Public artworks commissioned for Connect South
The major project entered its construction phase in February 2019 with works currently underway to create an active pedestrian-friendly piazza on the Mends Street Foreshore and minor upgrades to the northern area of Mends Street, between Mill Point Road and South Perth Esplanade. The piazza will create an attractive entry point to the City and include improved seating, lighting, weather protection and permanent artworks which reference the site’s character and significance.
The new piazza will be the stage for an artwork that the City has commissioned from the ART + team, of artist Yondee Shane Hansen and architect Stephen Pennock. This artwork will come alive at night using light and sound to present the cycles and rhythms of country from an Aboriginal perspective. The artists will make innovative use of projectors and new technologies to share ancient stories of place, ensuring that Whadjuk Noongar culture is at the centre of the pedestrian piazza.
The Art + team have also been commissioned to create artworks that daytime visitors to the site will discover as they explore the new natural shaded area, adjacent to the piazza. These works are based on the imagery that feature in Mr Hansen’s sand paintings, and will take the form of individual cast concrete forms at ground level which will represent ancient songlines coming together at this new meeting ground. The two commissions from the Art+ team are amongst the most ambitious works of enduring Aboriginal public art that the City of South Perth has commissioned to date.
In addition to these works, the City has commissioned two Western Australian artists to create engaging and tactile animal sculptures. Mikaela Castledine’s crocheted meerkat sculptures will pop-up at a number of locations along the Mends Street foreshore and along Mends Street. Created using UV resistant polypropelene treated with a robust fabric hardener to ensure the artworks longevity, the animals will act as a playful reminder of the intimate connection between the Mends Street Jetty and the Perth Zoo. Similarly, Russell Sheridan’s family of three promenading emus will be on display in the piazza acting proudly as uniquely Australian ambassadors for this important tourist destination. The artworks by Art +, Mikaela Castledine and Russell Sheridan will be delivered on site in the latter half of 2019.
A laser-etched design by artist Rick Vermey which responds to South Perth’s ‘garden suburb’ image will feature native flora depicted in a rippling and engaging textural wrap that will surround an electrical substation on South Perth Esplanade. It is anticipated that this work will be installed in April or May 2019.
Finally, the City is also working with community members, residents, and property owners towards commissioning vibrant murals to activate laneways and suitable spaces along Mends Street. While details of the mural commissions have yet to be confirmed, it is intended that these murals will provide a renewing splash of colour and support the activation of Mends Street.
Under the City of South Perth’s Policy P101 – Public Art, the City is committed to contributing 2% of the total project cost of City projects with a value greater than $2 million towards public art in new above ground urban design, public open space and community building constructions and redevelopment projects.
Stage one of Connect South is scheduled for completion in November 2019 at an estimated cost of $7.5 million (with $2.5 million from National Stronger Regions Round 3 funding and $5 million from the City of South Perth).
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