Sunday 31 August 2014

Public Art in Perth 5 - Kings Park

In the wonderful Kings Park Botanic Gardens, close to the city's central business district, there are quite a few statues, my favourite being the statue of a Mother and child - The Pioneer Women's memorial. I will only post a couple of them, as there are quite a few, especially related to War memorials.

Pioneer Women's Memorial

This bronze 2,75mt high statue sits on stepping stones in the middle of a lake, with a couple more stepping stones scattered around it and surrounded by water fountains that sprout every 3 minutes..
It was sculpted by Scottish born Margaret Priest and inaugurated in 1968. At the time it was reported to be the biggest statue in Australia.
It represents a Mother with her child stepping forth to meet her destiny.

Here you can see some tiny ducklings and their Mother on one of the stepping stones

The statue in the middle of the lake surrounded by fountains

Cenotaph - War Memorial

Also know as Perth War Memorial, it was designed by Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs, who was a General and architect and was unveiled in 1929. 
Built of granite with an 18mt obelisk, it is set on a podium over a crypt overlooking the city of Perth and Kings Park.
This war memorial honours those that died during World War I, and is one of many memorials in Kings Park, that honour the soldiers that fought in the various wars.
On Anzac's day on 25th April each year, the War veterans and families gather around this monument for a dawn ceremony.


In the recreation area at Kings Park -  Synergy Park Land  there is an island with a fort for small kids, and a couple of pre-historic animals scattered around, one of them being this Muttaburrasaurus, who was an Australian herbivorous dinosaur.

During one of her visits to Perth, my daughter sitting on top of the dinosaur


Phytosaur , a crocodile like extinct reptile, by sculptor Travis Tischer in 2010, is another pre-historic animal in Synergy Park Land.


A feBullockornis, one of the heaviest birds on earth, found in Australia 15 million years ago, are another feature in the Synergy Park Land.

Rotary Wishing Well

The wishing well was unveiled in 1949, by Dr G.H. Wright of Rotary. Located on Fraser Avenue, the main avenue of Kings Park, near the Cenotaph.
It was refurbished in 2008 with a new wrought iron scroll around it, created by Antonio Battistessa. 
In the first year the Perth Rotary Club raised £632 in small coins, donated by the public of Perth, with newlyweds being the biggest contributors.

These delicate metal structures in a pond in Kings Park, blend very well with the nature around. I haven't been able to find anything about them, but I still wanted to display them as I think they are very pretty.

Hope you had a great weekend!
Tomorrow is the start of Spring in Australia and Kings Park will be alive with wildflowers with Spring Festival running from the 1st of September until the 30th of September.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Public Art in Perth 4

After my post on the Queen Concert in Perth, I'm back with some more interesting sculptures around our city.

Grow your own - Forrest Chase (CBD)

One of the most eye-catching sculptures in Perth must surely be the "Green Cactus", by Perth artist James Angus, who won the honour of designing this statue in an International competition with  202 other contestants.
"Grow your own" refers to the organic farming movement of the early 20th Century when Modernist sculpture began.
The art work which cost $1 million, was at first not too well accepted by the public due to it's cost, but I think slowly it's becoming a loved landmark in the newly renovated Forrest Chase area, and a playful addition to the square.
The statue which is 6,5mt high, 11 mt long and 3mt wide, appears to change shape depending on where you are in relation to it.


The Strike (Miners) - Perth Mint, 310 Hay Street, East Perth

The statue of the first two prospectors to hit gold in  September 1892, near the town of Coolgardie - William Ford and Arthur Bayley.
This statue at the entrance to the Perth Mint, which was established in 1899 to deal with the wealth that gold brought to the State of Western Australia.
The bronze statue is life sized and were sculpted in 1991 by Perth sculptor Greg James.

Perth Gold Mint

Foosteps in Time - St Martin's Centre, 40/50 Hay Street, Perth

Unveiled in 2004, and commemorating the 175th Anniversary of Western Australia, this group of statues symbolize the business people that built the thriving Perth CBD from the Dutch explorers in 1697 to the Millenium man in 2004.
The sculptors are the talented duo Joan Walsh-Smith and Charles Smith (Also the sculptors of the Kangaroo statues in Stirling Gardens and the HMAS Sydney Memorial in Geraldton and Percy Button statue.

Dutch Explorer
Discovery of Gold
Millenium Man

People in the city - Central Park, Corner Hay and William Street

Sculpted by Anne Neil in 1999, (who was also the sculptor of the Pen Nibs and the Going Home kangaroos) a group of men, women and children walk to the city.

Tree of Life - Hay Street

This stylised metal tree, by West Australian sculptor Rod Laws, is right next to Wesley Church on Hay Street in the CBD. It's 1 metre tall, and represents the prayers of peace from the children of CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) which was held in Perth in October 2011. Each leaf has the name of the country whose representative visited the conference.

Arch - Corner James and Lake Street, Northbridge

By sculpor Lorenna Grant, inaugurated in 2010, this 8mt high arch painted in a black and white harlequin pattern, sits in the middle of a roundabout in the Northbridge Piazza, a public space where outdoor movies and concerts are held.

A few more to follow in the next post, hope you enjoyed some of the serious, wacky and wonderful statues of Perth!

Monday 25 August 2014

Queen at Perth Arena

I was thrilled to be able to get tickets to attend the only Perth concert of  "Queen" and Adam Lambert, at Perth Arena on Friday 22nd.
I say thrilled because I only bought the tickets the night before!
On my way home from work I heard on the radio about their concert, and as soon as I got home I went online and managed to get two tickets from the very few still available.
Luckily we even got tickets on the second tier, which were great, right in front  the stage.

Full house!
The control centre just below our second floor seats
 A few "Freddy" lookalikes popped up in the audience before the start of the show drawing applause from the crowd.
The Arena, which seats just over 15,000 thousand people was packed. 
I would hate if I had to climb right to the top row on the fourth floor, as looking from below they looked as if those balconies were just hanging there...

The show opened up with "Now I'm here" , and Adam, who was a runner up in the 2009 American Idol, a confident, flamboyant and energetic young man fits in well with the rest of the band, which now only has two of it's original members - Brian May and Roger Taylor -and for two hours they went through the usual Queen repertoire, in Adam's powerful voice.

Another outfit change, this time a vest with tasselled sleeves

 Brian May delivered a guitar solo playing "Love of my life", and started by saying "Let's do this for Freddie". Later on screen they showed Freddy on screen singing the vocals. The crowd cheered...

 A father and son drumming battle between Roger Taylor and Rufus Tiger Taylor was also one of the highlights.

 Roger May dressed in a gold cape sang "Bohemian Rhapsody"  with Freddy Mercury once again appearing on screen to sing parts.

 The show ended with "We will rock you" and "We are the champions", with the whole band on stage,  with Adam Lambert appearing on stage with a leopard print suit and chunky gold crown.
Gold streamers were thrown over the crowd, and that was the end!

Slowly the crowd exited the Arena... 

I loved the show, the costumes, the music, although at times I thought the sound was a bit too loud for me and some of the lights were a bit blinding too, but it could have just been me and my "old ears and eyes"!

The crowd leaves the Arena

The list of songs played: 

Set list (22 August 2014)
Now I'm Here
Stone Cold Crazy 
Another One Bites the Dust
Fat Bottomed Girls
Lap of the Gods
Seven Seas of Rhye
Killer Queen
Somebody to Love
I Want It All
Love of My Life
Days of Our Lives
Under Pressure
Dragon Attack
Who Wants to Live Forever
Tie Your Mother Down
Break Free
Radio Ga Ga
Crazy Little Think Called Love
Bohemian Rhapsody
We Will Rock You, 
We Are the Champions

The video of the last two songs sung at Perth Arena:

PS : My son and daughter in law arrived tonight from their European holiday and I'm glad to have them safely back home.

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.

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 both intertwining art and robotics.

Solar Jayne, 2014 

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