“He was a man all about society. He was a thinker. ‘Other Views’ encourages the rest of us to do as he did…to think and to rethink and to reconsider and go on reconsidering.”
Walter Jack, artist
In 2018, Curtin University commissioned a major sculptural installation for its Perth Campus to honour the contribution and values of its namesake, John Curtin. The University sought an artwork of international significance that could convey the former prime minister’s humanity and vision, and reflect the bold, forward-thinking and inclusive university which has taken his name.
After a competitive selection process, Other Views by the prominent UK artist Walter Jack was chosen. This “straightforward, steadfast, enduring” piece perfectly embodies John Curtin’s call to great universities to “look ever forward”. Its tall, arresting windows gaze across all corners of the campus, inviting viewers to pause and contemplate the possibilities of the future.
Located near the central bus station, the sculpture is positioned to become a major attraction and a superb focal point of Curtin’s new Exchange precinct – an exciting development that will bring industry onto campus and offer exciting recreational, accommodation and retail facilities to the whole community. In this busy urban hub, Other Views will encourage the spirit and ethos of Curtin to be forever celebrated.
Other Views is also an important addition to the Curtin University Art Collection, a significant national collection which includes works by leading Western Australian, Australian and international artists. This sculpture will join the extensive body of public artworks on campus, which began 50 years ago with the commissioning of Communications by Tom Bass.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
“Windows are an opportunity to think, to consider, to look further, to reconsider.”
Walter Jack, artist
The tall brass windows of Other Views invite us to cast our gaze further. Each towers above the viewer, framing the campus in every direction, creating an inviting space in which to gather, to pause, to reflect and to consider other points of view.
Inspiring quotes by John Curtin line five of the 18 windows, reminding us of the calibre of the man. His carved words draw us in, appealing to both our curiosity and intellect, bringing the past to life as we look towards the future. A number of brass plates cut from the windows have been transformed into sturdy sitting benches: one has been incorporated into the installation, with the rest to be installed in other selected Curtin locations.
Cut from naval brass, shot-blasted with glass beads and treated to accelerate surface patination, the artwork is durable and will change in colour slightly over time. It is solid yet transmutable, reflecting the University’s confidence in itself and its ability to stay responsive to its environment.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Walter Jack, an artist based in the United Kingdom, is renowned for large-scale public artworks that inspire thought and play. He is a maker of objects (as well as ideas) and has a particular interest in transformation – forms that change shape in use and over time. Walter’s making processes are attentive to both craft and innovation. His collaborators are architects and landscape architects, engineers, laser-cutters and concreters.
Walter works with local authorities and developers, schools, hospitals and communities, to make places more surprising. He stays hands-on with the making process right through to the finish. It was no different with Other Views; Walter personally surveyed the site and installed the work himself.
Adapted from walterjack.co.uk