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Image credit: Gabby Howlett and Penny Bovell. Image courtesy the artists.

Penny Bovell and Gabby Howlett: Underneath/Overlooked


Postwar Italian immigrants Giuseppe and Anna Scolaro from Capo d’Orlando founded the Universal Tile Factory, once located in Blinco Street Fremantle (c1950-1973). Giuseppe, a skillful and talented artisan, produced a range of decorative terrazzo tiles that combine vibrant mixes of pigment and Italian marble, complex patterns and patinas that become more lustrous with age.

Underneath/Overlooked began as a search for the remaining houses and civic buildings still blessed with these special floors and became an art project featuring vibrant reproductions of the Scolaro’s tile patters on silk, an interactive pattern-making game, and a photographic record of the lives of those who call these unique spaces home today.

Underneath/Overlooked celebrates Giuseppe and Anna’s unique visual vocabulary and their contribution, like many immigrant families, to the design heritage of Western Australia. It explores the art of repeat pattern, of terrazzo, and of making a house a home.

Originally presented for the City of Fremantle’s 10 Nights in Port festival, Underneath/Overlooked will be developed for tour as an interactive exhibition that can be scaled in size, suitable for a variety of spaces and places where overlooked design histories – and potentially more Scolaro houses – can be unearthed.

about the artists

Penny Bovell (MFA/UWA) works across numerous media for exhibition and site specific installations with a passionate interest in the creation of stories based on social history and the environment. Her artwork is held in the NGA and major Western Australian Collections. Her public artwork can be viewed across the state including integrated artwork for the Western Australian Museum Research and Collection Centre.

Gabby Howlett holds a Degree in Sustainable Development from Murdoch University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Social Impact: School of Business and Economics, University of Western Australia. To bring together her passions, education and extensive background in specialist retail and retail management she created her own small business, How Productive, where she works with artists, galleries, arts organisations and museums to produce artist merchandise. She works for Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation as their Product and Merchandise Developer.

Venue: Expressions of Interest

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Venue: Expressions of Interest
Exhibition/s of Interest