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Published On: 10 Sep 2021

Resilience and Strength

At first glance, the towering 3m high white kangaroo looks like it’s made of paper, but Totem/The Fragile 2020 is actually a sculpture constructed entirely from wood! It is the most recent sculpture to find a home at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and was entrusted to the Sanctuary by its creator, Australian artist John Anthony Forno, after being displayed on Currumbin Beach as part of Swell Festival 2020.

John, who is known for creating breathtaking pieces inspired by childhood memories, says he wanted the ancient art of Origami to drive his creativity.

There’s resilience and strength in the art of Origami, said John. As creases and folds strengthen tightly woven wooden fibres there’s always an undercurrent of the fragile as a result of the medium.

Sculp Origami Mobile.jpg

Inspired by Tagedy

John drew inspiration for Totem/The Fragile 2020 during the 2019/2020 summer bushfire tragedy, which is estimated to have killed almost three billion animals.

This sculpture is a response to moving and static imagery that infiltrated my social media feeds of the 2019/2020 bushfire season, said John. A year on, as we move to the 2020/2021 season, I hope this sculpture is a stark reminder of our roll in climate change and the consequences of not acting.

Learn more about the Sanctuary Art Trail


About the Artist

John Anthony Forno is an interdisciplinary artist who often utilises readymade materials and found objects reminiscent of his youth. Through a process of play and self-discovery, he recontextualises materials and theoretical research to form visual motifs, ritual acts and symbols synonymous with childhood and adolescence.

John completed a Bachelors of Digital Media (Fine Art) with Honours at Queensland College of Art. He has exhibited at Gold Coast City Gallery, The Walls Artspace, Jugglers Artspace, The Field Ari, the White Box Gallery and Sculptures in the Gaol. He has been the recipient of the NAVA Ignition Award, Pat Corrigan Award for Academic Excellence, Pat Corrigan Award for Best Portfolio. John has won the Surfers Paradise Mural Festival, had numerous artworks acquired in private collections and has completed several public artwork projects.

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