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Sculpture concept and design finalised

Posted by Andrea Lewis

The design for the large-scale public sculpture for the town of Paraburdoo has been finalised. (See image to the right).

Concept drawing, 'Resilience', Paraburdoo public sculpture, Alex Mickle in collaboration with the miners of Paraburdoo (Digital Rendering Micheal Kimble)Concept drawing, 'Resilience', Paraburdoo public sculpture, Alex Mickle in collaboration with the miners of Paraburdoo (Digital Rendering Micheal Kimble)

The sculpture will be a site-specific work, referencing the mining industry, the geological history of the area, the immediate surrounding landscape, Indigenous culture and the resilience of regional Western Australian communities.

The work is based on the unique spherical geometrical shape called the torus, which is considered a universally significant form. Found in a multitude of physical phenomena, the torus is also the form of pressure waves produced by an explosion. The shape of the sculpture itself therefore symbolises the blasting processes used in mining and the blast forming techniques used to create the sculpture’s steel plate cladding.

This spherical design for the sculpture also works as a visual device for focusing attention on the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The smooth and simple lines of the sculpture itself function to highlight the ruggedness of the Pilbara. By doing this, the space around the artwork will become equally important to the success of the work as a whole.

The sculpture will be composed of two arches: the upper made from polished hematite – part of the Banded Iron Formation found in the region – while the lower arch will be reinforced steel cladding.

Loader tyre chain, covering the upper arch of the sculpture, will reference mining equipment – its function as ‘protective armour’ of relevance in a community-based project that aims to promote individual and community resilience.

The sculpture – to be titled Resilience – is one-of-a-kind in Australia. Led by sculptor Alex Mickle who is becoming increasingly well known for his bold approach to the creation of large-scale outdoor sculptural works, Resilience is the product of a unique and innovative approach to creating public artwork in Australia.

Community members with a range of skills are needed to help finish the work at the Paraburdoo Men’s Shed. Skills include welding, boiler making, automotive bodywork, aluminium fabrication, stone mastery and general mechanical skills are encouraged to participate.


Comments (1)


I have seen this project grow and develop over the past few months. It's fantastic to see so many residents of Paraburdoo getting involved!

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