Client: Western Australian Department of Education
Location: Fremantle, Australia
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $168,500
Located in the heart of a port city, Fremantle College is proud of its links to the local fishing and shipping industries. 'Kaleidoscopic Wave' by artist Penelope Forlano is a series of complex 3-D swelling waves that emerge from the highly polished mirrored surface of the soffit of the covered courtyard. Connecting Fremantle's maritime and architectural heritage with the present and future of technology, the artwork suggests the experience of looking up from under the ocean, experiencing ever changing water ripples and fragmented reflections of light and image.
The architects for the project, JCY Architects and Urban Designers embedded a series of mirrored 'boxes' into the building facade and the soffit intended to act as windows out to the small woodland adjacent to the College, drawing images of the trees in and blurring the boundaries between the natural environment and the built form. The intention was that the artwork should enhance this dichotomy by continuing to explore concepts of inside/outside, light/shadow, reflection/illusion. The artwork, like the soffit itself is a celebration of all things civic, collegiate, theatrical and performance oriented. Images and reflections are ever-changing continually capturing the changing spirt of life moment by moment,
The project was publicly advertised within Western Australia and Penelope Forlano was awarded the commission from a competitive shortlist of highly experienced artists. Penelope worked in close collaboration with the architects and engineers for the project to ensure seamless integration. Employing generative computer modelling programs to design the form and the latest digital CNC (Computer Numerical Control) fabrication techniques to laser cut and fold the stainless steel with precision. Glen Oldfield from Composite Components fabricated and installed the artworks.
By integrating the artwork into the soffit, Penelope also celebrates the architectural and industrial heritage of Fremantle in which many 19th century buildings feature decorative pressed tin ceilings and soffits to the verandah.