Wade Street Monument of Gratitude, Coral Lowry with Vietnamese Community, 2013.Wade Street Monument of Gratitude

Northbridge, Western Australia

  • Client: The Vietnamese Community in Australia (WA Chapter)
  • Stakeholders and partners: City of Vincent
  • Role of Artsource: Art consultants
  • Artist: Coral Lowry
  • Outcome: Monument
  • Artwork budget: $75,000
  • Completion date: July 2013

In late October 2013 a public artwork in a small Northbridge park was unveiled in a moving ceremony; marking one year of planning and fundraising by the Vietnamese community of Western Australia. The artwork is a monument of gratitude and appreciation to the people of Western Australia for accepting and resettling Vietnamese people as they fled Vietnam by boat after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Artist Coral Lowry has worked closely with Dr Nguyen and his committee to design an artwork that reflects the boat people story in a way that blends contemporary aesthetics with identifiably Vietnamese imagery. The elegant stainless steel work rises some five meters into the sky from an inscribed base, culminating with a boat form balanced precariously on a stylised wave. The wave leans to represent the vulnerability and danger faced by many on the open seas.  The Dong Son drum is a traditional bronze drum dating back some 2,000 years and thought to be used in battles and for festivals.  The base of the artwork is based on these traditional bronze drums and inscribed with images of domestic and wild animals and scenes from daily life and festivals.  The alignment of the work on the site is roughly north-south to represent Vietnam to the north and the southward journey to Australia.
Wade Street Monument of Gratitude, Coral Lowry with Vietnamese Community, 2013.