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Stainless and Sand Go Hand-In-Hand

Stainless and Sand Go Hand-In-Hand

With the use of stainless steel, indigenous artist Kylie Graham’s interest in Whadjuk Noongar customs and culture has helped bring a symbolic sculpture to life at Perth’s recently revitalised Scarborough beach. 

The people of Whadjuk Noongar are the traditional owners of Perth. The Ethereal Welcome Hand sculpture represents a hand casting sand which acknowledges the custodians, the people of Whadjuk and their enduring spiritual connection to the land and sea. 

In respect to Noongar cultural customs, visitors are to throw a handful of sand into the water as an introduction of themselves to the spirits and ancestors. It was only fitting for the 3D sculpture to cast its presence near water and is primarily constructed from grade 316 stainless steel supplied by ASSDA Members Midway Metals and Stirlings Australia

The 6.5m tall sculpture uses 5mm stainless steel plate throughout the entire wire frame hand spanning 4m long. The finish is 2B and all the welds are TIG welded, cleaned and passivated. The four support columns are also fabricated from 316 stainless steel. 

Illustrated in the palm of the stainless steel hand, pouring down to the ground is gold anodised aluminium cladding, with perforations backlit with LED lights which can be programmed for multiple occasions.

At the back of the hand, the design of a dolphin and three fish is laser cut through the stainless steel, to reflect the importance of the relationship between Noongars and mammals.

Stainless steel was chosen as the main sculptural material for its durability, excellent corrosion resistance and aesthetically-pleasing properties. This stunning work-of-art was designed, fabricated and installed by local art consultant Forever Shining.

The Ethereal Welcome Hand is one of six pieces of artwork along the redeveloped foreshore and can be found between the surf club and swimming pool. It has been welcoming the public since March 2018 and will continue to do so for many years to come thanks to the durable life span of stainless steel.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 62 Winter 2018.

Tina Belesis