Laurel Nannup

Laurel Nannup

#First Contact


Respected Noongar artist Laurel Nannup collaborated with UAP and FORM on the creation of First Contact, a stunning 5-metre tall cast aluminium sculpture in Perth’s Elizabeth Quay waterfront precinct. UAP facilitated a workshop with Nannup and FORM to design, develop and fabricate this spectacular large-scale sculpture.

First Contact is inspired by the Noongar people’s initial encounter with European settlers as distant sailing ships appeared as giant floating birds on the horizon. The turned head and outstretched wings of the bird represent the horizontal spar, mast and sail of the ship. Nannup, a member of the stolen generation, believes the work plays a significant role in sharing stories about the Noongar people and will stand as a legacy for her family. This iconic sculpture shimmers by day and transforms at night into an internally lit site-specific artwork by the water’s edge.

Image credits: Robert Frith, Acorn Photo, FORM, Carolyn Karnovsky, Roger D'Souza, Rachel See.
Concept image courtesy of artist.

#Project summary


Laurel Nannup

Artwork Title

First Contact


Elizabeth Quay


Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA)




Perth, Australia



#Related projects

Judy Watson

Gold Coast, Australia

Judy Watson

nerung ballun (Nerang River), freshwater, saltwater

Yioryios Papayioryiou

Parramatta, Australia

Yioryios Papayioryiou

Points of Intersection (PS419)

Debbie Lawson

Shanghai, China

Debbie Lawson

The Gathering of the Clans

Lindy Lee

Changchun, China

Lindy Lee

Rolling In, Rolling Out