Collaborators : Jahne Rees, Sharyn Egan (SCAPE-ISM) (Artists); Mateenbar (GFRP suppliers); Rottnest Island Authority
Completed : November 2021
Engineers Australia People and Projects Awards 2022
WA Finalist Best Project
Concrete Institute of Australia (WA) Excellence Awards 2023
Technology and Innovation Award
Airey Taylor Consulting provided Structural Engineering design for this striking piece of public art was launched by David Templeman MLA, Minister for Tourism; Culture and the Arts and Heritage on 9 December 2021. The project was made possible by funding of both State and Commonwealth Governments.
The 9 metre high sculpture was designed by Western Australian artists Sharyn Egan and Jahne Rees with significant input from the Whadjuk Noongar community. In their explanatory speech about the significance and intent of the piece, Jahne and Sharyn thanked Airey Taylor Consulting for the Structural Engineering and durability innovations that will help the sculpture last for generations.
“Koora-Yeye-Boordawan-Kalyakoorl” translates to “Past-Present-Future-Forever.”
The striking entry statement welcomes and educates visitors to the Island to the heritage of Wadjemup; communicating both the traditional spiritual journey of the afterlife from the West End of the Island, and the historic use of the Island as a prison for Aboriginal males.
The design achieved extraordinary longevity by replacing steel reinforcement in the concrete structure with glass fibre reinforced polymer rods; ensuring that the “shield” structure will never suffer from “concrete cancer” despite the corrosive and saline oceanside environment. This measure enabled the use of the artist’s intended sandblasted and narrow polished limestone concrete of 25MPa compressive strength with 30mm of cover, rather than the minimum 40MPa standard concrete with 45mm of cover required to protect steel reinforcement in AS3600.
The whale/bars and spear are made from hand wrought aluminium; with all materials selected resulting in a structure that will endure for generations of visitors to the Island. The foundation has tiles reflecting the constellation of the Emu in the sky overhead, that was known to all local indigenous people.
The stresses of rotation, handling and movement along the length of the span were significant; and the selection of extended temporary post-tensioning to protect the “shield” from cracking during fabrication, transit and installation contributed to the ultimate success of the structure. The embedment of the sculpture in concrete cast flush with the ground (also using GFRP as reinforcement for enhanced durability) creates a free-standing monument with no visible lateral restraint.
Our entrance to the Engineers Australia’s People and Projects Awards 2022 resulted in shortlisting as a Finalist for Best Project (WA) – and the nomination of the project goes into extensive detail on the unique and collaborative nature of this significant monument for our State.