What binds us together

Emma Williamson (L) and Emma Brain (R) from Fulcrum Agency with artists Margaret Dillon, Jesse Lee and Gabby Howlett. Photo by Steve Grant

AN art project exploring Freo’s hidden terrazzo floors has taken a new twist, with parts of the Scolaro family’s historic tiles now set to grace tables and buffets.

Gabby Howlett and her mother Penny Bovell recently put together a major art installation for the Fremantle Festival after tracking surviving Scolaro floors – some of which had been hidden under carpets for decades.

Following the exhibition’s success, Ms Howlett was given a seed fund from local architectural firm The Fulcrum Agency to create a new project to go with its annual journal, this year with the theme “commune”.

She roped in terrazzo artists Margaret Dillon from Concreto and ‘The Terrazzo Tailor’ Jesse Lee for the project and they came up with a plan to recycle common Freo building materials into hand-made trays and platters.

“The round shape of the trays and the idea of cement binding all these different raw materials together is how we have used the idea of commune (or community) and how it relates to us as Fremantle creatives, not to mention collaborations and what brings people together,” Ms Howlett said.

By luck, they even came across some Scolaro tiles which had been thrown onto a verge during someone’s home renos, which had to be shaved to the right thickness, but now add an extra element of colour into the designs.

Ms Howlett said the aim wasn’t necessarily about promoting recycling, but “more about taking things are from the area and viewing them differently.

“There are all the real post-war Italian houses, but also the gorgeous limestone houses which are very Freo,” she said.

The ground and polished pieces are going to be displayed at Sometimes Gallery in King William Street, South Fremantle from September 16-18.


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