Perth: Forrest Place dolphin sculptures make a splash for mental health

Dolphin sculptures in Forrest Place are raising awareness of mental health. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Dolphin sculptures in Forrest Place are raising awareness of mental health. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

ARTIST Paul Drok and six helpers spent countless hours painstakingly creating the intricate design for the dolphin sculpture on display in Forrest Place.

Known as Connections, the highly visible artwork is one of 36 dolphins placed throughout Perth for The Big Splash, an interactive display to raise awareness of mental health.

Drok, from Nedlands, said Connections grew from a tactile art project at a deaf/blind camp held at Woodman Point in 2016.

His daughter Kimberley (29), who is profoundly deaf with impaired vision, also helped contribute to the design.

“Many of the deaf/blind camp’s participants put together hexagonal, diamond and triangular-shaped wooden blocks and produced a range of tactile, figurative and abstract designs,” he said.

“Kimberley also designed and insisted her companion dog Violet, for design purposes now a Sea Dog, be included in the dolphin design.

“Fish, animals, stars, plants and shapes were either drawn on heavy lined hexagonal graph paper, or made up with wooden blocks for the dolphin design.”

Many businesses, including Community News, provided sponsorship to help bring the sculptures to the streets and walkways of Perth.

Drok said he spent 25 hours drawing the design onto the sculpture.

“Many more hours went into it; we had four weeks to deliver,” he said.

“I don’t know really know what my co-designers received from this project, but I do know by being inclusive we all win.”

DID YOU KNOW?

There’s a map available to help you discover all 36 dolphins. Go to  http://www.thebigsplashwa.com.au/the-trail/

After the event, each dolphin sculpture will be auctioned with proceeds going to support the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.