Part of a series of posts by Neil Cownie on Featuring Artists

I was on the look-out for Perth based artists whose work related to the underlying values of the new Floreat home, Roscommon House, that I was designing at the time. With the intention being that local artists would be supported and featured within the completed house and its interior, they couldn’t come more local than Penny Coss who lived in the suburb of Floreat.

It was Penny’s use of abstract block colour that attracted me to her work at first. Some of her work also had a ‘fluid’ quality to it. It was this fluidity that led me to discuss with Penny the concept of her creating a painted work to the plaster walls and floor of the swimming pool to Roscommon House.

Somewhat in the spirit of British artist David Hockney’s artwork to the Roosevelt Hotel, California in 1984, the art would need to be applied quickly between the completion of the plastering of the pool prior to the pool being filled with water.

Penny developed a concept for the painted pool that I presented to the owner to consider as one of the embeded artworks in the fabric of the house. The concept was inspired by rain droplets on the surface of the water, four colours of white, grey, green and sand were selected from the pool and landscape brief of materials that I had supplied as reference.

With the white plastered pool surface, Penny chose warm and cool colours to complement the naturally occurring tonal changes of blue sky from shallow to deep water. The oval shapes of layered colour imply raindrops falling and hitting the water’s surface. Penny referenced the simple motifs as used by Henri Matisse in ‘Oceania the Sky’ 1946 screen-print. The artwork spoke of its locality in referencing the local waterbody of the nearby Perry lakes precinct water body that had been the subject mater of Penny’s work for over twenty years.

This was unfortunately one of the few ideas that didn’t make it through the entire journey to fruition. Penny’s painted work did however make it into the house as can be seen in the attache photos of the family room at Roscommon House.

Penny’s work is represented by The Art Collective WA.

Photo Credits

  • 1 & 2 Photos by Michael Nicholson
  • 3– 7 Photo’s from the scheme by Penny Coss
  • 8 Photo by Jack Lovel

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