John Anthony Forno is a Gold Coast Interdisciplinary artist whose work draws from childhood memories through the vehicles of play, environment, scale and nostalgia. These memories are bridges between past and present driving an ongoing inquiry into the relationship between play and its effects on self-esteem. John references a range of disciplines and ideas including psychology, gestalt theory and 80’s and 90’s popular culture. Whilst not defined by any particular medium, he frequently employs ready-made materials and found objects reminiscent of his youth. Through a process of play and self-discovery he recontextualise materials and theoretical research to form visual motifs, ritual acts and symbols synonymous with childhood and adolescence.
John completed a Bachelor of Digital Media (Fine Art) with Honours at Queensland College of Art. He has exhibited at Swell Sculpture Festival, Dust Temple Gallery, Gold Coast City Gallery, The Walls Artspace, Jugglers Artspace, The Field Ari and the White Box Gallery. He has been a finalist in Swell Sculpture Festival and Sculpture on the Edge, the recipient of the NAVA Ignition Award, Pat Corrigan Award for Academic Excellence, Pat Corrigan Award for Best Portfolio and winner of the Surfers Paradise Mural Festival.
2021 SWELL ARTWORK – Dark Rituals/Weightless, John Anthony Forno
Our beds give birth to the rejuvenation of heart, mind and spirit where dreams and nightmares frequently shape and influence if only for a second our very lives. For 1,825 days my bed was no longer a place of sanctuary, it felt as though I was an island upon an island disconnected from myself and society. As I reconstruct in the now deconstructed memories of the past my bed once again becomes a place of safety and rejuvenation helping to elevate me above the trauma of the past.
SWELL Kids Artist Statement – Dark Rituals/Weightless, John Anthony Forno
Our beds are a place of dreams and play and lots of sleep but sometimes they can be a scary place where we wonder what’s under the bed, or sometimes our dreams come to us as nightmares that scare us. This bed here was for some time a scary place for me. I wondered what hid under my bed and sometimes had nightmares, until I talked to friends and asked for help this bed became a place of dreams and peaceful sleep again.
Come and see for yourself at SWELL Sculpture Festival, Pacific Parade, Currumbin 10-19 September.