Artist turns to nature and architecture for Westfield Carousel’s new sculpture

Sculptor Johannes Pannekoek (Kalamunda). Picture: Martin Kennealey
Sculptor Johannes Pannekoek (Kalamunda). Picture: Martin Kennealey

JOHANNES Pannekoek did not have to look far for inspiration when designing Carousel shopping centre’s newest sculpture.

Upon being told he was in charge of the project, the artist searched for local inspiration to add a community feel to the artpiece.

The nearby Canning River served as the perfect creative fuel for Pannekoek, as did the redeveloped shopping centre’s architecture.

“I tried to make a piece which is both iconic individually but also drawing on the local themes around the place,” he said.

“I took a walk through the Canning River Regional Park; it’s a beautiful little river and it’s less than 500m from the Carousel entrance.

“I was drawn to architectural themes inherent in this redevelopment: the curved organic profile of the new facade and the round cornered triangular shape within the negative space on the plan view, which loosely represents the human figure in an overhead crossed arm pose.”

Having previously designed artworks that are on the banks of Sydney Harbour, Pannekoek said his latest sculpture marked the first time he had worked with full-closed curves.

“We had a number of elements which were all closed curves, so if I strayed from my markings and my radius, it wouldn’t go together in the end, so it was really quite challenging to get these close curves together,” he said.

“I do everything myself. We’re talking about 1.5 tonnes of material which I have to roll, cut, fabricate and do it all myself with a team of guys on my own property.”

The Gooseberry Hill artist said weathering and stainless steels in the sculpture should ensure it did not wither with age.

“As the weathering steel ages with the effect of the rain and elements, rivers or veins of a lighter colour will flow over each of the curvaceous elements, forming an interesting patina in all directions,” he said.

“It is expected that over time the steel surface will darken as it creates its own natural protective coating, while the stainless steel will also take on rivers of carbon colourisation.”