LOCATION: Perth, WA
Leading indigenous artist, Peter Farmer recently called on Perth business Lateral Creative and BlueScope Distribution to help bring one of his latest works to life. The result has proven to be a great success for all involved.
Woodside Petroleum’s new headquarters on Mount St in the Perth CBD, sits adjacent to the Swan River on the location of the old Emu Brewery. The site, which has sat empty since that building was demolished 26 years ago, has tremendous historical signiﬁcance. It Stirling, the founder of the Swan River Colony, ﬁrst interacted with Yellagonga, marks the spot where Capt. James a Whadjuk elder who lived nearby.
As an act of acknowledgement, therefore, Woodside has named the building Mia Yellagona (or place of Yellagonga). On top of that, the company has made several further gestures of cultural recognition, including the establishment of an ’Elders’ Room’ for use by traditional custodians and the placement of several indigenous artworks in the building.
The most visible of these, ‘Maajit Bardook’ (or ‘The Ancient Spirit is Near’) graces the main foyer. Created by artist Peter Framer, the work represents the six seasons of the Noongyar calendar. Made out of aluminium and timber, the sculpture also includes lighting and an audio system that plays the sounds of local wildlife (frogs and so forth).
Peter chose Lateral Creative, a local specialist in this ﬁeld, to help him with the project. As Mike Hartmann, Lateral Creative’s owner explained, this wasn’t the ﬁrst time he had worked with Peter.
“I’ve done another two projects with him. We did quite a big one down at Mandurah about a year and a half ago. It was located at the foreshore, right in front of the theatre and arts building,” said Mike. “And we’re also planning to start work on a new project early to mid- next year.”
According to Mike, he has been working on these sorts of public art projects for about six or seven years now. “I get commissioned by visual artists to bring their work alive,” he said.
For Maajit Bardook he used aluminium supplied by BlueScope Distribution. “I used 12mm aluminium plate for the feathers and 5mm aluminium plate for the seating. Also, there is an extrusion angle inside the core of the feet to provide strength. There was not a lot of extrusion used, primarily all plate,” said Mike.
He explained that he is very happy with BlueScope Distribution and its products. “These days, I work with aluminium 99 per cent of the time. I’ve found that most of my clients prefer it. It’s easy to maintain and easier to paint. It’s lighter and you know that you won’t have corrosion issues down the track,” said Mike.
He said the systematic approach he likes to take with his work ﬁts well with the way the team at BlueScope operates.
“After discussing the project with the artist, the project engineers draw it up and supply me with a cut ﬁle (CAD File) which I send on to BlueScope Distribution. From there, it is up to them to arrange the cutting and delivery. We are very much on the same page. They are happy to ﬁt in with how I work.
“They’re always on the ball with quoting and when the product is ordered they’re swift to get the material cut or deliver the extrusion I need. I’ve found them to always be on-time and within budget.” Mike is impressed by the level of service he receives from BlueScope Distribution.
“Their service is top notch. Jamie Buchanan (Market Development Manager) drops in every few weeks to see how everything’s going. He checks to see if I’m happy with everything and we talk about what projects I’ve got coming up, and so forth,” he said.
“If there’s ever an issue or a problem, they act quickly to solve it. I’ve never had any problem with them. “Plus, I like the fact that I have Paul George (Customer Service Ofﬁcer) as my go-to guy who I can speak to every time I call. He knows what I do, what I require and what I expect from the product.”
Woodside’s new headquarters opened in late 2018, and Maajit Bardook has been very well received by both the company and visitors. Seen by all who enter the building, the sculpture stands as a timeless reminder that ‘the ancient spirit is near’.
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