Stephen BevisDecember 16, 2015, 5:00 am
Laurel Nannup’s giant bird in a boat is the latest artwork to be installed at Elizabeth Quay.
First Contact is inspired by the Noongar people’s first visions of European settlers, whose distant sailing ships looking like floating birds bearing the white-faced spirits of their ancestors.
The final piece of Elizabeth Quay’s $4 million public-art puzzle, Christian de Vietri's 29m-tall Spanda, which has been nicknamed the Big Paperclip, will be completed early next month before the $440 million waterfront precinct opens.
Nannup, 72, a respected Noongar artist, usually creates woodcut prints and etchings which depict scenes of her childhood as a member of the Stolen Generation.
For the 5m tall First Contact, she worked with arts organisation Form to bring the polished aluminium sculpture to life at William’s Landing on the south-west corner of Elizabeth Quay.
She visited the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority site yesterday as the final touches were put on the $850,000 artwork, which will be spectacularly lit at night.