Indigenous artwork brightens One The Esplanade

Design / Life

Visitors to the Elizabeth Quay precinct may have already spotted construction hoarding at One The Esplanade and noticed the colourful indigenous artwork incorporated in the design.

The artwork is a collaboration between Brookfield Properties and three celebrated local indigenous artists – Peter Farmer, Kylie Graham and Rod Collard – and covers nearly 50 metres of hoarding
surrounding the site.

Brookfield Properties Executive Vice President & Co-Head Carl Schibrowski said the artwork provided a unique and creative way to showcase local stories at one of the city’s most iconic riverside locations.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to display artwork that reflects the creator’s connection to country and their local heritage,” Mr Schibrowski said.

“We saw the installation as a way to transform a plain space and wrap it with colour, while also engaging and supporting local talent,” he said. “They are beautiful pieces of art that everyone can enjoy in an iconic Perth setting and I congratulate the artists involved and thank them for their contribution.” Noongar artist Peter Farmer said his piece was inspired by his experiences with nature, cultural heritage and history.
“I make every attempt to communicate visual stories that help to break down barriers and build understanding, between diverse communities,” Mr Farmer said. “I was lucky to have been exposed to Aboriginal Artwork at a young age by my mother and aunties; on Marribank Mission, near Katanning. I’m incredibly fortunate to have worked and experimented with myriad mediums from print and design to fabric and textiles as well as sculptural installations that include, steel, wood, glass and film/multi-media.”

Two pieces of Mr Farmer’s art have been used at the site – one called Yonga (Kangaroo) and the other, Waalitj Djooroot (Wedgetails Journey’s).

“The Wedgetail Eagle or “Waalitj” in the local language is a strong Totem and is one of the traditional ‘water-finders’ in local Aboriginal folklore,” he said.

“He flies high in the sky and sees all that surrounds him and beyond; he is also a totem for Aboriginal healers. The Kangaroos or Yonga’s in the local language represent family and community. The many tribes of the southwest Aboriginal community (Noongar moieties) are represented in this piece and it speaks of strength and a shared journey.”

Passionate about his work, Mr Farmer believes art is a powerful tool to communicate and develop visual orators.

“Art is an integral part of society; where we are able to escape the every-day and create something beautiful and extraordinary and outside the realms of what is expected. Art is where innovations and
passions thrives.”

The works of the three Indigenous artists can be viewed at One The Esplanade, Elizabeth Quay. Once complete, the site will house the new national headquarters of Chevron Australia.