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).

Details of the pen nib

Conic Madrigal or 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 sculpted by the late 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!


  1. Every time I enter your blog I get goosebumps, seeing snow, sitting here in a t-shirt and short skirt! ;-) Brrr...
    Will you beleive it - we didn´t see the kangaroos! Beautiful! (They´re on the February-list)
    An Obelisk (also) for the millionth citizen - great idea! - Guess my list will get quite long :-)
    Those Pen Nibs...! I live on a tree here! This is great! Going Home - oh, my, wonderful idea just yet again! And people keep asking me "why Perth"!!!
    Please keep posts like that coming!

    Whew, one I took a pic of, too - on the search for the Unknown Photographer...

    Good idea, I will keep my eyes open to more than Henry, the Ringerbrunnen, Katzenturm and Co.

    1. I've changed my background Iris, so you don't feel cold anymore, lol.
      I know snow is not really appropriate for Perth!
      I don't think I've seen them all either Iris, so you might have to come back a few more times to be able to them all the wonderful statues... The Unknown photographer is great!

    2. :-) Thank you, Sami, much better! You really made me giggle!
      Ingo´s plan is to come to Perth for good soon, so we can see it all (awww, but my Niece(s), I wanna see them grow up a bit and Henry... I really love both cities! Plus... ahhh, difficult to do.).
      I truly have fond memories of the day I finally saw - thanks to Grace and Pat - the Unknown Photographer (we just didn´t find him - no internet-access is an excuse?)...

  2. Loved the kangurus! I enjoy this kind of art, let's call it a bit more funny. Prague is full of all kinds of art, such as giant babies, yellow penguins, hanging men, an enormous pregnant woman made of alumina, and a lot more.

    1. It's wonderful to see that some cities have this kind of fun art that can be enjoyed by everyone!


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