adelaide or from him to Perth, many many frequent flyer points earned, but a lot of loneliness too of course!
Hopefully he will now be based in Perth again for his next project.

But tomorrow (Thursday 31st) I say good-bye for a short while to my son and daughter in law, as they depart on a 3 week visit to Portugal to visit family on both sides. It will be the first time my family meets Sara, the new member of the family.
May they have a safe flight! 

These photos were taken on one of my many visits to the airport to pick up my husband, while I wait for his call to say he has landed...
They have a viewing platform and very handy parking lot, a 5 min. drive to both the domestic and international airport terminals.

There's always lots of keen plane spotters with their long lenses photographing every plane that lands or takes off and some of them even taking notes of the details of every plane.

Another domestic flight landing

These were taken with my mobile, a couple of weeks ago while I sat waiting in the carpark

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The world would be a better place if... / O mundo seria um lugar melhor se...

At Sandra's invitation, here is my participation in this challenge.
- The world would be a better place if...
Humans were kinder and more respectful of other people and animals.
 - A friendship is really important when.... 
You can maintain it despite living in different countries.     
- Patience and tolerance for me is ...  
Accepting that we are all different and respecting that. Luckily I'm patient and I try hard to be tolerant too.  
- Something that irritates me profoundly... 
People that have no manners or that don't respect the older generation.    
 - I think that humble people are ...
 An example to be followed!
 - When the day dawns cloudy, I ...    
Love to cuddle up with a good book or watch my favourite TV series. 
An essential quality in people is ...           Respectfulness.

***And I end this challenge by inviting the following bloggers to participate.
Please feel free not to accept it, if you so wish! Or if anyone else wishes, please follow up on the challenge.
Thank you and have a good week  xxx
- Celeste from:
- Sara from:

A convite da Sandra, aqui esta a minha participacao neste desafio.

- O mundo seria muito mais feliz se ...
As pessoas fossem mais respeitadoras e amaveis para com as outras pessoas e animais.
- Uma amizade é realmente importante 
quando ...
Se consegue manter a amizade mesmo vivendo em diferentes partes do mundo.
- Paciência e tolerância são para mim ...
Aceitar e respeitar o facto de que somo todos diferentes. Por sorte sou uma pessoa paciente e tento ser tolerant tambem.
- Algo que me irrita profundamente é ...
Pessoas que nao tem maneiras ou nao respeitam a geracao mais velha.
- Acho que as pessoas humildes sao...
Um exemplo a ser seguido!     
- Quando o dia amanhece nublado, eu ... 
Adoro aconchegar-me com um bom livro ou ver as minhas series favoritas na TV.      
-Uma qualidade indispensável nas pessoas é ...   

***Para terminar este desafio aqui fica o convite aos seguintes bloggers para participarem.
Por favor sintam-se a vontade para nao aceitar, se assim quiserem!

Obrigada e boa semana xxx

- Celeste from:
- Sara from:

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Winter Lights Festival in Perth

Tonight I invited my son and daughter in law to go into the city for dinner, and to go and watch the Winter Lights Festival in St George's Terrace. The festival started on the 11th July and runs until 27th July from 6pm until midnight.

I was surprised to see so many people enjoying the balmy winter evening - 16C , having dinner in restaurants and even in esplanades warmed up by gas heaters.

I still remember not many years ago when the city would be dead when the offices and shops closed for the evening, now even though it's the middle of winter, the city was vibrant.

We left our cars at the train station and took a 10min. ride into the city. Dinner was at a Japanese restaurant in Shafto Lane. It was reasonably priced and quite tasty. Then a short walk to St.George's Terrace to watch the lights, with the display changing every couple of minutes over these beautiful heritage buildings.

These buildings have been restored part of the "City Square development" which was completed in 2012 and renamed "Brookfield Place".

The above pictures are of the Royal Insurance Building on the left and the WA Trustees Building on the right.

Newspaper House above, was the former office of the "West Australian Newspaper" for over 50 years until mid-1980's. Nowadays, the building has been refurbished and houses a few restaurants.

Above, the Old Perth Technical School built in 1910, was refurbished in 2012 and now houses a few commercial premises, among them a wonderful Cafe.

The Old Perth Boys School whose construction was completed in 1854, resembles a church, but originally housed a boy's school.
Nowadays it's owned by the National Trust of WA and is occupied by a Cafe and wine bar. 

And then, to end the evening we had to go and check the "Winterland" and experience the true Northern hemisphere winter. The area near near the James Street Amphitheatre, near the State Library and WA Museum, which in summer housed a "sandy beach" (check the post from January), now houses an ice-rink!

Loads of people were having fun, even though I thought the price per 45min. a bit steep at $24 for adults!
Some kids held onto Penguins ($10 extra) that helped them balance on skates. Cute!
A large screen showed winter images.

The Penguin helping the novice keep the balance
At the Lodge Cafe - a tent erected for the winter fair - we had lukewarm hot chocolate and a not so great Caramel slice, while we chatted inside next to a gas heater. 
The interior was furnished with a  mish-mash of sofas, chairs and tables, a lot of them with a 70's air which actually gave it a cosy atmosphere.

They sold Mulled Wine (Gluwein), which might have been a better choice, but I didn't want risking drinking wine and then having to drive home from the station.

Outside the Lodge Cafe, they had wood fires burning
The TV fires were a nice touch too inside the Cafe
I can't remember the last time I went out during the week, and this certainly was a wonderful Winter's evening.
It almost felt like Christmas in July!!


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