Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Public Art in Perth 5

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.

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.
The statue was designed by husband and wife team Joan Walsh-Smith and Charles Smith.

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


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