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In July 2007, FAWWA received two pieces of terrific news:
Such great news! Some of the best, actually, since the house was relocated in April 2005 to the Allen Park Heritage Precinct next to Tom Collins House.
Since then, Mattie Furphy's House is taking shape; it's lovely new roof protecting it from this harsh winter. By the end of 2008, the house should be ready to take up its new guise as The Coastal Creative Centre, incorporating all artforms.
Appropriately -- for Mattie was a consumate artist and her father in law was none other than Joseph Furphy who wrote the great Australian novel, Such is Life, under the nom de plume, Tom Collins -- Mattie's House will draw together the creative streams of writing, craft, visual and performing arts.
Mattie Furphy was a celebrated figure of the 20th Century WA Arts and Craft Movement. She came to Perth from Victoria in 1903 with her husband, Sam Furphy. While Sam and his brother, Felix established the Furphy Foundry in Fremantle, Mattie pursued her passion with art, winning scholarships and studying diverse mediums such as free hand drawing and model and cast drawing.
Her forte however, was repousse, the arduous skill of designing in copper. Many well preserved pieces of Mattie's work can be found in Tom Collins House. Her designs of quandongs, dragons, kangaroo paws and other Australian flora were formed into a fireplace mantle, door panels, finger plates, mirrors and sconces.
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