Date published: 23/02/2017
2016 witnessed Artsource’s involvement in one of the year’s largest public art events, the CowParade PERTH. Presented by the City of Perth and the Perth Public Art Foundation, this internationally renowned event transformed the streets, malls, parks, buildings and precincts of Perth City.
CowParade began in Chicago in 1999 and has grown to become one of the largest and most successful temporary public art events in the world. The blank cow sculptures remain the same from city to city. However, in each city local artists transform the cow sculptures into unique works. To date over 250 million people have experience CowParade, with over $30 million dollars raised worldwide for charitable organisations.
In 2016 Perth joined major cities across the globe including New York, Paris and Tokyo to host CowParade PERTH where 40 sculptural cows were crafted, sculpted, painted and transformed into distinct artworks by West Australian visual artists and designers. Activated across the Perth CBD in a unique six-week public engagement event from 31 October to 11 December 2016, the event drove unprecedented numbers of visitors to the city, whilst online audiences nationally and internationally witnessed this vibrant spectacle from afar.
Aimed at showcasing the depth and diversity of West Australian visual arts practice, CowParade PERTH saw the city transformed into a live art arena. From Indigenous storytelling, percussive instruments, to works that reference WA’s history and contemporary culture, CowParade PERTH offered an exclusive forum reflecting current West Australian arts practices.
The sculptures were installed at iconic sites across Perth, including galleries, the cultural precincts, public parks, business and shopping districts. Alongside these public artworks, a number of community events took place including artist run workshops at Forrest Place, Cathedral Square, and Northbridge Piazza.
Beyond the display of life-size cow sculptures, CowParade was established on a commitment to building partnerships between the creative and philanthropic sectors. As a part of this philosophy a key partnership with Telethon was established for CowParade PERTH, with a number of cows auctioned as a part of the 2016 Lexus Ball. Along with contributions from a range of sponsors CowParade PERTH saw over $120,000 raised to support much needed child health research initiatives through Telethon.
Following the conclusion of CowParade PERTH, each of the cows have been gifted to a range of Telethon beneficiaries including; the Perth Children’s Hospital, RedKite, Ngala, Parkerville Child and Youth Care, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Telethon Adventurers, Camp Quality, Youth Focus, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Inclusion WA and Foodbank. Cows have also been acquired by the City of Perth, Perth Airport, Pardoo Station in the Pilbara and Wanneroo Primary School.
The continuing success of initiatives such as CowParade worldwide is a testament to the key role public art can play in not only enhancing and activating spaces but in driving partnerships between the arts, philanthropic and private sectors.
CowParade artists included:
Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Alister Yiap, Amy Perejuan-Capone, Audrey Fernandes-Satar & Mahomad Arif Satar, Benjamin Kontoolas, Clare McFarlane, Elizabeth Marruffo, Gregory Pryor, Helen Smith, Ian de Souza, Jana Braddock, Jean & June Pastore, Kerrie Argent, Lance Chadd (Tjyllyungoo), Lawry Halden, Leanne Bray, Lexalot Dade Randolph, Liam Dee, Lisa Dymond, Marcia Espinosa, Mel McVee, Minaxi May, Olga Cironis, Pascal Proteau, Paul Caporn & Peter Ellis, Penny Coss, Peter Farmer, Philip Gamblen, Renae Coles, Rod Garlett, Sally Stewart, and Stuart McMillan.