I'm a freelance writer living in Perth. Having 2 young kids with endless energy, we are always on the lookout for new outdoor activities.
Published November 18th 2012
Come and play at the interactive fountain
If you remember back in 2010, one of the public art displayed during Perth International Arts Festival was an interactive fountain titled "Appearing Rooms." It was installed at the Perth Cultural Centre, and kids of all ages (up to 90 years old, I'm guessing) enjoyed playing with it, finding themselves inside or outside the "rooms" which disappear as quickly as they emerge.
Appearing Rooms in Perth Cultural Centre
[ADVERT]Well, I am happy to report that we now have a similar installation permanently. When Perth turned on its Christmas lights on 16 November 2012 to mark the start of the Festival of Christmas, we were also presented with "Water Labyrinth," a newly completed, interactive water sculpture at Forrest Place, Perth. It is part of a "new look" Forrest Place, with new seating and alfresco areas, new lighting, nine semi-mature Chinese Elms and removable umbrellas in the sunken area to provide much needed shade, and new granite paving throughout.
Water Labyrinth with Perth GPO in the background
Appearing Rooms in London (Image courtesy of wikipedia)
Both "Appearing Rooms" and "Water Labyrinth" were designed by Jeppe Hein, who also designed water sculptures in various other locations around the world such as England, Germany, France, Netherlands, and Danish Pavilion in Shanghai World Expo. He is an artist who is known for his production of experiential and interactive artworks, using various mediums such as water, mirror, smoke, and even fire.
Ms. Scaffidi with artist Jeppe Hein (Image courtesy City of Perth's website)
Water Labyrinth" uses storm water harvested and recycled from Forrest Place as the source for jets of water shooting into the air to create nine "rooms." Perfect for hot summer days and warm evenings, everyone can enjoy the beauty and surprise of this fountain. You can be an observer or walk within the random rise and fall of the "walls" as one moment they contain you, and the next let you go free. As Perth's Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi put it, "Youngsters and adults alike can walk through the rooms, dodge the water, or have a refreshing spray if they so choose."
If you have children with you, a towel in the bag would be handy as they would not be able to resist walking through the walls of water.