I was born in Holland and maybe that is why I am not a big fan of winter. I don’t like the cold and rain, but that kind of weather does create different photos. There are lovely reflections on the streets, for those who care to look for them, and looking through a window full of rain drops creates some magic as well as the photos below show.
PHOTOS COPYRIGHT ROEL LOOPERS. PROFILE PHOTOGRAPHY
The new Growers’ Green Community Market, which started on Sunday at the South Fremantle Senior High School on Lefroy Street, was a fantastic community event and supported by many on this glorious sunny day. Many familiar faces were seen in the crowd and everyone was socialising and having a good time, while eating, drinking and shopping.
There was food aplenty for breakfast with crepes, sate sticks, bacon and egg rolls, pizzas, good coffees and fresh juices. Stalls had fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, flowers, cup cakes, fresh bread and pastries, and even birds on offer, while the kids from SFSH played music for the appreciative crowd.
I loved it all and will be back next Sunday. Come and catch up!
PHOTOS COPYRIGHT ROEL LOOPERS. PROFILE PHOTOGRAPHY
While the City of Fremantle has just formed a new committee to talk about necessary changes to South Terrace, I would like to make a few suggestions as how to improve the cappuccino strip and make it a more exciting place to be.
I believe we need to start thinking big, bold and visionary fast, because we are in danger of becoming a boring has-been attraction that is on the brink of being overtaken by places like Bunbury, Rockingham and Geraldton.
There is no doubt the strip needs to become more pedestrian friendly, especially on the very busy weekends, and I am all for closing it on those days, but let us think outside the square and envisage something very different that would attract more tourists to our city.
I would love to see South Terrace become our new focus for public art, a street with creative, tall, three-dimensional artworks every 50 metres or so, built on slightly raised islands in the centre of the street. There would have to be restrictions on dimensions of course, because of passing traffic.
Without being disrespectful to our great artist Greg James, I am not talking about representational bronze statues of famous deceased males, but am thinking more in the direction of grandiose works like The Navigators, four huge stainless steel figures by Jon Tarry on a roundabout in Bunbury, or something as stunning as Mindarie Man, the angle-like figure on a large pole in Quinns Rock by Simon Gilbey, or the futuristic coloured light Tower of Memory I and II by Warren Langley at the old Midland railway workshops.
Fremantle has outstanding 3D artists in Brian Mackay, Tony Jones, Anne Neil, Steve Tepper, Richie Kuhaupt, Olga Cironis, Susan Flavel, John Denaro, Jean-Marc Rivaland, to name just a few, and there are many more around the state, so let them come up with brilliant ideas that will enhance the profile of our city.
And while we’re at it we might want to put a challenging work of art or water feature in the High Street and Henderson Street malls as well.
Some will argue that it will be expensive and they are right, but a street full of art would get hundreds of thousands of dollars in free advertising, because TV lifestyle and art programs from all over the world would like to show how different Fremantle’s Art Promenade is. And think of the tsunami of photos that would be emailed around the world, and be put on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. All of that as free P.R. for Fremantle!
Before all that happens we can start fund-raising and try to attract the corporate dollar from big art collectors like Westfarmers, Kerry Stokes, Janet Holmes a Court, mining giants, etc. We might also get state and federal government grands to create something so unique and vibrant. (We are a bit of a marginal seat now, so political parties should spend more money on the harbour city). Or there might even be a hidden treasure in the existing Fremantle art collection that could get a permanent spot on the cappuccino strip.
And while we think big, we can start small. What about funding some of the art through gold coin donations to free concerts and art exhibitions at e.g the Fremantle Art Centre and Esplanade. We could have chook raffles and auctions of art, books, and sporting memorabilia, and so on. Even the Dockers could jump on the art bandwagon, without the risk of being charged for high tackles, and donate money to commission a work of art.
Procrastination is choking our city to death, and retailers are desperate to attract more people here, so let us make good and positive changes before it is too late.
It is 15 years ago that I started my trip around Australia on June 18, 1995, and I wanted to share some of the highlights. I sold my house and most of my possessions and bought a new Pajero.
I drove up to the magic Cape Leveque and spend every day at One Arm Point watching the blackfellas fishing. From there up to Fitzroy Crossing where I caught up with a lot of the Aboriginal artists, whose paintings my ex-partner Brigitte exhibited at her Artplace gallery in Perth. My old mate, and law man, Janagoo Butcher Cherrel showed me around his country and in the evenings sang songs in his language in the tiny motel room I had rented at the inn. That was very special.
I loved the Bungle Bungle and stayed eight nights there. It was an incredible spiritual feeling to be between the dome-shaped hills. The most unreal moment was the night I spend under the full moon in Piccanini Gorge all by myself. One moment I was at total peace while the next moment I felt I should not be there and that I was intruding. I had goose bumps all over.
Another full moon experience was driving with my lights off on the Gibb River Road towards Derby. Life can be so full of beauty.
Flying over Lake Argyle in a helicopter with my Dutch friend and photographer Richard Woldendorp was another highlight of the journey.
Uluru was another special moment. Out of respect for the Anangu people I never climbed it, but walked around the massive rock instead.
In the Gulf country at the Burketown pub I was lucky enough to be able to buy stunning Vasse Felix cabernet for only $ 10.00 a bottle, because no one knew the value. The female pub owner was in jail for having done grog runs to dry communities in a light aircraft.
Travelling along the coast of Queensland north of Port Douglas through the Daintree was simply sublime. Some of the most stunning nature I have ever seen, with the rainforest sloping down towards the ocean, while out in the ocean are all the islands.
In gorgeous Cooktown I befriended a local Aboriginal musician who’s girlfriend was a Dutch auto mechanic. We went picking bush tucker together near his community just north of the town. From there I drove up along the old telegraph track all the way up to Cape York and the most northern part of Australia.
Months later I was up in the high country of Victoria driving through the clouds in freezing cold and wet weather, and later again through the South Australian hills full of wine.
I came through Coober Pedy, Bourke, Ballina, Ballarat, Mackay, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Mount Isa, went up to Darwin and down to Esperance. I zigzagged and drove wherever I felt like going. I had no plans or fixed destinations and my mood decided on the day if I drove north, south, east or west. I agree there was a certain madness there, but so good to do things on the spur of the moment, rather than doing the responsible thing I had done all my life.
Towards the end I became exhausted from all the driving and unsettled in the knowledge I had no home to go back to. I saw so much beauty and met so many good people on my 58.000 kilometre trip, but sadly also witnessed racism towards Aboriginal people often.
The racism upset me so much, because I had experienced the dignity, resilience and culture of many Aboriginese, so when I arrived back in Fremantle, after seven months on the road, I wrote my very first letter to the Fremantle Herald about it and also joined the Walyalup Reconciliation Group.
The trip was the most challenging and best thing I have ever done. It defined for me who I was and who I wanted to be. I realised how much I like people, and that respect and consideration for them would be of utmost importance to me.
Although my trip made me financially broke, I have no regrets about it and would love to do it all over again, the next time however I’d like to share it with the new love in my life. I haven’t met her yet though. 9>)
I am ashamed to admit that only this weekend I discovered the beautiful walk and bicycle path that runs on the top of the cliffs on the north bank of the Swan River from North Fremantle to Mosman Park. I parked my car at the end of Rule Street at a little roundabout there and started the 70 minute walk that provides stunning views across the river to the yacht clubs south of it.
Kids were fishing off a jetty, people walking their dogs and riding their bikes, others were busy with landscaping as volunteers for the Mosman Park Bushland Regeneration Community Project.
I wandered through a lovely park with barbeques and lakes, near the spot where the first Mosman Park farm, the Billy Goat Farm, was established in 1839. A ferry crossed the river from there until 1849.
Lots of signs tell about the history and also about the nature you are walking through, and at Seven Sisters there are even sun-lounges one can relax in and soak up the sun. Sadly other signs warn about vandalism by selfish people who destroy trees to enhance the views from their posh houses.
It is a delightful walk I highly recommend. One even forgets one has been exercising. Enjoy the slide show below.
click on arrow inside photos if slide show does not start!
I feel sad today and nostalgic and a bit lost. I have just been to the funeral of a friend. She was only 39 and leaves behind three gorgeous children and a great husband. The oldest one of the kids turned seven only two weeks ago. My emotions are confused, because all this seems so unfair, but there was also beauty in listening to her father and husband celebrating the person she was.
Life is so short, sometimes cynical, often hard, but when we look for it there are so many beautiful small things we often take for granted. Our freedom, our wealth and health are things we need to respect much more, and the joy friends and life so often give us.
The photo below has nothing to do with Michelle and her life, but it somehow shows what I feel today.
I drove up to Kings Park in Perth this morning as I wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous winter day. I don’t consider myself to be a great nature photographer, but I love shooting those little details that become art in their own right. All photos in this slide show were taken with a 450mm tele lens.
COPYRIGHT ROEL LOOPERS. PROFILE PHOTOGRAPHY
If slide show does not start click on arrow inside the photo.