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'Carnaby Calling '- Public Sculpture

A Developer's Percent for Public Art Project

Artists Concept


Studying the information supplied, and after researching the physical nature of the site, we suggest using a Black Cockatoo theme for the artwork; in this case the Carnaby Black Cockatoo which along with the Baudin and Southern Forrest Black Cockatoos, migrate through the Swan Coastal plain on a seasonal basis.

These magnificent birds are particularly attracted to the vegetation of this poorly drained ecosystem on which the present development is taking place. Of particular importance are the Jarrah, Marri, Wandoo and Paper Bark trees on which they feed.¬† We are proposing an artwork which strongly and visually demonstrates the client’s commitment to the survival of all these species.


Given the extremely large area being suggested for an artwork, we have designed a high relief sculpture themed as described above which can be precast in multiple sections from two moulds which are designed to interlock and can be build up into a continuous image stretching across the suggested screen walls for as great a distance as required, to fulfill aesthetic and planning approval guidelines.


The artwork has been inspired by one bird symbolizing an entire flock in flight, indigenous to the Swan Valley area and commonly seen in Hazelmere at certain times of the year. Given the scale of the relief artwork, we employed a ‘zooming in ‘ visual technique to focus on the interplay of shadows created by the highly articulated feather patterns and shapes carved in deep relief.


Essentially, then- this is a ‘shadow-play’, expressing the effect of wings whispering through the environment as these great birds have done in this area for aeons. So the colour, as such, will be subtle, utilizing the natural tones of concrete in grey or barely white, to emphasize the relief of the artwork. This is also intended to harmonize with the architectural finishes on the building itself, thus creating an harmonious ‘whole’ through which the flock of Cockatoos flow through the space, creating intriguing¬† patterns of form and shadow.


Charles Smith Joan Walsh-Smith









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