Crown Towers artist Jennie Nayton in a circle of surprise

Jennie Nayton. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Jennie Nayton. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

IT never occurred to Perth artist Jennie Nayton that so many people would want to be photographed with her latest artwork, but they do.

If you have visited Crown Towers since it opened in December, chances are you have either photographed, or at least noticed, Reverie of land, line & form gracing the atrium wall by the frangipani tree.

“I’ve been surprised by photos popping up on Facebook,” Nayton said.

“Someone I didn’t know tagged me in while standing in front of my art work; it turned out to be another mum at my kid’s school.”

Like other local artists, Nayton was invited by Crown to produce a work that had local character and referenced the WA landscape.

“When you are commissioned for a work like this you have to consider the space you’re putting it in and the Crown branding,” she said.

“It’s meant to be about sophistication, so they were my starting parameters. I really wanted a work that was quite earthy and pulled you in to this feeling of the desert; the work to me is like a meditation on the landscape.”

Nayton said she was originally invited to submit a proposal for an artwork in the lobby and was beaten by her own fabricator, so she resubmitted her proposal for the thoroughfare.

“I designed it but I outsource my fabrication to other people, so that way my public art is in all different mediums and I just go where my ideas go, rather than having to be an expert in one area,” she said.

“In this case, I designed the artwork and cast the original forms and carved them out of plaster. Then I sent them off to a master mould maker who made the moulds, which then went down to Margaret River to my fabricator, who is a master ceramist and glazer, and he created the work.

“Carving the plaster plugs was quite a challenge because I turned out to have developed an allergy to plaster. I ended up having to wear head-to-foot covering.”

Nayton began her art training at high school and studied photography at Tafe Mt Lawley before sculpture at Claremont School of Art and finally combining the two mediums during her honours year at Curtin University.

“There were elements that I loved about both and then I realised I could cut and fold photographs to create sculptures,” she said.

“That changed things quite a lot for me because I loved the process of photography but I did not like spending hours and hours in the darkroom with the chemicals. That’s why I left photography and started sculpture, and then the digital revolution came.”