Standing 6 metres high in striking scarlet and wattle tones, the Riseley Street roundabout on the corner of Wilcock Street has a colourful new public art installation that takes its inspiration from the nearby Banksia Woodlands in Wireless Hill.
The Coming of the Colours by artist Sohan Ariel Hayes was commissioned in 2017, in line with the City’s Public Art Strategy and Masterplan, funded 70% from the City’s Capital Arts budget and 30% from the Developer Percent for Art Trust
City of Melville Mayor the Hon George Gear JP said public art was widely recognised for the role it plays in contributing to a sense of place, enhancing public spaces and celebrating cultural identity and community aspirations.
“Here in Melville, public art plays a role in our community’s aspiration for a ‘Sense Of Community’, and in response to the growing demand from the community for artwork to be integrated into City projects and private developments, a Public Art Strategy and Masterplan was created, using significant community engagement to inform its development,” said Mayor Gear.
“In WA and our local area, the banksia is considered a keystone species that plays a crucial role in the native ecosystem, but is at risk. This artwork is derived from the Banksia menziesii flower. Several stigma which curl around the flower spike are scaled dramatically in height. The facetted-surface of the illuminated pollen tips resembles the distinctive geometry of the banksia leaf. As people move through the area or drive by at night, they will be able to see each flower spike and stigma emitting a soft glow gently reminding us of the importance of the Banksia Woodlands, the rich ecological community they support and our continued responsibility to care for them. Coming of the Colours is an uplifting new public artwork for the Riseley Street Precinct.”
Artist, Sohan Ariel Hayes is best known for his large-scale multimedia installation for the Opening of the Perth International Arts Festival at King’s Park, ‘Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak’, in 2017 and 2019.
Sohan is well-known for creating large scale site-based projection installations and in recent years has expanded his practice into the realm of permanent public art with five permanent Public Artworks commissioned across Western Australia.
Inspired by his experience with Boorna Waanginy, which dramatized the Noongar six seasons of Western Australia, the incredible richness and interdependency of the flora and fauna of South West Australia, and the crisis which this ecosystem now faces, Sohan’s singular interest with Riseley Centre Artwork was to create an artwork that would reinforce this message. To do he has developed sculptural forms from selected botanical specimens in the nearby Banksia Woodlands employing macro photography in the process.
The artwork has been derived from the Banksia menziesii flower. Several stigma which curl around the flower spike are scaled dramatically in height. The facetted-surface of the illuminated pollen tips resembles the distinctive geometry of the banksia leaf. This artwork is designed to be a reminder of the beauty and importance of the Banksia Woodlands to the rich ecological community they support, here, on the Swan Coastal Plain and which are currently classified as endangered. In this tiny sliver of a moment we call today, let’s not forget that we risk losing it.
The City of Melville Public Art Collection
The City of Melville’s public art collection consists of over 80 artworks which have been acquired through artist commissions, exhibition purchases community arts projects and ongoing programs.
Public Art is integrated into City playgrounds, park landscaping and building designs and the City also encourages public art in private developments through its percent for art policy, Provision for Public Art in Development Proposals.
The Provision for Public Art in Development Proposals, defines principles and priorities for public art in the City and helps to guide resources and funding towards relevant public art projects that will enhance the City’s built environment, distinctive natural assets, significant Indigenous sites, historic locations and key destinations.
The Public Art Strategy and Masterplan provides a curatorial and technical framework for all new commissions, ensuring that the City of Melville’s public art collection is cohesive, curated, and surpasses industry best practice standards. This approach will enable the City of Melville to respond to new ideas about art, storytelling, interpretation and cultural expression.
For more information regarding our Public Art click here or call 9364 0666.