Public Art of East Perth
Following the redevelopment of East Perth in the 1990’s, a Public Art of East Perth program was put in place to help lift the rather tired and neglected inner city area. Initiated by the West Australian Government, a small percentage of money was allocated to the creation of Public Art.
The sculptures and street furniture that can be found throughout the Claisebrook Village were created from local materials found or unearthed from the redevelopment sites or salvaged from the old warehouses within the area. It isn’t surprising that East Perth (Claisebrook Village) won a Civic Design Award in 1999 for its public art program. Walking along Claisebrook Cove or the Swan River Foreshore you can’t help but be intrigued by the clever attention grabbing pieces that invite you to think and ponder the urban landscape. And don’t forget whilst your in the area to venture over the hill to Queens Garden, where the more traditional sculpture of Peter Pan proudly stands.
The Red Surveyor
Standing in front of the old Boans Warehouse, on the corner of Brook and Henry Street, is the tall wooden sculpture, known as the Red Surveyor. The Red Surveyor was designed and created by sculptor, Jon Tarry.
The 13.5m aluminium clad sculpture, known as the ‘Impossible Triangle’, stands in the centre of the East Parade roundabout. The sculpture was designed by artist Brian McKay and architect Ahmad Abas in 1999. You may not know this, but the trick or illusion of this clever design is that if you wander around it long enough you will find a spot where the sculpture will give the illusion of being a perfect triangle. Maybe that is why it was erected in the middle of a roundabout! Oh, by the way I am not going to tell you where the spot is, that is something you will have to discover for yourself. The geometric phenomenon is based on a mathematical formula discovered by Lionel Penrose (British geneticist) and his son, Sir Roger Penrose (Mathematics professor).
The statue of Peter Pan is located in Queens Gardens , on the corner of Hay and Plain Street. The statue is a replica of the Peter Pan statue which stands in Kensington Gardens, in London. Based on the boy who never grew up, by J.M. Barrie, the bronze statue of Peter Pan, was designed by the late George Frampton in 1929 and is only one of five that were created. This particular statue was the last of Frampton’s work.
Designed by sculptor Tony Jones, the ‘Standing Figure’ is located in the shallow waters of Claisebrook Cove. Standing 6m tall, the wooden and metal figure holds a small model yacht in one hand as if ready to be placed into the water, whilst the head slowly turns as the wind blows.
Found abandoned on the shores of the Swan River, this small wooden boat was restored by Sculptor Tony Jones and relocated onto its own little jetty on the edge of Claisebrook Cove. The ‘Sea Queen’offers a nice resting place for young and old to watch the pelicans catch their meals or to admire the small watercraft which often cruise the cove.
Scattered around the cove, are four sculptured seats designed by Mark Cox. The seats are made from recycled jarrah and galvanized steel which reflects the area’s industrial past.
Also along the cove are two seats designed by sculptor Malcom McGregor, in 1995 which feature circular posts. The circular posts were inspired by the ‘channel markers’ which are used in rivers, for navigation purposes. The seats were constructed from jarrah and steel salvaged from demolished warehouses in the area. Atop each marker post is a sculpture reflecting a significant building of the past. Atop the first marker post is the old caretaker’s cottage which was designed by Colonial architect, Richard Roach Jewell , whilst the other marker commemorates Solomon Cook’s water driven flour mill which was believed to have been built in 1854 on the north bank of Claise Brook.
Shoreline Marker Posts
These timber posts mark the original shore line of river. Each marker posts displays a litho printed steel plate which has historical notes about the former gasworks which were located nearby. The text was written by Rob Finlayson.
Found along the river bank, I was somewhat bemused by this sculpture. I was unsure what it all meant, until I went a little closer and followed the poem which is embedded within the spiral. The poem is about the nature and place of gas.