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Curtin unveils new sculpture to honour former Prime Minister John Curtin

Media release

A new sculpture commemorating Australia’s war time Prime Minister John Curtin has been installed at Curtin University’s Perth Campus.

Walter Jack
Walter Jack

The artwork was designed and built by acclaimed British sculptor Walter Jack. Other Views is an assembly of 18 three and a half metre tall blades cut from plates of solid brass, which act as a series of windows and feature five key statements made by John Curtin.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the new sculpture would be a major attraction on campus, as well as a magnificent focal point at the heart of the Exchange precinct.

“Exchange will see the University’s Perth Campus grow to become a major urban node of activity. People who visit the Campus by public transport will walk right through the middle of Walter’s artwork and will get a sense of the University’s history and values in a physical form,” Professor Terry said.

“The artwork reflects the humanity and vision of John Curtin and is an important reminder, not only of his legacy, but of what we strive for as a University, both now and into the future.”

Commissioned artist Walter Jack said he was honoured to design this important artwork to reflect the contribution of John Curtin.

“Being selected to design a piece of work commemorating a national leader is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Mr Jack said.

“He was a man all about society, a revolutionary socialist and a ‘thinker’. I wanted to create a work which honoured that and which also reflects what Curtin stands for as a University.”

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.

The artwork was a significant commission for the University, designed to honour the contribution and values of its namesake, John Curtin. It will be an important addition to the Curtin University Art Collection, a comprehensive collection of works by leading Australian and international artists.

Walter Jack was commissioned to create the piece after an extensive international expression of interest process.

Further information on the John Curtin Gallery can be found online here.

A video about this artwork can be found online here.