A collision of imagined constellations, celestial trails and light bursts stands proud as a metaphysical reading of local history at the Quest Apartment Hotel.
In architectural terms the folly (derived from the French “folie” to mean ‘delight’) describes a costly building constructed primarily for a decorative purpose. It is extravagant and its appearance suggests some other meaning or purpose. With connotations of madness, this was a term applied to the original Manning Hall building on Pakenham St in Fremantle’s historic West End.
Now the site of the recently redeveloped Quest Fremantle, the original ‘Manning Folly’ was nicknamed as such due to its peculiar architecture and the immense amount of money spent in its erection and exterior embellishment.
Constructed in 1858 by Charles Manning, who was a prominent Fremantle merchant and a passionate astronomer, the building with its unusual adornments was demolished in 1929 to become the John Lysaght Warehouse. The original façade was retained and it is today recognised as a building of considerable significance and as an authentic example of the Inter-War Chicagoesque style warehouse.
In recent history from 2002, it was the site of Halco, a manufacturer of plastic, metal and timber fishing lures.
With such an interesting history embedded to the site, artist Lorenna Grant has created two striking ImagInk glass artworks for the Quest Apartment Hotel. The Folly of Follies which can be viewed prominently from the corner of Pakenham and Short Streets and an internal artwork in the hotel foyer.
“While the original structure is long gone, the artworks, both interior and exterior, wish to reference evidence of the actual original domed observatory, while implying designs of old architectural ‘blue prints’ and Manning’s passion for astronomy; where imagined constellation, celestial trails, and light bursts now collide.”
For Grant, the concept for an artwork is an expression of the vision of the artist and the challenge is to create that vision to variable scales, whilst maintaining the integrity of the colour story and underlying meaning. When applying art to large facades for ImagInk printing, the sense of scale in the initial conceptual stages may not be immediately apparent. It then becomes a matter of combining the concept with digital manipulation and rigorous testing to ensure the outcome correlates with the artist’s original intention.
Cooling Brothers worked closely with Grant to provide samples in suitable opacities and scale which she could then use for testing with the architect, lighting technicians and builder. Collective discussions resolved issues with glare to the guests as well as neighbouring buildings, the result is an atmospheric blue glow from the third floor where hotel guest can retreat to enjoy a view from above to the activity of the street below. From the street by day and by night, the Folly of Follies is a stunning example of the vibrancy which can be created with ImagInk ceramic printing, both the internal and external work “reference the past – but is not trapped by it – it speaks of a windowed moment within the eloquent ‘secreting’ complexity of the infinite.”
Quest Apartment Hotel
Location Cnr Pakenham and Short Streets, Fremantle
Architect Bollig Design Group
Glass Custom Laminate & ImagInk
Folly of Follies External Glass : 13.52mm Custom Laminate & Full Colour ImagInk
Internal Foyer Artwork : 10mm Toughened Full Colour ImagInk