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METRONET line project filled with public art

public art metronet

With a total of 13 local and Noongar artists engaged to create 15 public art pieces, Western Australia’s  METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line Project has officially set the record for the largest collection commissioned on a METRONET project to date.

A series of graphically overlaid glass skylights, patterned perforated station screens, forecourt sculptures and a myriad of murals will be carefully crafted over the coming months and installed at Morley, Noranda, Malaga, Whiteman Park and Ellenbrook stations.

Central to the art works are themes reflecting and celebrating the unique environment of each site, as well as Noongar culture and connection to Country. The community will help shape some of the artworks with artists engaging with youth centres, schools and local art groups.

About the artists and their works

Jack Bromell: as a mural artist, Jack will transform the walls around the Whiteman Park Station entrance with three giant wedge-tailed eagles in flight and abstract Swamp and Stout Paperbark leaves and flowers. The eagle is an iconic WA bird of prey and a celebrated native species of Whiteman Park. In developing his concepts, Jack engaged with Whiteman Park consultant ecologists and aims to meet with local schools and the broader community to help him paint the eagles and background patterns from ground level.

Marcia McGuire: a Whadjuk, Ballardong and Yamatji Aboriginal woman from Perth, Marcia specialises in paintings and digital artwork. Marcia has created designs for the metal arbor screens at Ellenbrook Station that reflect the area as a ‘place of looking’ for the Whadjuk Noongar people. The screens will feature the Balga’s circular stump, gum tree leaves and peppermint tree – all linked to traditional smoking ceremonies, welcoming, blessing and protecting of visitors and travellers. Marcia’s designs will also feature on perforated screens at Malaga Station, representing the area as a traditional place of trading through tools, accessories and weapons that were used for fishing, hunting and daily life.

Mark Datodi:  for Malaga Station’s perforated screens Mark has drawn inspiration from the Banksia trees in and around Malaga Station and the surrounding Bennett Brook and Bennett Springs area.

Kambarni Bin Salleh: has designed patterned screens located between the platform and Ellenbrook Station. The design will represent people moving through the surrounding spaces – walking through changing landscapes, trees, bush, riverside and shallow waters, paying respect to the natural environment, and acknowledging the custodianship of the Whadjuk Noongar People.

Peter Farmer and Jason Hirst: four unique sculptural artworks will be positioned in pairs to reflect how Noongar people and families travelled together on Country in search of food and water sources. The sculpture’s colours reflect the importance of fire (Kaarl) and water (Kiep), with engravings on the figures telling stories of the past from the area. They will also illuminate at night to provide an additional experience to evening travellers, aiding wayfinding within the forecourt.

Haylee Fieldes (Fieldey): will create three site specific pieces at Morley Station, which together will form a bold statement that enhances passenger’s arrival and departure experience. The blade wall, perforated screens and balustrade will contribute to the Morley’s historical significance while acknowledging the new space of the train station.

Rohin Kickett and Haylee Fieldes (Fieldey): will work collaboratively to create a mural for the Whiteman Park pedestrian link. Connection to place will be explored through the past and present with an emphasis on the ecological and cultural importance of ground water.  Rohin’s aerial representation of Bennett Brook stream will be shown as it was when Aboriginal groups camped there, and the yellow lines represent traditional paths (biddi). This will be mirrored on the opposite wall with a map showing the local built environment and its pathways and connections.  Haylee’s contribution will be of detailed paintings of Whiteman Park’s wildlife and native flora and fauna.

Kyle Hughes Odgers: designs for screens at Noranda Station will feature abstract and bold shapes that celebrate the area’s New Holland honey eater, flooded gum and moonah trees. The distinctive bold graphic style of Kyles will represent travel, movement and transition and will provide a playful engagement at the station in a contemporary way.

Philippa Kelly: two clusters of sculptural freshwater mussels will feature in Whiteman Park Station landscaping and are linked to the well-known and nearby Mussel Pool and the Carter’s freshwater mussel found in nearby wetlands. Philippa will engage with Noongar stakeholders through a river walk and yarning session to ensure the sculptures align with Noongar protocols and stories.

Marcia McGuire and Penelope Forlano: have worked collaboratively to create a design narrative for the glass skylights located at all five stations. Marcia will create designs for Ellenbrook Station, themed around Whadjuk cultural activities linked to ‘welcoming’ practices and natural elements such as the Balga, peppermint leaves and fire/smoke; and Malaga will reference Whadjuk toolmaking practices. In consultation with Marcia, Penelope’s designs are an interpretation of Aboriginal knowledge and the interconnected nature of country. This is represented with marsupials/mammals at Whiteman Park Station, waterbirds at Noranda Station and reptiles at Morley Station.

Mel McVee: the multi-disciplinary artist (in collaboration with her sister) will paint banksia and wetland-themed murals filled with native flora and fauna in and around the pedestrian underpass at Noranda Station.

VOXLAB: will celebrate the history of rail and the Ellenbrook forecourt marked as the beginning or end of the train line by repurposing heritage railway tracks from Dwellingup and transforming them into a large landmark dynamic and organic sculpture. The team of artists aim to engage with Ellenbrook Arts, Ellenbrook Youth Centre and local schools to possibly host artist/community talks and run workshops on the processes used to create the sculpture.

The 21km METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line Project is Perth’s largest public transport project since the Mandurah Line and will give people living and working in Perth’s north-eastern suburbs more transport choice.

The METRONET Public Art Strategy creates a distinctive identity for station and transport infrastructure, delivering enjoyable environments for local communities and creating opportunities for emerging and established local artists.