Artist impression of copper sculpture on paving surround by people, trees and buildings
14 January 2015

Bell Tower signatures reinterpreted in public art

  • Elizabeth Quay

A new artwork that captures more than 200,000 student signatures from schools across the State will be installed at Elizabeth Quay in early April 2015.

Planning and Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said the signatures, originally captured as part of the Bell Tower development to celebrate the millennium, would be returned to the Barrack Street Jetty precinct ensuring the community can continue to engage with this important piece of Perth’s social history.

“The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority has worked alongside the Rotary Club Perth, who through the generosity of a Lotterywest grant , have helped to commission an art piece that actively represents the youthfulness of the community involved,” Minister Day said.

“The artwork features a headphone-shaped design with the signatures etched into thousands of copper plates. A fibre optic light display has been incorporated into the artwork, representing the passage of time from 2000 to the present and illuminating the artwork on interactive panels.”

Mr Day said the artwork was created by internationally renowned Perth artists, Simon Gauntlett and Matthew Ngui and would be complemented by a web application providing access to the signatures for participants who now live in regional Western Australia, interstate and overseas.

“It was important that an appropriate and permanent reinterpretation of the signatures was developed as part of Elizabeth Quay, and that the opportunity to improve the experience through digital technology was also explored.”

“I believe Simon and Matthew have created a significant art piece that will enable the students who participated in Sign In 2000, and their families and friends to once again connect with an important part of their history in an active way.”

An online application being developed by the MRA will allow participants and their families to locate their signature on the artwork, view the tile in a larger format and download an image of the original or new tiles or share via social media.

There's a video

Watch the animated flythrough of the School Signatures artwork.

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