The underside of the bridge to The University of Western Australia’s Reid Library has been transformed from dull grey to an array of vibrant colours in an artwork representing the six Noongar seasons.
Noongar artist and former UWA student Jade Dolman, who works under the name J.D. Penangke, spent the past fortnight painting the bridge and enjoyed watching students and staff looking up as they walked underneath.
“Since about day three I noticed a lot of people were stopping and having a look at what I was doing and following all the lines, it was pretty exciting to see it was capturing people’s attention,” Ms Dolman said.
“I wanted something that was really vibrant and bright and something that people would notice as they came through. Sometimes I forget how ugly it looked before and then I look at my photos and I’m like ‘wow that’s a huge difference’.”
The artwork, which was supported by UWA’s School of Design and funded by the bequest of Arthur (Jack) Walters, represents the seasons Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang as well as the process of learning.
“So each season is related to a different time of year — whether it is the season of birth or the season of adulthood or season of young — and I have related that to how we gain knowledge and how we go on to share it,” Ms Dolman said.
Ms Dolman, who graduated from UWA in 2017 after studying Fine Arts and Indigenous Knowledge, History and Heritage, consults her family and elders before working on a design and choosing colours.
Her career painting murals has taken off with her artwork on show around Perth including two new murals at the Perth Airport as part of the Metronet expansion.
“I just love adding a bit of colour to areas all over Perth,” she said.