Curtin University is currently undergoing significant expansion to become a vibrant, mixed use hub that shifts away from the typical university campus paradigm. The new School of Design and the Built Environment (B418) is part of this planned change. The B418 Artwork will become an integral part of the new School of Design and the Built Environment building, characterising the essence of the place and the pedagogy of the building.
Artist Janet Laurence’s work presents of the matter of nature in various forms. Western Australia is the great zone of geology: a vast range of rocks, minerals, gemstones, and crystals that form the earth through processes and formations throughout eons of time. Within the architectural materiality of the building, where all materials conform to their function, Janet’s artwork speaks as pure matter – to present the WA landscape as matter of the earth.
CLIFF brings you the earth, not as a representation, but as a presentation of earth itself, in the form of hanging stones, each with it’s geological story – of time, weather, movement and formation.
If the building is a wunderkammer (a cabinet of curiosity), these hanging stones can be seen as exhibits, like presentations within a natural history museum, creating also a mapping of landscape offering a non-didactic educative experience, a surprising and fresh way to see these rocks removed from their normal systems of storage, or exhibition mode. The sculptural wooden staircase in the centre creates viewing points to focus closely on the variation of the stones, each a beautiful object.