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‘Wirin’ Statue – Cast by VEEM and erected in Perth’s Yagan Square

By December 4, 2019VEEM History
  • In early 2018, VEEM cast one of the biggest statues of an Aboriginal figure in the country. 
  • ‘Wirin’, which is 6.1m tall was cast at VEEM in January and installed in Yagan Square in Perth, Western Australia prior to the squares launch in March. 
  • The statue is one of the largest artwork casting projects the foundry has ever seen.

The large ductile iron sculpture “Wirin”, designed by Tjyllyungoo (Lance Chadd) and sculpted with Big Spoon Art Service, left VEEM on the 23rd January 2018 and was installed in Yagan square prior to the square’s opening in early March.

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 and patina and 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 Lenane from VEEM said the project presented many unique challenges and required artisan skill in the forming of the mould, production of the metal and finishing processes such as grinding. “This was an extremely interesting but challenging project for the entire team at VEEM and very rewarding to see the final result become part of the Perth landscape for years to come”. Stuart Green from Big Spoon Art Service was happy with how the project worked out, commenting “Just up, Brilliant! Well done all at VEEM”. 

In the video below, the designer Tjyllyungoo talks about the installation in Yagan Square last year.