Some children danced while others ducked to avoid getting caught in the walls of water when the centrepiece of the new-look Forrest Place was unveiled yesterday.
Danish artist Jeppe Hein and Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi revealed the $1.3 million water sculpture before it was switched on for the public to enjoy. It features jets of recycled stormwater that shoot into the air to create nine “rooms”, which disappear as quickly as they emerge.
Its unveiling marks the completion of the $36 million redevelopment of the public square, which started in early 2010. Ms Scaffidi said the city was proud to own the first permanent artwork by Hein in Australia.
She hoped children and adults would enjoy the aquatic playground.
She had been inspired after seeing a smaller, temporary version of the sculpture in the Perth Cultural Centre as part of the Perth International Arts Festival in 2010.
The fountain would bring fun and frivolity to an area that had been open, vast and “a little bit lifeless” between events.
“It’s an expensive piece but I think it’s going to be worth every cent,” Ms Scaffidi said.
Hein said the piece was about people having fun in a public space, meeting other people and laughing with each other.
“It will be open from morning to night and everyone can come and enjoy, but they should remember their towels,” he said.