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Glass Panel Detail Design Development.pdf Glass Panel Detail Design Development 2.pdf
PTAK Design Development.pdf Kenwick PTA Project News.pdf

Artwork for the Kenwick Station Upgrade

Architects: Armstrong Parkin
Artist Pamela Gaunt
Clients: Public Transport Authority
Date: 2014


A little known aspect of the Kenwick Station location is it’s close proximity to the Greater Brixton Street Wetlands. In a past century, the patriots of the station had to trudge through the wetlands in their boots to the station and thus, were very aware of the surrounding environment. The Brixton Street and wider wetlands contains 21% of Perth’s biodiversity and boasts a unique and diverse flora species (more than 650 including 120 weed species). Historically, much of the original wetlands were cleared for farming, and whilst what remained posed a difficulty for urban development, it has contributed to its survival. The wetlands demonstrate a complex hydrology and unique site-specific soil structure significant for the flora. The flora includes declared rare species such as: Pennywort (Hydrocotyle lemnoides) and water ribbons (Aponogeton hexatepalus)i. The City of Gosnells, in cooperation with the Friends of Brixton Street Wetlands, has made concerted efforts to raise awareness of the significance of the site, to the local community and beyond. To date, the interface between the Kenwick station and this significant 180-hectare site has been poor. Many commuters are unaware of the rich and significant heritage of the adjacent Wetlands. The artwork attempts to build awareness of the significance of the wetlands and its flora, for the passengers who traverse Kenwick Station. While waiting for the train, the artworks offer commuters the opportunity to learn about aspects of the Brixton Street Wetlands through the incorporation of relevant imagery and text into various structures of the platform. The locations for the artwork present as glass interventions in the platform canopies and glass screens either side of the platform seating. The glass canopy interventions portray abstract details of various wetlands flora. The screens contain the names of all the flora species in the adjacent Brixton Street wetlands, with each screen containing its own set of names, including aboriginal names. In addition, the names of the flora included on each platform canopy are highlighted in a magenta colour and those with aboriginal names are rendered orange. The different imagery on each platform offers travellers the opportunity to learn something different at departure and on return to Kenwick. It is important to state that the images are not intended to be a didactic illustration of the original source. Rather, it is anticipated that the images make reference to the original flora species in an engaging and sensorial way. Changes in view point, climate, seasons and daily movements of the sun, will alter the way the artwork appears. The City of Gosnells has several public artworks in different locations. The artwork for the Kenwick Station anticipates a concurrent counterpoint and conceptual dialogue with the existing works.

The Process

The design development process was two-fold. Research involved sourcing relevant flora images and the development of a list of species that eliminated introduced species (weeds) and inserted common and aboriginal names, where available. Images of flora species in the Brixton Street Wetlands were purchased from Lochman Transparencies’ extensive image base. The images were chosen for their potential to be digitally edited, reformatted, and printed onto glass. Consideration regarding the constraints of the artwork dimensions for each location was also necessary. Each image was carefully edited from its the visual background information. The design development/abstraction process involved numerous experiments with each chosen species, to determine the scale, composition, repetition, and layering before being re-digitized. During this process it became evident that the black and white version of the samples were the most successful images in communicating an appropriate abstract version of the original images. The achromatic aspect worked most successfully with the FRP canopy colour, the Vanceva coloured glass behind the image, and also in maintaining a connection to the source. It also makes reference to past botanical representations of hand drawn flora. The Greater Brixton Street Wetlands flora list compiled by Janice Marshall in 2000ii formed the basis for the species list. However, this document required re-typing and only contained family, genus, and species names. Common names and aboriginal names have been sourced from other referencesiii. A number of people assisted in the verification process of the new list, including City of Gosnells, Botanical Gardens & Parks Authority, Kings Park, and the Indigenous Unit at DPAW. For the screen artwork, the standard way of representing species will be reversed and the family name will be dropped. Therefore the order will be: aboriginal and/or common name; genus; and then species. It should be noted that some of the species have been renamed since the source document was generated. Where possible, the current names have been substituted for the redundant names. It should also be noted that common and/or aboriginal names are not available for all species. In this case, only the genus and the species names are used.


i Marshall J., The Greater Brixton Street Wetlands Management Guidelines, Natural History and Research, 2000. ii ibid. iii Bennett E., Common and Aboriginal Names of Western Australian Plant Species (Wildflower Society of WA), 1991 and the Flora Data Base, htp://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/search/advanced
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