Whispering wall sneaks a little closer

Property Council member Gary Giles has seen his ten year dream of an environmental ‘soundscape’ whispering wall in Central Park inch a step closer.

With the full support of the Property Council, Mr Giles has watched the concept, which he first put forward in 1990 when Central Park was being built, survive turbulence on many fronts.

Among these tough times have been the complete reinvention of the Perth City Council and the legal difficulties in releasing funds reserved from savings in plot-ratio requirements.

Recently, the project also gained the support of the City of Perth Art Foundation.

Negotiations for necessary corporate sponsorship is continuing.

Executive Director of the Property Council Mr Joe Lenzo urged potential sponsors to commit to the project.

He said: “The Arts can make an important contribution to the fabric of the city. The extension of art into the everyday is a potent force.

“By gaining popularity, the retail and commercial sectors of the city benefit. A lively, active and vital city is a safe city for both people and property.”

An interior designer for architects Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland, Mr Giles, with the consent of Central Park owners, the Government Employees Superannuation Board, commissioned artist Nola Farman to design the whispering wall into the development.

Original development plans of Central Park were replanned to fit the artwork. The design space has been reserved behind the Qantas offices and faces the centre of the park.

Multiplex built the form of the artwork close to the proposed design to cater for the whispering wall.

Artist Nola Farman said: “The wall is still in a planning stage, and is not a foregone conclusion. It is a visionary project that recreates a soundscape of the lost wetland upon which the city of Perth was built. It will deliver natural sounds that once pervaded the site.

“It was June 1990 when I came up with the whispering wall idea. The park has been designed around an artwork that does not yet exist, but paradoxically has a presence.”

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