Peeling back the layers – Chancing upon place memories

Submitted by Penelope Forlano


Client: Department of Education

Location: Perth , Australia

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Industry Resource

Glen Oldfield

Composite Components


Penelope Forlano


Aluminium fins and engraved brickwork to the south and eastern facades. Fin dimensions: 10m H x 37m W x .4m D (Roberts Rd), and 10m H x 10m W x .4m D (Coughlan Rd). Brickwork 60 lineal metres.


The fins are conceptually inspired by the local Melaleucas (Paperbark trees) and their peeling bark surface and the strong community sporting memories of Subiaco Oval. Layering and peeling can be viewed as a metaphor for knowledge generation. Layers of information builds complex and in-depth understanding and consider how various perspectives reveal diverse knowledge. The artwork uses peeling, compression and layering forms within the public art components to reinforce and draw attention to the learning internally. Text is featured in the custom perforations to create anamorphic public engagement and encourage individual interpretation and debate over its meaning.


Commissioned early in the project design phase and the process involved consulting with government, art coordinators, architects, school principal and local council. The project required meeting a range of stakeholders expectations. The work aimed to create a connection between and to recognise the site's recent history as a sporting venue of state significance, its pre-colonial history, and future activity. The text is open to interpretation drawing upon sporting code language and site history to enable imaginative historical stories by spectators. The Whadjuk Working Party were consulted through the team, and their language and its translations were included in the brick artwork.