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  • Writer's pictureOut and About

UWA Art and Architecture

One day we just went for a wander through the UWA campus in Crawley and discovered lots of public art, beautiful buildings, tranquil gardens and some quirky trees.

We started our walk at the Law building and discovered Hours to Sunset and Sculpture Garden.

Based on designs by Shaun Tan the Hours to Sunset Mural/Sundial and the Sculpture Garden below complement each other. The mural casts the sun as an all-seeing bird, with luminous representations of the sky and heavenly bodies recalling the medieval Book of Hours. This digitised mosaic image uses premium glass mosaic tiles to translate the beautiful Shaun Tan painting into a mosaic masterpiece made with mathematical accuracy. A sundial indicates time by measuring the angle of the sun in the sky. Normally we measure time relative to midday but this sundial is different, as it measures time relative to sunset and indicates how many hours of daylight remain in the day. The sundial is mounted vertically on a west facing wall. A gnomon, projecting horizontally from the top centre point of the sundial, casts a shadow on the wall. During the afternoon the tip of the gnomon’s shadow will move from the bottom of the wall up to the top until, at sunset, it is level with the gnomon. The left-hand curve of the sundial’s markings plots the path of the Sun’s shadow during the summer solstice, the middle line is the path during the equinox, and the curve on the right shows its path at the winter solstice. The hour lines are angled to account for the different length of day between summer and winter. Beneath the sundial is a sculpture garden with a cluster of mosaiced shapes. It is truly fascinating to delve deeper into this beautiful artwork.

Patricia Crawford Court, nestled in the midst of the Arts building is home to the UWA peacocks.

Winthrop Hall, built in 1932 faces Stirling Highway and is the face of UWA Crawley. It's magnificent architecture is reflected in surrounding buildings and lends a sense of history and timelessness to the campus.

The lush Sunken Garden with it's sundial.

Homo Fallible is outside the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.

The Tropical Grove garden has a memorial to UWA gardener George Munns.

Cameos of Priestley, Dalton, Boyle and Faraday adorn the Geography building and the Physics building is easily identified as well.

In 1913 UWA was established in the Irwin Street Building located in Irwin Street in Perth. The building was later relocated to the new campus and fully restored.

There are some magnificent mature trees in the gardens and some of them are quite quirky. Can you see the long nosed bandicoot? and the dinosaur eating a tree? And yes a third sundial - no excuse to be late around here!

Wherever you walk there is lots to discover!

Next time you find yourself in this area, perhaps taking in an outdoor movie at UWA Somerville, attending Perth Festival events or enjoying a family picnic on the river at Matilda Bay, take some time to have a wander through the University grounds. The heritage listed gardens are a perfect place to find some shade on a hot day. There are public toilets and there is a cafe at Matilda Bay. Parking within the campus is restricted and fees apply to external car parks where parking is often at a premium. The best time to visit is during university breaks and double check there are no major events at the various venues within UWA.

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In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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