Art Gallery rooftop project to feature giant Aboriginal artwork

  • Contract for Art Gallery rooftop development awarded to ADCO Constructions
  • Project to feature external lift, rooftop sculpture walk and 500-person social venue
  • Rooftop to feature 34-metre artwork by Noongar artist Christopher Pease
  • Project to support 265 Western Australian jobs and fulfils an election commitment by the McGowan Government 
  • The McGowan Government has today announced the successful contractor tasked with transforming the Art Gallery of WA’s (AGWA) rooftop into a multi-use gallery space and rooftop venue over the next six months. 

    ADCO Constructions has been awarded the contract for the Elevate project, which will support 265 construction jobs.

    Elevate, designed by Perth-based firm TAG Architects and Sydney firm fjmt, will feature:

    • an external lift and skybridge from the Perth Cultural Centre precinct to allow people access to the rooftop afterhours;
    • a 500-person rooftop venue, the largest in Perth, with exceptional views;
    • an open-air rooftop sculpture park featuring works from the State Art Collection;
    • a new internal gallery located on the roof; and
    • conservation labs being re-located from the roof to the basement and given better facilities for the conservation, preservation and preparation of works for the State Art Collection. 

    AGWA has also commissioned for the State Art Collection an eye-catching 34-metre-long artwork, by leading Noongar artist Christopher Pease, which will wrap around one third of the rooftop wall.

    It is anticipated the project will be completed by January 2021.

    The project is part of the Art Gallery’s broader strategic plan led by Director Colin Walker, who was appointed in March this year.

    Other developments for AGWA announced today include:

    • the imminent appointment of an additional Indigenous Associate Curator to focus on Noongar art as part of a new curatorial structure that will also feature a curator of Western Australian art;
    • appointing WA born New-York based artist Ian Strange as Guest Artistic Director;
    • extending the tenure of the current Board Chairman, Janet Holmes à Court, for two years until December 31, 2022; and
    • opening a new ground floor gallery dedicated to contemporary Aboriginal art reflecting its status as one of the most important art movements of our time. 

    As stated by Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

    “The Art Gallery rooftop project will be an outstanding addition to the Art Gallery and the Perth Cultural Centre and will literally change the way we see this part of Perth.

    “Elevate will provide stunning views of the hills, the city skyline and the New Museum, and the combination of rooftop events, artworks and people will add vibrancy to the Perth Cultural Centre precinct.”

    As stated by Treasurer and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:

    “The Elevate project is a fantastic investment in our arts and cultural industries that will activate the Perth Cultural Centre precinct, supporting businesses and jobs.

    “I’m delighted a huge 34-metre-long artwork by leading Noongar artist Christopher Pease will be a centrepiece for this development and for the first time a Noongar curator will be appointed to AGWA.

    “Aboriginal art is not only strikingly beautiful, it is critical to truth telling and provides us insight into the history of our State and the connection of first nations people with these lands.” 

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