Date published: 5/02/2016

In November 2015, Ronald McDonald Charities unveiled an outstanding collection of sculptural installations, murals and two-dimensional art works commissioned for the new Ronald McDonald House in Nedlands. Designed by Gerry Kho architects, the building with its welcoming façade, indoor-outdoor gardens, communal spaces and central light well, carefully considers the psychological and emotional requirements of the families and their children. As you enter the house you are immediately struck by these features, particularly the use of natural light to create a calm, soothing environment for all.

For the team at Ronald McDonald House it was important to create a safe, comforting atmosphere for all who visit. The sculpture Welcome to Country – ‘Noongar Boodja’ by Sharyn Egan, Norma MacDonald and Les MacDonald acknowledges past and present elders and shows respect and recognition of the first peoples of Noongar country. Situated in the front courtyard, the artwork warmly welcomes guests into the house.
Depicted on the three panels is a series of images celebrating the various stages of life and acknowledging the people, land and waters of the area surrounding the hospital.  Painted in a style reminiscent of the painters of Carrolup reserve in the Great Southern, this simple design is layered with meaning, piquing the interest of visitors as they seek to follow and understand the stories.

Beautifully positioned at the heart of the building is the wondrous kinetic sculpture Imaginarium. Created by Tony Jones, Angela McHarrie and Ben Jones, the artwork takes the form of a large mobile suspended within a tapered cylindrical glass light well. Spanning the diameter of the void and extending vertically over a distance of approximately six metres, the work is primarily visible on the second and third floors but also offers the viewer a 'kaleidoscope' perspective when seen from below. The glazed cylindrical form has visual links with aquaria and kaleidoscopes, objects that provoke the imagination and are sources of enduring fascination for both children and adults.

Comprised of a variety of transparent, coloured shapes moving in space, the work makes reference to the mobiles of Alexander Calder, Robert Klippel’s sculptures and the abstract works of Joan Miro and Wassily Kandinsky.  Whilst developing this work the artists ran a workshop with the children at Ronald McDonald House, with their drawings informing many of the forms which comprise the mobile. The subtle movement created by ambient airflow ensures the work is an ever-changing composition of light and colour, contributing to a mood that is both contemplative and uplifting.  

Tony Jones, Angela McHarrie and Ben Jones all maintain strong individual art practices through exhibitions and projects.  Over the past six years they have completed a significant number of public art projects, including major works for Fiona Stanley Hospital, Mundaring Weir, the Alluvion Building, schools and residential developments. As a team they have created a personal interpretation of the site, informed by their visual observations of children and play. The ensuing design combined with the use of contemporary lightweight materials, digital technology and energy efficient lighting has resulted in a uniquely special work for an extraordinary organisation and setting.

For Ronald McDonald House, ‘The Imaginarium is the core of our new house.  The creativity of the kids in the house has been magically captured and represented by Tony Jones and his team through the mobile artwork.  It is a real centre piece that attracts everyone to it and we are very proud to have it within Ronald McDonald House.   

Project details:

  • Title: Imaginarium

  • Artist: Tony Jones, Angela McHarrie and Ben Jones

  • Project Location: Ronald McDonald House, QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands

  • Art Consultant: Artsource

  • Architects: Gerry Kho Architects

  • Year completed: 2015

Project details:

  • Title: Welcome to Country – ‘Noongar Boodja’

  • Artist: Sharyn Egan, Normal MacDonald and Les MacDonald

  • Project Location: Entry Courtyard, Ronald McDonald House, QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands

  • Art Consultant: Artsource

  • Architects: Gerry Kho Architects

  • Year completed: 2015

Imaginarium and Welcome to Country – ‘Noongar Boodja’ were commissioned by Ronald McDonald House Charities and proudly supported by BHP Billiton.

Artsource would also like to acknowledge the following artists for their contributions to Ronald McDonald House:

Hayley Welsh, Together is a beautiful place to be
Liam Dee, Togetherness
Darren Hutchens, Take A Look Around

Other works
Tug of War (Jessica Sipes and Daniel Aleksandrow), Fairground Fun and Circus Time
Renee Barton, Our shared place
Claire Bailey and Sarah Elson, Fairy Garden
Danka Scholtz von Lorenz, Enchanted Forest
Ingrid Cumming, Coolamon

Two-dimensional works
Alan Jangala Griffiths, Alister Yiap, Amanda Humphries, Amy Ngurnta Nuggett, Anastasija Komarnyckyj, Andrew Frazer, Andy Quilty, Annie Hsiao-Wen Wang, Audrey Tulimero Welch, Ben Reynolds, Benjamin Kovacsy, Catherine Gordon, David Spencer, Denise Pepper, Dragica Milunovic, Eva Fernandez, Eveline Kotai, Francesca Gnagnarella, George Haynes, Giles Hohnen, Ian De Souza, Jana Wallace Braddock, Jane Martin, Jeremy Goodchild, Jeremy Kirwan-Ward, Jo Darvall, Jodie Davidson, Jukuja Dolly Snell, Kathy Allam, Laura Williams, Lesley Meaney, Lisa Uhl, Mary Dudin, Michael Doherty, Naomi Grant, Ngamaru Bidu, Nyilpirr Ngalyaku Spider Snell, Pam Langdon, Penny Bovell, Peter Farmer, Phyllis Ningarmara, Renee Barton, Sarah Toohey, Selena Brown, Sioux Tempestt, Stephen Genovese, Sue Codee, Susan Flavell, Theo Koning, Thomas Hoareau, Trevor Richards, Trevor Vickers, Vania Lawson and Yolande Bennett.


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