QUEST-IONABLE HERITAGE ART
The blue artwork on the new Quest service apartments hotel on the corner of Pakenham and Short streets in the historic West End of Fremantle is the first percentage for the arts work in the city. It was created by well-known WA artist Lorenna Grant and is titled Folly of Follies.
It is a reference to the history of Manning Hall that used to be opposite Pioneer Park. Manning’s Hall – more often called ”Manning’s Folly” – was a very unique building erected in 1858 at great expense for Charles Manning, a Chairman of the Fremantle Town Trust (1859-1867). A passionate astronomer, he lived there until he died in 1869. The building was demolished in 1928 to be replaced by the façade that is still there now.
Lorenna Grant says that the artwork was developed by creating a drawing of the original Manning’s Folly based on historic and archival images. The drawing uses the colours and hallmarks of early architectural ideas recorded as ‘blue prints’ and has been printed to 60 fixed glass panels.
The image is one that falls in and out of construction marking the coming and going of the previous dome on the site. The resulting image while couched in local history speaks of transmigration, ascending entities, the movement through the night sky of stars and sacred geometries and alignments that enthralled Manning. The image is intentionally unfixed as to create different experiences from varied focal points in and adjacent to the area.
What I don’t like about the artwork is that the blue colour does not match in at all with the other colours of the building and stands out like an eyesore for me. If the blue was a darker blue or other colour-after all amateur astronomy is mainly done at night-it would have fitted in better with the dark tones of the architecture.
What do YOU think?
The Quest Hotel will open on November 23!