Perth City's public and street art delivers memorable experiences for visitors to the city.
Public art can stimulate thinking, deepen sense of place and transform how we engage with spaces. Within Perth city there are more than 200 public artworks reflecting the city's identity, both past and present. Immerse yourself in our city!
Art City Walking Trail
The Art City Walking Trail includes a selection of public artworks that showcase our evolving CBD and Northbridge. The trail includes the following works and you can download the trail map for more details.
- First Contact (2015): Located at Elizabeth Quay the stunning First Contact sculpture welcomes visitors to Elizabeth Quay from the city and the river. The cast aluminium artwork by renowned Nyoongar artist, Laurel Nannup, represents the arrival of European settler ships to Perth, whom the local Nyoongar people believed to be their past ancestors returning from the sea.
- Koorden (2015): Six dramatic male Indigenous figures rendered in cast bronze stride towards the east across the grass of Wellington Gardens at Kings Square. The bands that form their bodies represent painted ceremonial markings found in historical photographs, reinterpreted by artist Rod Garlett in extensive consultation with local Aboriginal elders.
- Grown Your Own (2011): Grow Your Own, located in Forrest Place, references the emergence of the organic farming movement in the early 20th century and the coincident rise of Modernist sculpture, with the eye-catching contemporary green contrasting directly with the natural stone of the surrounding heritage buildings. This distinctive sculpture encourages Perth’s people to connect to their city and community in a tangible way, fostering a commitment to making their own art and ideas.
- Ascalon (2011): Named after St George's lance of the legend, this commanding white sculpture that stands before St George's Cathedral represents the triumph of good over evil, depicting St George’s cloak billowing around his lance after he has slain the dragon.
- 'The Mob' – Kangaroo's on the Terrace (1997): This public artwork celebrates one of the world's most unique animals: the kangaroo. Captured in full flight, they bound through this highly structured modern urban space, like shadows from an ancient past, flashing across the inner eye; creating a startling visual counterpoint to their surroundings and an instant reminder that these magnificent creatures were migrating for millions of years through this area.
Elizabeth Quay Public Art Walk
You can find a wide range of amazing public art on display at the quay, from statues and mosaics to installations and lighting displays. The art walk includes the following works and you download the map for more details.
- Spanda: Spanda links the river, the land and the sky to welcome visitors to the quay. Suitably, its form creates a feeling of openness and inclusion. Spanda has been designed to be appreciated from all angles, interpreted in many different ways and to interact with the art piece by walking through it.
- Horizontal Geometries: The mosaic colours represent the riverbed, submerged and winding. On the upper levels of the building the river is reflected through the changes of light throughout the year.
- Edge: This giant artwork runs the entire length of the inlet, illuminating the water. EDGE can be programmed to reflect changing weather conditions, creating a
spectacular night time light show.
- Blade Walls: The MRA is working with 12 talented Whadjuk emerging artists to develop their skills and confidence in delivering public art projects for Western Australia. These ephemeral artworks will be updated every 18 months, providing new opportunities for artists to display their work.
- The Black Swan: This mural tells the story of how Western Australia’s native Black Swans came to be. The swans, originally white, were attacked by eagles tearing out all their feathers after the swans visited the eagles lagoon. Crows flew to the rescue covering the swans with their own black feathers, transforming the swans coat to black and their bloodstained bills red forever.
Perth City Murals and Street Art Map
Walking around Perth City, you're bound to stumble across a colourful mural or be captivated by some street art. We have gained international attention in recent years, with works from some of the world's best street artists gracing its buildings and lining laneways. See some of our favourites locations below and check out the City of Perth's Mural and Street Art Map to keep up-to-date with the evolving art scene.
- The Adnate, Perth: One of Perth's newest and more exciting pieces, this mega-mural on Hay Street was completed in August by Melbournian street artist Matt Adnate on the side of Perth's first Art Series hotel, which bears his name and is inspired by street art in its design; furthermore, each of the 250 rooms of the hotel boast prints of the artist's most-recognised works.
- Preston Street, Como: An eye catching portrait of beloved and influential English film director Alfred Hitchcock is painted on the exterior of the Cygnet Cinema in Como. The mural was commissioned by the Cygnet, and painted in 2013 by American street artist Nils Westergard, whose street artworks can be found gorgeously decorating several Australian cities as well as in London, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the US and many more places worldwide.
- Hertz Building, Murray Street: You'll find an eclectic mural next to the Hertz Building on Murray Street, just a few minutes' stroll from Perth train station. This huge mural was painted by the talented Mexican artist Curiot back in 2015 for FORM's #PUBLIC2015 festival; look closely and you'll notice Curiot's very cool reimagining of a koala.