The new Yagan Square in Perth, Western Australia is now home to one of the biggest Aboriginal figure Statues in the country. ‘Wirin’, which is 6.1m tall, was recently cast at VEEM as one of the most original & largest artwork casting projects the foundry has ever seen.
The large ductile iron sculpture named “Wirin”, which was designed by “Tjyllyungoo” (aka Lance Chadd) and sculpted working with Stuart Green from Big Spoon Art Service, left VEEM on 23rd January 2018 and was installed at Yagan square two days later prior to the square’s opening.
The intricate manufacturing process, which spanned a number of months at VEEM utilised the in-house alloying facilities and foundry to cast the statue in a unique metal that would oxidise over time to match the surrounding buildings.
The ductile iron metal was chosen by VEEM and the artist to provide the required strength, using patina as well, which was carefully poured using 5 tonnes of liquid metal. The statue, which started off with a silver appearance, has already begun the oxidisation process and transformation into a rustic appearance to match the building facades in Yagan square. It is expected that the patina will continue to develop further in the many years to come.
The casting process at VEEM began with the statue’s mould, requiring 38 pieces of individually made sand blocks shaped around the pattern, which formed the statue’s shape as a cavity that was subsequently filled with metal.
Daniel L from VEEM said the project presented many unique challenges and required artisan skill in the forming of the mould and production of the metal and finishing processes such as grinding. “This was an extremely interesting & challenging project for the entire team at VEEM, and it is rewarding to see the final result become part of the Perth Cultural Landscape for years to come”.
Stuart Green from Big Spoon Art Service was very happy with how the project worked out, commenting “Just up, Brilliant! Well done all to at VEEM”.
On the statue itself designer Tjyllyungoo commented “His powerful presence will offer the public audience an interactive visual, visceral experience of these inseparable, inherent cultural values which represent the ancient Cultural law and reciprocal relationship of nature worshiping. These are the cultural values within cultural Law that our 38 year old Whadjuk Noongar warrior ‘Yagan’ and his father ‘Midgegooroo’ fought so fearlessly to protect during the Swan River Colony in 1833.
Our traditional custodians accumulated cultural knowledge and responsibilities, passed down over thousands of years, on particular specific care for country that in turn, provides and cares for all life. This design signifies our people’s longevity in the spirit of our Culture.”
Yagan Square has since become one of Perth’s most popular community, meeting and celebration places.
For more information on “Wirin’ and Yagan Square, please visit https://www.mra.wa.gov.au/see-and-do/yagan-square/attractions/wirin