Connecting With Art
7 September 2012
(From the Connect September issue)
The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority has commissioned acclaimed WA artist Jon Tarry to create public art in the new Milligan Street precinct. He told Connect about the works – three polished steel “clouds” – and how they reflect the precinct’s future role in connecting the city.
WHAT GUIDELINES WERE YOU GIVEN FOR THESE ARTWORKS?
The brief was to create a work that responded to the multiple layers of the site and its function as a public plaza, as well as something that would celebrate the area as a place of entertainment and cultural experience.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE CLOUDS?
I chose cloud forms partly as I feel the works needed to connect with people, to be recognisable – playful at one level, and point to other elements related to climate and its shifts and changes above and below ground. I chose three clouds – Cirrus, Stratus and Cumulus – and positioned them as progressive forms moving through the site. This is a link after all.
WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO USE STAINLESS STEEL?
High-grade stainless steel is a pure material that can survive physical interaction with the public. I like it when kids climb on my sculptures and smear ice-creams over them, while others pose for photos. I think that’s part of it. I saw a kid licking some chocolate residue off one of my works once and took this as approval. The other prime reason for using stainless steel is that it reflects light both during the day and at night.
WHAT ROLE WILL LIGHTING AND WATER PLAY?
As well as being clouds made of stainless steel tubes, there are lighting and water elements. The highest cloud will spray a fine mist at timed intervals. The effect will be interesting to see and experience. The mist with light passing through will create a cooling effect in summer and playful rainbows, depending on the sun. By night, the lighting will enhance all of these.
Two of Jon’s pieces will be installed in November, with the third to be installed once the Bridge Plaza is completed in 2015.