Curtin University is currently undergoing significant expansion to become a vibrant, mixed use hub that shifts away from the typical university campus paradigm. The ambition of public art within Exchange, Stage One at Curtin University is to make places that are fertile for creativity, critical thinking, and interaction. Public art within a precinct such as Exchange, Stage One should embody and reflect the intellectual and creative ambitions of that place, creating a tangible and human scale experience. Additionally, the aim of public art within a campus is to enhance the aesthetic of that precinct. A physically attractive, user-friendly and contemplative built environment can benefit those who live, work, visit and study in the area.
Artist Warren Langley’s artwork perfectly delivers on this brief. A series of nodal artworks are proposed which complement the choreography of pedestrian movement through the precinct and enable a conversation with the site to take place as you make this journey. Composed of stainless steel and safety glass, the sculptural forms undergo a unique day to night transition. This transition is caused by the use of a purpose developed two way mirror glass with a laminated, coloured, safety interlayer. By day, the glass surface functions as a reflective mirror creating a continual dialogue between the viewer, the landscape and the built environment, while at night, the glass surface exudes a soft coloured glow allowing the forms to function as beacons or wayfinding elements throughout the site.
The materiality of the artworks, the playful nature of their reflections, the optimism and anticipation provided by the evening glow and their scale (2 to 4mH), humanises these interventions. The forms become active participants in the landscape, embedded in the visual language of their surroundings.