Underneath / Overlooked: The Terrazzo Floors of Fremantle / SOLD OUT

presented by Penny Bovell, Gabby Howlett & Mary Burns

SUN 16 OCT | 2PM – 4PM

Postwar Italian immigrants Giuseppe and Anna Scolaro, from Capo d’Orlando in Italy, founded the Universal Tile Factory in Fremantle, where they produced terrazzo and concrete tiles between 1950 and 1973. These unique, ornamental tiles fortuitously survive in many local homes and public buildings.

This event offers the opportunity to tour the original Scolaro family home, which is in authentic condition and showcases a fantastic selection of terrazzo tiles throughout.

Special guest Armando Scolaro was just 12 when his parents opened Universal Terrazzo Tiles. Armando will share his memories of Giuseppe and Anna’s hard work and the labour-intensive process of making the tiles. Armando believes his parents’ efforts brought a flash of cosmopolitan modernism into Fremantle and Western Australia.

Current owners of the home, Mary Burns and Trevor Richards, will be joined by Penny Bovell and Gabby Howlett, whose project Underneath/Overlooked started as a search for the remaining houses and civic buildings still blessed with these special floors. Underneath/Overlooked became an exhibition celebrating Giuseppe and Anna’s contribution to the design heritage of Fremantle.

As this event is at a private residence, the address will be released only on ticket purchase.

For questions about the event please contact the organiser.

Artist Penny Bovell and project manager Gabrielle Howlett’s project Underneath/Overlooked began with an interest in the little-known Freo design story of the Scolaro terrazzo tiles.

The Scolaro’s decorative terrazzo tiles combine vibrant mixes of pigment and Italian marble in complex patterns and patinas that become more lustrous with age.

The tiles are a manifestation of the strong connection between Fremantle and Italy forged in the earlier part of the last century. The influence of Italian immigrants on the social and built fabric of Fremantle is significant and the Scolaro tiles are visible legacy of this cultural link.

With their materiality, colour and ornate patterns, the Scolaro’s terrazzo tiles are linked to a specific time and sensibility, and contribute to Fremantle’s genius loci – its sense of place. Penny and Gabrielle’s project celebrates these rich and joyful design artefacts and gives them the attention they deserve.