Source: Government of Western Australia
Prolific public artist Tony Pankiw has been appointed to create a new community sculpture for the City of Wanneroo.
The City’s Public Art Panel selected Mr Pankiw to create a contemporary sculpture that pays homage to late artist Bill Jeffrey’s original artwork, ‘Ecstasy’, which was stolen from the Gumblossom Community Centre in Quinns Rock last year.
Unfortunately the bronze-cast sculpture has never been recovered.
In December 2019, the City tendered for an insurance-funded replacement artwork and received five submissions.
Mr Pankiw’s concept design, ‘Ecstasy – a Rebirth’, was deemed a standout for the Gumblossom Community Centre location.
Specialising in site-specific sculptures that incorporate historical, cultural, community and environmental factors, Mr Pankiw has created more than 50 artworks that feature in spaces and places around Western Australia.
He said he wanted to create a sculpture that would stand the test of time.
“I wanted to find an exciting way to use the space that reflects how the community uses it,” Mr Pankiw said.
“The fluid shape of the new artwork mimics the original form of Bill Jeffrey’s diving and swimming woman in recognition of the coastal landscape.
“During the day, the sculpture will cast a shadow in the shape of a person with outstretched arms. In the evening an LED panel will throw light over the sculpture and walls, bringing the artwork into a new reality and age.
“It also has an interactive canopy design, with pathways people can walk through to engage with the different elements up close.”
Mayor Tracey Roberts said the new sculpture would reinvigorate the area around the community centre.
“Bill Jeffrey was a highly regarded member of the Wanneroo community and his cherished artwork is greatly missed, she said.
“’Ecstasy’ was a beautifully crafted sculpture, which took pride of place in the forecourt of the centre.
“While Mr Pankiw’s reimagined piece will have its own distinct identity, it is also a touching tribute to the iconic original artwork and a highly respected artist and member of our community.
“It will restore a sense of place and continuity for the community and visitors alike.”
The cost of ‘Ecstasy – a Rebirth’ will be covered by insurance. Installation of the artwork is expected to be completed in late 2021.