Freo's View


Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, events, festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 30, 2019




A preview of all the great events that will be happening during the Fremantle Biennale in November.

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 27, 2019



The Fremantle Biennale is looking for volunteers to help out at events on days and evenings between November 1 and 24.

The stunning site specific art shows created for three weeks were hugely popular at the inaugural Biennale two years ago, and this year’s program promises outstanding shows and art installations all over the CBD with many at Fremantle Port.

If you are interested to volunteer, as I am, please come to PSAS, the art space in Pakenham Street, this coming Tuesday October 1 at 5.30pm and hear what is needed and how the Freo community can support this great cultural event. I’ll see you there!

Roel Loopers



WATERLICHT by Daan Roosegarde


A massive hundred people from arts, culture and business attended the very long launch of the Fremantle Biennale 2019 at the Maritime Museum on Thursday morning.

UNDERCURRENT 19 will be a fantastic experience for the Fremantle community and beyond and is an invitation to interact with Fremantle through artistic dialogues and site sensitive events. It will create new visual narratives which articulate the spirit of place, so make sure to check out the program here:

The biennale runs from November 1-24 and is happening all over the Freo CBD with major events at Fremantle Port and Notre Dame University, the Shipwrecks Museum, etc.

Nicola Forrest of sponsor Minderoo Foundation was at the launch, as was the CEO of Fremantle Ports, former MP Melissa Parke, the Fremantle Mayor and several councillors, artists, curators, architects, art administrators, etc.

Here some titles of exciting events during Undercurrent 19: Pearls and Blackbirds about female divers, Behavioral Ecology, the cute South Mole Resort will be a must to visit, Desire Lines, the Somnus theatre of the sea, Midnight Blue Lagoon. the Standing Wave sound installation in the submarine, Ebb&Flow audience communication, the Billboard Project, etc.

There will also be a symposium at Notre Dame University about how artists make a living.

One of the highlights of Undercurrent 19 will be WATERLICHT by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde about our battle with water, rising sea levels and dwindling fresh water.

Roosegarde said about rising ocean levels in the typical pragmatic and laconic Dutch way “We innovate or we die”

I loved the 2017 inaugural Fremantle Biennale so can’t wait for it to start in three months from now.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, festivals, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on November 2, 2018


The FREMANTLE BIENNALE, which was held for the first time in November last year, will be on again around the same time next year in 2019.

The Hightide theme was fantastic and we saw so many great creative public artworks, so I am looking forward to the next one.

The new advisory committee of the Fremantle Biennale was announced yesterday, so here it is:

Ted Snell – Chief Cultural Officer at the University of Western Australia

Margaret Moore – Founder and Director of Moore Contemporary

Clothilde Bullen – Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander exhibitions and collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Leigh Robb – Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia

Peter Woodward – Director of Landscape Architecture practice Woodward Design

Ian Kortlang – Managing Director of Strategy and Public Affairs FTI Consulting, Sydney

Ariane Palassis – Heritage Architect and Independent Artist

Tristen Parr – Program Manager Tura New Music and Independent Artist

Jonathan Harris – Director Harris–Jenkins Architects


Tom Mùller – Co-founder & Artistic Director

Katherine Wilkinson – Program Director

Ned Beckley – Contemporary Music Curator

Claire Montgomery – External Relations

Dawit Eshete – Communications

Read more about our people:

The Fremantle Festival will move next year to become a inter festival in July, so that will be an interesting change.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 10, 2018


High Tide hub


I found it kind of sad to see the lovely High Tide Biennale festival hub being taken apart at Arthur’s Head next to the Roundhouse today.

I really like the construction of the round circle by Harris Architects, that was used for story telling, yoga, concerts, art events,weddings, etc. and  it was also very popular as a playground for primary school students. It juxtaposed really well with the old Roundhouse next to it.

And while we all like to have a whinge sometimes here in Freo, including I, we should also give credit when due, so let me say that it was impressive to see City of Fremantle senior arts officer Corine van Hall lugging around with the heavy wooden pieces, as that is definitely not a part of her job description.

And High Tide Biennale curator Tom Mueller also deserves to be  thanked for physically doing the heavy work all day. Did anyone realise Mueller organised the HT Biennale for the love of art and Freo without getting a cent paid for it?

Well done all and thank you!!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 26, 2019


The City Ward candidate forum in Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University was pretty good, although very little new came up, and fewer than 100 people attended.

John Dowson said that councillors needed to consider the annual community surveys more and act on them because the community is often angry about issues that do not receive enough attention.

He was also not happy with council selling off assets cheaply, and we need a council that can negotiate on our behalf.

Julie Morgan said that City Ward does not embrace families and that new development also ignored families. Seniors are an unrepresented part of our community.

She was also not happy that council rates kept rising, and said she had been told the FOGO bins would not be rolled out in the CBD, which was new to Councillor Pemberton.

Rachel Pemberton said that Kings Square was a once in a generation development that will renew the inner city and attract families, workers, shoppers, etc.

She agreed that antisocial behaviour was a real problem, but the city had been working closely with WA police.

John Dowson said that Arthur’s Head was one of our most important assets but had been disgracefully neglected, But Julie Morgan said that council probably did not have any money to do anything.

Both Julie Morgan and John Dowson did not believe council was doing enough to combat antisocial behaviour in Fremantle, while Rachel Pemberton said it was a complex issue that needed different ways to resolve it. “We spent $ 2 million a year on it!”

Morgan and Dowson said they would look into rate reduction if elected, but Pemberton said that was unlikely to happen as it was in-line with inflation. Dowson said that because of the new three bin FOGO project rates went up by 2% and that would continue year after year. And Morgan asked why they had to pay for it when they would not receive the third bin in High Street.

John Dowson lamented again that Fremantle assets have been chopped and chopped and sold and sold.

Julie Morgan questioned the number of workers moving into Kings Square, as she had heard the Corrective Services department would no longer move into the Sirona Capital building.

Rachel Pemberton said the city was using its assets to renew the city and that the sale of the Leisure Centre carpark was no longer in the new ten-year plan that will be released for community consultation later this year.

John Dowson said the Fremantle Arts Centre was a stand out gem and that Fremantle did very well with festivals, but let’s bring back a few things that celebrate our heritage.

Rachel Pemberton said the city invested $ 4 million in the arts, including the upcoming Biennale.

John Dowson said growing the Freo tree canopy and putting power underground would make a huge difference, but removing the street lights from his street(Mouat) was not good.

Arthur’s Head and the J Shed artists also attracted attention with Dowson saying it was extremely distressing what was happening as we should be telling the history of place. “It has been seriously neglected and I want the J Shed artists to stay!”

Julie Morgan also said that J Shed had been tragic and she supported the artists and Rachel Pemberton said she understood the predicament as the Bathers Beach Art Precinct has not worked. She had contacted the Roundhouse volunteers group to see how the city can better support them.

Both Morgan and Pemberton said CBD family living and mixing seniors with young people would be a good idea.

The forum was excellently moderated by a gentleman whose name I did not catch, so thank you to him!


Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 29, 2019


art 1

art 2


Gone but not forgotten must be the thinking behind the new planter boxes with yellow stripes in Fremantle’s High Street. The yellow stripes will remind people of the fantastic optical illusion artwork Swiss artist Felice Varini created for the Fremantle Biennale Festival two years ago.

The work unfortunately became controversial because the removal of the yellow foil from the heritage buildings proved to be difficult and very costly, so we can only hope the Freo community has a sense of humour or at least acceptance of the debacle.

Lili Pilly trees will be planted in the boxes, but I do wonder why the boxes were not put next to the ugly car park to obscure it a little bit.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 17, 2018


Arcs D'Ellipse


This is one of the last blog posts I am publishing about the removal issues with the Felice Varini yellow Arcs D’Ellipse artwork in Fremantle’s High Street, until the City of Fremantle has appointed a contractor and let us know the final costs of it.

But with all the negativity at the end of the artwork’s life I want to point out something we should not forget and underestimate in all of this.

There is absolutely no doubt from the many days that I was in the far West End-that is every day of the year-that there was a significant increase in visitors to Arthur’s Head, who were queueing up on the steps to get photos of the great optical illusion.

The expressions of delighted surprise when they ‘discovered’ the artwork were a real joy to watch and business owners nearby noticed a definite increase in visitors, as did the Roundhouse.

The promotion and marketing value of tens of thousands of photos being shared on social media of Freo’s historic High Street are immeasurable and something you just can not achieve with most tourism campaigns.

The High Tide Biennale that was under the umbrella of the Fremantle Festival added a new and very creative dimension to the tired festival and I can’t wait for next year to see what they come up with.

Yes, it is disappointing that there are serious issues with the removal of the artwork, but that is now being professionally addressed by the City of Fremantle. It is a very expensive inconvenience, but not a disaster. Fremantle is not falling apart, we did not have an earthquake like the poor people of Lombok, but we had an outstanding artwork by an internationally renowned artist that put us on the map as a progressive and creative city.  Let’s keep it in perspective!

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 7, 2018



The trial attempts to safely remove the yellow foil from heritage buildings in Fremantle’s High Street by all different kind of cleaning and painting companies continued this week, but have not been enormously successful, as these photos show.

On Monday another wall cleaning company tried out hot steam, and that worked partially on certain surfaces, but not on others.

It is interesting to note in this context that High Tide Biennale curator Tom Mueller of PS Art Space has gone into hiding and does not want to know about the problems.

The biennale Mueller created was fantastic and he deserves a lot of credit for it, as he does for making PSAS into a great arts and events space, but mature people take ownership of their successes and failures, so not responding to an email I sent him last Wednesday and crossing the street on Monday afternoon so that he would not have to engage with me and two High Street property owners affected by the Varini artwork removal debacle is unprofessional and silly.

Tom Mueller was very keen to seek my support before the High Tide Biennale, and he was happy to front the media for the Arcs D’Ellipse launch with Minister David Templeman, Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt and fellow Swiss artist Felice Varini, but now he’s gone all silent.

Also missing in action is the Fremantle Herald. While all the main media have reported on the problems of removing the artwork and the damage to the historic buildings, our own local community paper has not published a word about it. Worried about losing advertising revenue from the City of Fremantle, and not caring one bit about what it will cost ratepayers to repair the artwork damage, very tired old Chook?

One thing is for sure, that the removal is going to be problematic and very costly. Traffic management will be required, as might heritage expert advise, cherry pickers will be needed and maybe even road closure of High Street.

What is certain is that building owners will not accept just a patch up job, but will insist on perfection and reinstating what was there before the yellow foil was put up.

Whoever the ‘lucky’ tender winner will be, I wish them good luck. I don’t envy them for the job ahead.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, festivals, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 1, 2018


art removal


More cleaning and painting contractors were  in Fremantle’s High Street yesterday and today to look at solutions to safely remove the Arcs D’Ellipse yellow foil artwork from the historic buildings.

The photo shows a team of Van Diddens who did quite well removing parts with a heat gun, but it would be a long and tedious job they told me, as there would need to be hot steam cleaning of the facades as well.

Another contractor told a High Street property owner that the job would cost at least $ 500,000 and that did not include if some of the buildings had to be totally painted if the colours could not be matched.

I emailed some questions regarding liability to the City of Fremantle CEO and also to the director/curator of the High Tide Biennale this morning, but have not received any replies from them yet.

Roel Loopers

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