Convergence: connection and transit in Kings Square

50 life-size bright yellow figures respond to themes of Connection and Transit in April Pine’s Convergence, bringing colour, amusement and interaction to Wellington Street and within Kings Square.

Winning the commission through a competition process in the State Government’s $1.8 million Percent for Art Scheme, April Pine expertly answered a brief that called for a temporary artwork that was about connection and movement.

“In total, across six different characters there were 50 figures walking along Wellington Street and permeating the laneways,” says April, a Graduate of Architecture at HASSELL. “They were positioned in such a way that in their journey towards Northbridge they reacted to the new city site, stopping to lean in, reflect and consider the permanent art and architecture along the way.”

What inspired your artwork for Kings Square?
The work was in response to the misalignment between the Perth and Northbridge grids that were a result of how the city developed around the wetlands; now known as “Perth’s lost lakes”. Although 3-dimensional in nature each figure was made up of flat vertical and horizontal sheets, intersected to mimic the connection of these two distinct city grids that are now connected. Although unintentional, the figures had quite different personalities, some more quiet and introverted than others who were much more bold and confident. It’s been interesting to see people favouring some over others.

What has been the feedback from members of the public so far?
A lot of curiosity and intrigue about why and what the work is about. It’s been really satisfying to hear comments about how fresh that Perth is doing something like this. The Kings Square precinct has invested more than $1.8 million into the arts throughout that area so it’s been an incredible opportunity to be included in a body of works that represents such acclaimed artists.

How do you feel your career in architecture influenced your works?
The disciplines borrow from each other. As a student of architecture my work was always quite conceptual and very much rooted in the idea and narrative. I figured there would be plenty of time for budget, structure and codes later, university was a time for ideas. Since then working for design studio HASSELL has allowed me to develop as a designer, working with some incredibly talented creatives across a global field from all kinds of design backgrounds. So I borrow from a range of different disciplines depending on the nature of the site for an artwork. Also, when you work every day in a design role you reach your 10,000 hours pretty quickly.

Have you previously undertaken works of this scale before?
I’ve been working on sculptures for the past 3 years, mostly interior and small object based. Some of which are of a larger budget, complexity and weight so to speak. However this is my first ‘city piece’. Despite the works human scale proportions, the spread across a city precinct makes it the largest scale work I’ve created to date, embracing a site area of over 6000m2. I did some work on a master plan a few years ago, designing a new city in South East Asia….that project soon changed my perspective on scale. It’s interesting how the design approach doesn’t differ too much, once you overcome the initial fear.

What can we expect from you in the coming year?
There has been a lot of interest in the latest work Convergence and how the work could evolve to different cities and different settings, reacting and engaging with the city’s individual character. There’s also some pretty exciting installations in the works for Perth locally that I would love to talk about…. but of course that would ruin the surprise.

 

April Pine
aprilpine.com 

Photography: Douglas Mark Black