How Rainbow by Marcus Canning was put together


About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

9 Responses to How Rainbow by Marcus Canning was put together

  1. Pete says:

    Q; Why was the LGBT symbol selected?

  2. Pete says:

    Hi Brad,
    Could you post the artists statement so I might better understand the symbolism and how it relates to the community I live in?
    Best Regards

    • Pete

      Rainbow… In the words of the artist
      Rainbow is a work that is 110% Freo, over-the-top fun and frivolous whilst remaining resonant and rich with deeper references, resplendent and radiant, brash and ballsy.
      The work is a monumental welcome arch that speaks to the port environment over which it stands. These elements (sea container & rainbow) have strong associations with the history and character of Fremantle both in the historical and contemporary moment.
      Containers are a ubiquitous element in the port environment and its surrounds and a direct symbol of the history of Fremantle as a commercial port from the deepening of the harbour by C. Y. O’Connor in 1897.
      The rainbow is a symbol of many things including alternative and counter cultural hippy styles and aesthetics, a distinctive and ongoing element of the Freo character.
      The rainbow is associated with dreams, flights of fancy and the escapism of fantasy.
      It’s a universal symbol of hope as well as aspiration.
      By slamming these seemingly incongruous elements together, the results speak volumes about the unique spirit of Freo as well as its character – big, bold and brutally beautiful. Colourful, creative and a little bit crazy. Super-sized playful on an industrial scale. Welcoming, whimsical and joyful. Undeniably and distinctively – Freo.
      The work gives a nod to the ready-made as much as concrete art, pop art as much as minimalism, it also speaks to global economic as well as cultural concerns in the age of late capitalism.
      It was the transportation entrepreneur Malcom McLean who revolutionized international trade in 1956 when he developed the intermodal shipping container, standardised the transportation of goods around the globe and ultimately lowered the cost of goods, everywhere – contributing more than any other single invention to the exponential explosion of globalised economy and world trade that was to roll out over the second half of the 20thC.
      Rainbow is a new iconic entry statement for the portside City of Fremantle – visible from a range of major entry arteries – from the water, from the air, from rail as well as car. Its presence is as architectural as it is sculptural, awe inspiring for the pedestrian to engage with, a beacon of welcome that is instantly recognisable from afar.
      Marcus Canning

      • Pete says:

        Thankyou for posting the Artists statement.
        I find it astonishing that with this amount of research into symbolism, and further scrutiny by the council, nobody noticed this is unmistakably an interpretation of the universal symbol for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transvestites. Intentionally or unintentionally.

        Should a logo be considered good art? That’s subjective and not the point of my original question. But now I have brought it to your attention, do you still consider this work to be an appropriate representation of the City of Fremantle and its residents?


      • Pete
        In my view it is far more than a logo and has far more than one interpretation. It is meant to generate discussion and I am pleased it is doing that.
        I would like to share a comment sent to me by a Freo business man last night:

        “I felt compelled to communicate just how moved I was by the Freo Rainbow art. It is fantastic.
        I grew up in East Fremantle very close to the location of the Rainbow. My migrant father made his living on the port and in the Fremantle CBD. My family’s life in Australia was ultimately built on the prosperity that those containers brought. Seeing a rainbow of containers (unexpectedly) moved me to tears. For me it is fitting and magnificent.
        Well done and thank you.”

  3. Victor Strong says:

    abandoned empty containers symbolic of the port of Fremantle’s export of empty containers.
    Ugly and inappropriate

  4. Zoe Barron says:

    Awesome video, Brad. Thanks for posting. Disappointed I didn’t see it go up, but it was such a delightful thing to happen upon. I love how playful it is – suits Freo beautifully, I think. Thanks for heading up such a progressive, active, lively council.

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