Wednesday 24 September 2014

Kings Park Spring Festival 2014 - A guided visit in Portuguese

If you remember from the previous post about Kings Park, I mentioned that for the first time they had some foreign language visits scheduled. Today I joined the Portuguese guide plus seven other Portuguese and Brazilian nationals in front of "Aspects of Kings Park" this wonderful boutique next to the Information Centre.

"Aspects of Kings Park"

Our guide, Fernanda, talked to us about the Western Australian flora from the North to 4000km down to the South all compacted in a small area of Kings Park while we "travelled" through it in 1 hour.

I learned that Kings Park has 120 volunteer guides, that do guided walks with visitors, 
man the Information Centre or do other projects in the park. They have other volunteers that help with the gardens, weeding, seed collecting, etc, and anyone can join to help out
in various roles.

An artist's impression about the far reach of some roots  (painted on the grass)

Kings Park have scientists, tree experts, horticulturists, etc to make sure the Park and it's plants are in tip top condition.

The park has a Biodiversity Conservation Centre that is involved in the collection, storage and testing of Western Australian native plant seeds with over 10,600 collections. They also propagate through cuttings, grafting or tissue culture for research or for display in the Kings Park gardens.

Seeds from some of Western Australian plant species are also stored at the Millenium Seed Bank at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (England) ensuring that WA's unique plant diversity is safeguarded.

A few funny placards throughout the park explain some soil, plant or bug concepts.
I loved this next one about the park being the best "home" for bees and birds, even mentioning the "fly in/ fly out" lifestyle so endemic to some Western Australia's workers in some fields of work.


This giant 750 year old Boab tree was transported 3200km in an epic journey from the Kimberley region in the North to Perth in 2008, when space was needed for the construction of the highway.
It had to be cut and trimmed to enable it to travel through various sites and has now settled well in it's position, although with some dents on its trunk.  There are another 14 smaller Boabs around Kings Park, and seeds from this giant one have been collected to be replanted in the Kimberley region.

A couple of Rainbow Lorikeets nested in the giant Boab tree

A tree with an aerial root system
Can you spot the bee and the ladybird in these flowers?

This ones looks like cotton wool
The everlasting "strawflowers"

My favourite Kangaroo Paw in black and green

This bird didn't mind our presence and was happily sucking the nectar from the flowers

Have you enjoyed the visit? I loved the time spent learning a few more things about Kings Park and of course loved to see the park in it's Spring coat!

Friday 19 September 2014

Kings Park Spring Festival 2014

From September 1st to 30th, Kings Park comes alive with 3000 species of wildflowers, celebrating Western Australia's nature.

This year the star attraction is "Eva Bloom" - the gigantic pink silk flower - in front of the Visitor Information Centre. The flower is 6mt wide and 3mt high!
Isn't it just so cute?

Look but don't touch Evan Bloom

Eva Bloom

There are loads of activities for children throughout the month, and on the day of my visit I was amazed to see that probably just about every Primary school in Perth, was visiting the Park!  
It was the Kulunga Katitjin Festival day-  a day to promote and explore the world of local Aboriginal culture, science and sustainability - and the Nyoongar people were teaching the kids to make bush tucker, traditional dancing, storytelling and boomerang throwing.

Here they are dancing with Aboriginal folk
Lots of tents with activities for the kids - can you spot the Women's memorial statue I showed you on an earlier post?

Learning about worms to use on the compost to enrich the soil

This year, for the first time there will be talks in some foreign languages - "Secrets of the Botanic Garden Walk" - and the Portuguese community will have an opportunity for their guided visit on Tuesday 23rd.

Talks in various languages

View from Kings Park over South Perth across the Mitchell Freeway

The Floral clock has been revamped with wildflowers surrounding it. Very pretty!

On the stage a small brass band brought some jazz sounds to the festival, but every Sunday there are free outdoor concerts from 10,30am to 4pm.

A Jazz band was playing on the day of my visit

Throught the month there are also various talks about trees, grass, flowers and soil microbes, garden workshops...and on the last weekend there will be a native plant sale (27 to 29/9 from 10am to 4pm).

And here are the all important wildflowers!

A field full of wildflower
The wonderful Kangaroo Paws

Grass Trees
 An Aboriginal man plays the didgeridoo.

Hope you enjoyed the visit to Kings Park and the wonderful wildflower show.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Public Art in Perth 7 - Burswood Park

These wonderful statues are all  located in Burswood Park, a 3,5km long park on the south bank of the Swan River in the suburb of Burswood, 5 min. away from the CBD, with lots of walking and cycling trails, picnic spots, playground, lakes, birdlife and of course the Crown Casino and Hotel.
A heritage trail provides sculptures representing local sporting history.
There are walking tours of the park departing from the Visitor Information centre, at 11,50am daily.

Map from Burswood Park site

The Smith sculptors  (Charles Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith) whose statues are represented all over Perth (Kings Park, Fremantle, etc) are the sculptors of all of these statues in Burswood Park.

Citizen of the year Swan Fountain

This magnificent 10 metre high bronze sculpture in the "Citizen of Year Lake". 
The  statue of the 5 swans emerging from their nest, was commissioned in 1988, and represent each of the 5 categories of the Citizen of the Year Award. Surrounding the lake, you can see the plaques with the engraved names of the people that won each year's category.

The fountain rises 6 metres and circulates about 2000 litres of water per minute. 
This photo taken in December 2007, on a day out visiting Burswood Park, when my parents visited from Portugal and my younger sister, brother in law and 2 nephews visited from South Africa.

In this photo taken in 2010 when my middle sister visited from Portugal, shows the whole lake with the 5 Swans and a Cygnet statue. Burswood hotel and Casino in the background.

Black Swan

Another statue by the Smith duo, unveiled in 1996, this giant bronze black swan (State bird of Western Australia), seems to be taking flight. In the background you can see the city of Perth on the other side of the Swan River.

 Swan Shell 

Designed to reflect a swan in flight, this elegant statue is next to the Citizen of the Year Swan fountain statue. It's a popular venue for outdoor concerts and a popular spot for wedding photos.

Henry Camfield - First Pioneer Settler

Henry Camfield migrated from England to the Swan River Colony in 1829 with two servants and their families, and was granted 1000 acres, which he named after him home town in Kent - Burrswood.

My sister who visited in 2010 leans against Henry Camfield, and Burswood Casino in the background


These bronze statues depict children playing Hopscotch in their 19th century Sunday clothes. Next to the statues is another area for the kids to play hopscotch as well.
Unveiled in 1994 to coincide with the "Year of the Family".

Keeping the Flame Alight

Depicting two of Western Australia's sporting legends - the athletes Herb Elliot and Shirley Strickland. They face each other and hold the Olympic torch in the air. 
The sculpture also depicts the Olympic torch relay for the Sydney Olympics (2000) which went through the town of Victoria Park (next to Burswood) in July 2000. This statue was unveiled in April 2001.

Me in front of the statue in 2010

There are a few more statues in Burswood Park, but these are probably the most iconic.
Which was your favourite?

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Public Art in Perth 6 - Fremantle

The statues are in this post are in the harbour city of Fremantle, a 20min drive from Perth's centre.
I have previously written about Fremantle, a very interesting and quirky "suburb".

Bon Scott - Fishing Boat Harbour 

I'm sure you've heard of the Australian rock band AC/DC? 
Ronald Belford Scott, or Bon Scott as the band's vocalist was known, was born in Scotland, but came to Fremantle with his parents. 
He was a troubled young man, who died in London in 1980, at the age of 33. His ashes are in the Fremantle Cemetery. 
A bronze statue of Bon was unveiled near the harbour in October 2008, sculpted by Greg James.

Fishermen's Monument -  Fisherman's Wharf

In 2002, Claude Basile, Ross Merlino and Guido Micalizzi, the sons of three pioneering fishermen from Fremantle, proposed the construction of a monument to the local fishermen who contributed so much to the Western Australian economy.
In 2005, the two life-sized bronze statues of fishermen were unveiled and dedicated to the fishermen who once departed from the Port of Fremantle to fish.
The honour wall next to the statues constitutes of 12 timber columns with 608 names written in bronze plaques, taken from pre-1947 fishing licence records.
The sculptors are - Jon Tarry and Greg James (who also did the Bon Scott statue).

Can you spot the Bon Scott statue to the left?

Welcome Walls - Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay

A major memorial to the contribution of migrants to the State of Western Australia, is located just outside the Maritime Museum. Unveiled in December 2004 as part of the 175th anniversary celebrations of WA. 
The Italian fishermen and their families are also represented here among the thousands of other names. 
Family members of immigrants that arrived through Fremantle were invited to  have their migrant heritage (name,  year of arrival and name of ship) recorded on these walls.

Stories from immigrants on the Welcome Walls

Child Migrant - Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay

This life sized bronze memorial of a boy and girl carrying their worldly possession by Joan Walsh-Smith and Charles Smith (I have mentioned these amazing sculptors in my other Public Art posts), is dedicated to the nearly 3000 British and Maltese unaccompanied children who were shipped out of their homeland to brave an unknown future in Western Australia over a period of 50 years.

Vasco da Gama Memorial - Marine Terrace, Esplanade Reserve

Commemorating the Portuguese navigator (1469-1525) and commander of the first ships to sail from Europe to India. He was also the Governor of  Portuguese India with the title of Viceroy.
It's lovely that the Portuguese community in Perth have a memorial to one of their own!

Pietro Giacomo Porcelli -  corner William and Adelaide Street (Kings Square)

This Italian sculptor was born in Biscegli, Bari, and migrated to Australia with his family.
He studied at the New South Wales Academy of Art, having later returned to Naples to study sculpture.
He created the life-sized bust of Sir John Forrest, that stands at the main entrance to Parliament House, as well as the statue of explorer Alexander Forrest (Sir John's brother) that stands at the entrance to the Supreme Court Gardens and many others scattered throughout Australia.

A friend and founder of the Porcelli Memorial Fund - Giuseppe Rispoli - proposed that a statue to Pietro Porcelli be commissioned by the Italian Community in honour of his memory and creativity. 
The bronze statue by Greg James, depicts the artist at work shaping a clay bust, the empty stool means the subject matter has already left.

Southern Crossing (or Man and Dingo) - Victoria Quay (Ferry Terminal)

Sculpted by Tony Jones and Ben Jones, and unveiled in 2002, this statue consists of 3 parts - the gangway, a life sized man with a suitcase in one hand an a model of a ship in the other and a dingo - representing the sense of adventure and fear that any immigrant would feel on disembarking from a ship in Fremantle to start a new life in Australia.
The dingo doesn't look too welcoming either...

Sir Hughie Idwal Edwards -

Air Comodore Sir Hughie Edwards, the son of Welsh immigrants, was raised and educated around Fremantle.
His bravery, skill and leadership during the war, led him to receive the Victoria Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross. He was Governor of Western Australia during 1974-75 and was knighted, retiring due to ill health.

Dog Statue

I came across this metal statue of a small dog in Fremantle, across from the harbour, and I thought it was cute.
Once I saw it with a bowl of water in front of him, making it look like a real dog!
Called "Blondie" it was done in 2011 by Janet Nixon (From Greg James Studio).

John Gerovich - Mark of the Century

In front of Fremantle Oval is a statue to this Australian rules players during the 1050's and 1960's. Sculpted by Robert Hitchcock in 2006, it was based on an actual photo published in the West Australian newspaper of John Gerovich's famous mark over Ray French in the 1956 WAFL preliminary final.

Hope you have enjoyed the statues in Fremantle, which was your favourite?