The Western Australian Ecology Centre (WAEC)

Donaldson & Warn Architects for Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority
8mts x 13mts x 20mm
June 2003-August 2004
Exterior Artwork: Painted, engraved and laser cut Unimould (recycled and recyclable plastic), coloured and jet water cut glass inserts.
Interior floor work: dyed, screen printed and laser cut acrylic inserts into laser cut Marmoleum
Photo: Rob Frith, Acorn Photo Agency

The exterior artwork for the WA Ecology Centre was inspired by the shifting patterns of Bold Park’s tree canopy, which has changed over the years due to natural evolution and artificial influences. The tree canopy plays an important ecological role in maintaining biodiversity and is particularly significant for Bold Park’s high priority (rare) species. The artwork is an artistic representation of the patterns formed by the tree canopy floating above the map of Bold Park and the names of fifteen of the highest priority species are contained in the text engraved into its surface.

The interior artwork is a floor piece that embeds acrylic shapes in the form of the leaves from the common species that make up the tree canopy into the floor. One high priority species in the form of the Wembley Wax flower, is also included. It is intended that the pattern they form takes on a configuration akin to a pile of leaves blowing in the door and scattering through the building. The leaf shapes in this floor piece become small windows through which the viewer has limited access also to the names of the highest priority species in the park, as though one is walking on a sea of text under the floor and can only perceive the whole possibility through small glimpses contained in the leaves from the common species of the tree canopy. These glimpses may remind us of the potential fragility of our environment and the important role science and scientists play in environmental management.

A series of three discreet artworks are also embedded into the building materials of the washrooms.

This project acknowledges the research undertaken by University of Western Australia PhD student Judy Fisher.