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Emerging themes for the sculptural work

Posted by Alex Mickle

Hi again everyone,

Emerging themes for the sculptural work

In September and October, I met and talked with many employees on site about FIVE Paraburdoo and your ideas for the public sculpture that we are creating. After giving a series of general talks about my plan for developing a sculpture, with Glen Johnson I also began talking to individuals on site, finding out what they do and how they work. Getting to know what actual skill sets are and what mine workers do as part of their jobs has become really important in how the project develops – in fact, it's crucial if we want the sculpture to be a genuine reflection of and contribution by the mining industry.

It was great getting to know more people and finding what you think the sculpture should capture and say about the legacy of mining in the Pilbara. Four main themes came up:

1.  A visual depiction of the energy released in a blast.

2.  The point where nature and industry meet.

3.  The multicultural nature of the workforce.

4.  The global significance of this industry.

These themes will be used to shape and inform the final work.They have also been used to develop a plan for a series of trial blasts, the first of which will occur on site in March 2014 with the remainder happening later in May. I will then be taking the resulting material from these trials and using it to further develop three small-scale sculptures. One of these will be fully developed as a large-scale artwork for Paraburdoo.

It will be at this point, towards the end of June, that we will begin construction of the work. We will be working from the Para Men's Shed's new workshop in town. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far and I look forward to working with everyone in the various stages of this project.

If you have any questions, please contact Glen Johnson, Project Superintendent, Health and Safety at

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