Fremantle artist reflects on work at City of Melville’s Piney Lakes Sensory Play Park following major award

Fremantle artist Jenny Dawson sits among the artwork at the Piney Lakes Sensory Play Park. Picture: Will Russell
Fremantle artist Jenny Dawson sits among the artwork at the Piney Lakes Sensory Play Park. Picture: Will Russell

JENNY Dawson wanted her artwork at the Piney Lakes Sensory Play Park to be tactile so children could relate to it.

The City of Melville’s project received the Playspace Award for a development worth more than $500,000 at the 2018 Parks and Leisure WA Awards of Excellence, which was held on June 21.

The revitalised park was opened in 2017 and attracts diverse users to a space where people living with disability can actively play and interact alongside their family, friends and community.

The Fremantle artist said children were an important part of the process of creating the artwork, which is made up of colourful tiles.

“I’ve got 52 public artworks, which were all created at the J Shed in Fremantle,” she said.

“One third of those projects were created with children because I used to be a teacher before going back to university.

“They are so spontaneous and they are able to express themselves.”

Ms Dawson said workshops were held with children from Corpus Christi College and Yidarra Primary School as well as Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts (DADAA).

“There were about 15 workshops in all and participants helped with the designs,” she said.

“We used bright colours and I wanted to be tactile so kids would touch it, it’s also at a height that is better for them.

“It’s meant to invite interaction from children and not be a heavy, intellectual work.

Ms Dawson said she was excited about the award because it was a community project.

“The City of Melville and their art officers went the extra mile and it feels special to be acknowledged,” she said..