all projects Narrogin: Jakub Szczesny & Kaja Pawelek

Project Title:
Narrogin Banksia Tower

Jakub Szczesny & Kaja Pawelek


Community Arts Network WA, Arts Narrogin & C.Y. O'Connor Institute of TAFE

Residency Dates:
15 March-14 April 2011, 3-30 October 2011

Exhibition Dates:
28 October 2011 (Mackie Park, Narrogin)

Conceived by Polish architect and artist, Jakub Szcze ̨sny, and curator, Kaja Pawelek, Banksia Tower is a proposal for a major public artwork for the town of Narrogin at the now largely abandoned railway yards. Once the heart of Narrogin (employing some 600 people), and still a central site, the artists identified the old railway yards as a significant location for the tower; a place for people to come together and engage in a creative revitalisation initiative.

Inspired by Australia's native Banksia flower, the 18-metre viewing tower is conceived as an interactive and functional artwork with an exterior of brush-like clumps of polyester 'hair' that move in response to passing cars and visitors. A model of the tower, animations and a prototype that demonstrated the tower's responsive skin were publicly presented to the township and form the basis of a proposal to the Shire of Narrogin to undertake the realisation of this public artwork.

The project, including community involvement and response, was documented by Polish artist and filmmaker, Matylda Salajewska, for Europe's Canal television channel, and sampled for this exhibition.