The vision to elevate the Airport and provide a stimulating point of difference for people has led to the commissioning of a range of works by renowned artists. Managing Director, Stephen Byron said “Canberra Airport has set out from the beginning to show that an airport can be so much more than simply a piece of national transport infrastructure. Our program of commissioned public art is an important part of that approach”. There are currently fourteen pieces across the terminal and Brindabella Business Park – with more to come. For a self-guided tour, please download the cityart app here, otherwise there is information on the various sculptures at the terminal here:
Willinga Plume by Virginia King
A tail feather from the Lyre bird, a bird unique to Australia was the inspiration for the sculpture. Conceived to celebrate this iconic bird, the sculpture also alludes to flight and travel.
The stainless steel feather inclines toward the terminal foyer, reflecting sunlight and sky and is itself reflected in the glass facades. At night the illuminated red glass wall within the foyer transforms the feather into a regal plume.
Over ten metres in height, the complex structure supporting the paired barbs of the feather appear to filibrate, creating an ambiguous illusion of reflection and reality.
Like the Lyre bird mimicking sound, “Willinga Plume” is mimicked and reflected in the surrounding facades of the building.
Roos by Jeff Thomson
“Roos” was commissioned by Canberra Airport as part of our commitment to public art and is the 14th major sculpture in the airport precinct. The sculpture consists of two males and a female with a little joey tucked away and is located adjacent to the main runway at the north of the airfield.
Canberra Airport commissioned the work from New Zealand artist Jeff Thomson after seeing a picture of a previous kangaroo sculpture by the artist. Uncannily lifelike from a distance, at three metres high the sculptures are much larger than real eastern grey kangaroos. But the simple forms belie the thousands of hours work Thomson spent in preparation and creating them.
Crafted from recycled corrugated iron, up to 15 tones of grey have been used to add texture and get the look just right. The pieces of iron were moulded around a base armature and riveted into place. The lack of welding means the sculpture will not rust.
Introspection by Ante Dabro
“Introspection”, a life-size bronze sculpture of two women sitting, is the creation of Canberra Airport’s sculptor-in-residence and world-renowned figurative sculptor, Ante Dabro. Ante now has a total of five pieces in the Airport and adjacent Brindabella Business Park.
“When I was asked to create a work for the departure lounge, immediately I knew it had to be of the right scale to blend in with the people passing through, waiting for planes, and to be very much part of the life going on around them,” Dabro said.
“I thought about how they would sit, how people would relate to them, sit near them, touch them, and how the passengers would respond to that interaction.”
You will find “Introspection” in the departure lounge adjacent to Gate 10.
Perception and Reality by Andrew Rogers
This is Australia’s largest cast figurative bronze sculpture at 7.5 metres and weighing 3.8 tons and was created by Australian sculptor Andrew Rogers. Andrew exhibits internationally and his critically acclaimed sculptures and photographs are in numerous private and prominent public collections across the world. He receives many international commissions and has created ‘Rhythms of Life’, the largest contemporary land art undertaking in the world, forming a chain of 48 massive stone structures, or Geoglyphs, spanning the globe. The project has involved over 6,700 people in 13 countries across seven continents.
“By 1993 Rogers was definitely developing a personal style as can be seen evolving in Reaching Away where the female figure is depicted in a continuation of his earlier realist/impressionist style of modelling, yet the base has been pierced and changed to a lattice of intersecting ribbons. Then, when this intricate piercing and cutting up of the form was applied to the figure itself, as in Perception and Reality, the change was of some significance. The figure no longer evoked memories of Rodin but came closer to aspects of Surrealism and the art of Salvador Dali.” – Ken Scarlett, Author and Art Critic
“Like Rodin, Andrew Rogers places particular emphasis on the gestural language of his figures and in particular on the expressive attitude of the hands of his subjects. It has been said that Rodin was ‘the sculptor of hands, of furious, clenched, angry and damned hands’. In the sculpture of Andrew Rogers, these hands are not so much ‘furious’, ‘angered’ and ‘damned’ as fervent, imploring and declarative.” - Geoffrey Edwards, Senior Curator, National Gallery of Victoria, Director Art Gallery of Geelong.
Unfurling by Andrew Rogers
The 7.5m high bronze sculpture, is part of the series ‘I am’ by sculptor Andrew Rogers. Andrew Rogers is a sculptor whose works may be found in many plazas and buildings around the world. He is a leading contemporary artist.
“With this series of works, I have tried to capture a reflection of life in the urban environment, an exploration of a state of mind. We are all individuals possessing the sanctity of a singular life and the ability to express ourselves. At the same time we are part of the society within which we live”, said Andrew Rogers.
Unnamed by Phil Price
The name for this kinetic piece is yet to be officially unveiled.
New Zealand artist Phil Price sculptures have a reputation for unique and innovative use of contemporary materials and processes. Since 2005 Price has focused on his sculpture practice, working principally on large scale works for the outdoor environment. Phil Price’s name is synonymous with large scale, wind-activated kinetic sculpture.
Phil Price’s sculpture graces the entrance to the Canberra airport, lending the gateway a sci-fi feel. Unlike his other sculptural works, this sculpture takes its starting point as something more organic. It’s got 22 moving joints, and so each part only has to move a small amount and you get the overall sense of a thing that’s just flowing.
For information on other sculptures around the business parks, please click here.