Location: Perth City
Distance: 3.1km one way, short walk back to car
Trail Marker: Unmarked Trail. Download Map or KML file below
Duration: 1-2 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Date walked: 4th November 2018
Kml Map File: Please click here.
After our last Art Trail Urban Adventure I started looking up what other trails are available to those in the city and come across the Art City Walking Trail. Although it's an unmarked trail, the downloadable map is very straight forward but the fact that I am a Perth local made it a whole lot easier as most of these artworks I have come across in my time. I downloaded the trail map and made my way into the city.
The trail ended up being about 3km one way. The start and finish points are about 1km apart and it's a flexible trail in the way that you can park anywhere within the cbd and start at the closest marker. I parked at the Perth Concert Hall and walked to start in Elizabeth Quay.
Elizabeth Quay is a fairly new addition to our beautiful city with the opening in January 2016. It is a mixed-use development project located on the north shore of Perth Water and centred on the landmark Swan Bells, and is named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. Lots of construction is currently happening throughout which does make a visit to the Quay a rather noisy one, in fact I overhead quite a few tourists complain about the noise. Unfortunately for a city to expand as such, these things cannot be avoided.
The start of the Art City Walking Trail can be found right near the entry to the Elizabeth Quay Bridge.
1. First Contact (2015) Artist: Laurel Nannup
The first art installation on the trail is the stunning First Contact sculpture which welcomes visitors to Elizabeth Quay from the city and the river. Renowned Nyoongar artist, Laurel Nannup created the cast aluminium artwork representing the arrival of European settler ships to Perth, whom the local Nyoongar people believed to be their past ancestors returning from the sea.
2. Wolf Lane Arts Precinct (2014) Varied artists
Wolf Lane is one of my favourites lanes within the Perth CBD. In 2014, FORM, a not for profit arts and cultural organisation commissioned local and international artists to bring Wolf Lane to life through a series of murals as part of their ongoing PUBLIC project. This hidden gem should be on everyones 'must visit' lists and if you haven't been make sure to visit it next time. Below are some of my favourite pieces.
Unlikely that you will see this next piece as you walk this trail as it is a temporary installation but as I was walking to the next art pieces in Kings Square I was intrigued to see this sculpture clinging to the side of the building. Unsure was it was at first I had to do some research and found out that it was in fact a 9 metre endangered snub-nosed Gold Monkey created by Australian artist Lisa Roet, installed by City of Perth. The artwork aims to raise awareness about environmental issues such as global warming, deforestation and sustainability.
3. Koorden (2015) Artists: Rod Garlett, Fred Chaney & Rochie Kuhaupt
Kings Square is home to two pieces as part of the trail. The bottom left is called Koorden, six dramatic male Indigenous figures rendered in cast bronze stride towards the east across the grass of Wellington Gardens. The bands that form their bodies represent painted ceremonial markings found in historical photographs, reinterpreted by artist Rod Garlett in extensive consultation with local elders.
4. Connectus (2015) Artists: Warren Langley & Trent Baker
Connectus is the yellow suspended ribbon-like light artwork above Kings Square, glowing with the ochre hues of the Western Australian landscape at night.
Connect(us) responds to the transitioning ambient light of sunlight, sky and shadow with subtle colour shifts.
I feel there is so much more art that can be packed into this walking trail but honestly you could probably walk through the city all day looking at artwork. The next section has you walking on to the 140 William Arts Precinct which is on the corner of William St.
5. 140 William Arts Precinct (2014) Artist: Kyle Hughes-Odgers
The 140 William laneway serves as an urban gallery and gateway connecting the thriving pedestrian mall of Murray Street to the cultural hub of Northbridge, via the historic Horseshoe Bridge. The laneway beside the heritage Globe Building features the monumental mural seen below by Perth artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers as well as gem-like sculptural seating elements by Perth jewellery designer Alister Yiap.
It's then on to Forrest Place for the next two art installations.
6. Grow Your Own (2011) Artist: James Angus
Probably the most well known of all art sculptures in Perth is what most people refer to as the green cactus. Grow Your Own references the emergence of the organic farming movement in the early 20th century. The sculpture encourages people to connect to their city and community in a tangible way, fostering a commitment to making their own art and ideas.
7. Appearing Rooms Forrest Place (2012) Artist: Jeppe Hein
Another popular city art installation, especially amongst those with families is the interactive water sculpture 'Appearing Rooms Forrest Place' which shoots jets of water into the air, creating nine rooms which disappear as quickly as they emerge. Providing welcome respite from the heat of Perth’s summers for children and adults alike, Appearing Rooms Forrest Place is one of Perth’s most popular public artworks, attracting over 200,000 passers-by every month. It operates daily unless the area is being used for events.
The next art installation was a little tricky to find. Because everything so far had been out in the open I was looking for something on the outside of the library however once you have made your way to Cathedral Avenue you need to go into the library and take the lift up to level 1, from which you look up to see this beautiful piece.
8. Delight and Hurt Not (2016) Artist: Andrew Nicholls
Andrew Nicholls ceiling mural is based on the closing scene of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Fitting for a reverent space devoted to the pursuit of knowledge, the play’s main character, Prospero, gains magical powers from his library, equating books, and therefore knowledge, with power.
The mural illustrates WA's native flora and fauna and every one of the 65 plants and 12 animals depicted is a threatened species.
Visit Perth Library for opening hours to avoid missing out on your walk.
Walking on through Cathedral Avenue towards St Georges Tce is where you will find the next sculpture.
9. Ascalon (2011) Artists: Marcus Canning & Christian de Vietri
This is definitely my favourite church in Perth. I remember when we were discussing with our daughter Sophie about where she wanted to get baptized, her response was a real church. She pictured a grand building with cathedral ceilings and stained glass windows and was pleasantly surprised when this one came up on our google search so it's a church that holds a special place in our hearts.
The sculpture that lies out front is called Ascalon, named after St George’s lance of the legend, and represents the triumph of good over evil, depicting St George’s cloak billowing around his lance after he has slain the dragon.
10. 'The Mob' - Kangaroos on the Terrace (1997) Artists: Joan Walsh-Smith and Charles Smith
Probably one of the most iconic Art Sculptures in Perth are our beautiful kangaroos. Captured in full flight, having been startled as it were by the sudden appearance of noisy traffic – a vision from the future perhaps? – they bound through this highly structured modern urban space, like shadows from an ancient past, flashing across the inner eye; creating a startling visual counterpoint to their surroundings and an instant reminder that these magnificent creatures were migrating for millions of years through this area from the Swan River foreshore, up through the chain of lakes upon which the City was built less than 200 years ago.
11. Untitled (1971) Artist: Tom Sanders
The final piece of art on this trail is hidden within the Perth Concert Hall. Commissioned by architect Jeffrey Howlett for the official opening of Perth Concert Hall on 26 January 1973, this mural of ceramic tiles serves as a striking feature wall, inspired by the playful symbolism used by Spanish surrealist artist Joan Miro during the 1930s.
Visit Perth Concert Hall for opening hours to avoid missing out on your walk.
It was a nice change once again to explore something other than a bush trail and I must say that these two last art trails I have done have really sparked my interests for wanting to see more art so am sure there will be many more art and culture trails to come.
It was a short walk back to my car from here as I had parked near the Perth Concert Hall. What I loved about this trail as well as that the trail intersects with the city's free CAT buses so for those not to keen on walking the whole thing, if you work it out well enough you can literally be taken to each stop. Check out the link to the CAT info here.
If you haven't checked out this one I highly recommend getting out and being a tourist in your own city and if you do we would love to hear your thoughts on the trail. Please feel free to tag us in your adventures.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we walk, the traditional lands of the Noongar people & wish to acknowledge them as traditional owners paying respects to their Elders, past & present, and Elders from other communities who may be here today.