Public Sculptures and Public Art by Forlano Design
Forlano Design

Forlano Design

Perth, WA, Australia

"Memory - Custodianship - Public Art"
Penelope Forlano is a spatial designer and public artist with a special interest in the mnemonic and emotional experience of public and private artifacts. Her recent doctoral research examined emotionally enduring artifacts, and how to evoke custodianship in the user through a design anthropology approach. She has over 20 years practice as an award-winning artist, furniture and interior designer. Her work has been exhibited widely including at 100% Design (London), CraftACT, The John Curtin Gallery, FORM, and a solo show at the esteemed Salone Satellite - Milan International Furniture Fair in 2004. She received the prestigious Australian Design Award (2006), and in 2011 her ‘Terrain’ table was acquired for permanent collection by the Art Gallery of WA. She has completed multiple public artworks for private and government bodies.

What is your favorite material to work with?

"I love materials that express time within it, such as timber and stone that show age or patina, but then I also love working with industrial materials. I am most interested in manipulating materials through new processes to contrast the aesthetics, meaning or to reference the future. Contradiction is great for evoking contemplation."
-- Forlano Design

What do you want people to do or feel when they encounter your creations?

"I want my work to have a liveliness as if someone or some place's life history is embedded into the work. Something to contemplate, evoke wonder and to change or evolve in meaning or through patina over time. Evoke personal interpretations."
-- Forlano Design

What motivates and inspires you?

"I love deeply researching the history of a place or its people or the client. It is increasingly becoming a more important inspiration to my work, and it helps me go beyond repeating myself or ahem.... navel-gazing, such as like holding onto my past work as part of a "signature style" or something similar. I'd rather feel free of that burden and look outward although some aspects of my work, such as exploration of material and processes naturally evolve on a continuum."
-- Forlano Design

What makes a space special?

"Make it personal, hidden with special meaning on a select few know or people are forced to try and "figure it out"- don't make it obvious, I love contrast and contradiction, fascinating light and shadows that change over the day and years. Did I say I like integrating time in my work?"
-- Forlano Design

What’s unique about your work?

"I focus on storytelling, time, place, the enduring and custodianship in a way that combines various time periods into one work, often referencing history from over 200 years ago with contemporary fabrication techniques and materials."
-- Forlano Design

How do your pieces come to life? Tell us one interesting thing about your creative process?

"Lots of experimentation with the making process, like applying unexpected processes to materials but also lots of aesthetic iterations that are trialled digitally."
-- Forlano Design

What funny moments, unexpected surprises, or obstacles have you encountered?

"I think the best creative work emerges when you have nothing to lose, so I never hold onto the past like it's important. Yes- the irony isn't lost on me. I also take lots of chances in the creative process but the rest of my life is very safe!"
-- Forlano Design
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