The CASTAWAY Sculpture Awards are on again from Saturday October 22 to 30 on the beach at Rockingham next to the lovely boardwalk with the many cafes.
The artworks are made from recycled materials and always great fun. Several Fremantle J Shed artists are participating such as Greg James, Janet Nixon, Lesley Barrett and David Johanson, so make your way to Rocky on the hot weekend.
The show is curated by Fremantle based Lyn DiCiero who is the owner/editor of the Artist Chronicle magazine.
Nice to see that very lovely Fremantle artist couple Ellen McCarthy and Ross Potter featured in the Yin&Yang section of the West Australian weekend magazine today.
The couple is just about to officially open their Art in Freo space in the number four studio of J Shed at Bathers Beach.
And Ross’ latest exhibition WOOD opens tonight at PS Art Space in Pakenham Street, so make sure to go and see it next week. It is open from Tuesday to Friday.
Also congratulations to Rachel Coad who won the $ 50,000 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture with her painting of fellow artist Waldemar Kolbusz!
The monthly Fremantle Network talk at the National Hotel this evening by representatives from Core and Hot Soup, in the Queensgate building at Kings Square, reinforced for me why I like to hang out with young people, as the positive, can do, embracing change, and challenging the status quo attitude is so refreshing and inspiring to listen to.
C0-working in creative spaces creates new dialogue, new projects and removes established boundaries, it is also good for the artists to share the costs of the space and helps them to establish a broad network in all different art forms and collaborate.
They aim is to maximise cultural and community benefits and have monthly networking events. They are broke but assist each other, and seeing results pushes them to continue with the experiment.
Artists often feel unrepresented by arts organisations as there are only few artists on boards and mainly art administrators, and artists and organisations are all competing for the limited grant funding that is available.
The Praxis art cooperation of the 70s was very successful but there needs to be substantial art funding by government, because individual artists are vital for our cultural identity.
Collectives are very good and CORE got massive help from (former Councillor) Tim Grey-Smith and the City of Fremantle council and staff to be able to establish CORE and Hot Soup. Culture needs space free of commercialisation!
At Hop Soup homeless people are made welcome and they know they can sit in the cafe for hours without having to consume anything. Customers are also encouraged to pay $ 2.00 on top of the price of a coffee or sandwich so that the Hot Soup people can give a free meal or coffee to someone who can’t afford to buy it. Great initiative!
The negotiation of space is necessary and new thinking required because the creatives might only want a space for weeks or a few months and not long-term 5 year leases. That requires flexibility.
The City of Berlin in 2014 said they needed to be careful not to displace artists to increase the price of housing. Footnote: We know that that has already happened in Fremantle where artists were forced to move to cheaper suburbs or even as far away as Margaret River and Denmark.
It is very important for authorities to recognise the changing needs of art and the need to involve different interest groups. Sustainability shows us we will have to learn to live with less and co-working, collectives and cooperatives support that. We need to allow informal process to shape a civil society and that includes informal uses of space. We are pushing up to create change!
What do we do when we fill up the empty spaces (through development). Where do the artists go then? the Fremantle Mayor asked and the answer was that they would find space elsewhere, maybe in the suburbs.
I felt really invigorated after so much enthusiasm and positivity and thought on the way home that it should not be the role of government to hold on to the status quo and that we sometimes need to break the rules to create change and progress.
I also wonder what it will take to change the rather conservative art establishment in Australia where artists have little hope becoming financially successful if they are not within the commercial gallery circuit. Gallery owners will mainly show artists whose work will sell well and art curators of private and state collections are mainly bandwagon collectors who will buy what other curators already are collecting.
To be able to get a public art commission 40% of the requirements are to have previous public art experience, which means there is a lot of same-same in public art and we rarely see challenging new art.
I reckon the CORE artists and other creative collaboratives will just have to keep pushing because creativity means pushing the boundaries of establishment.
The Bathers Beach Art Precinct is crying out for something like CORE where there is a lot of activity and a deep sense of community. Heaven forbid they might break some rules and even sit on the verandas at night and have a drink and play some music, there might even be the odd one who stays there over night, adding to the night time security and activation of the area. Bring it on!
I am very happy I attended tonight’s Fremantle Network meeting as it gave me a lot of hope for the future of art, culture and compassion in Fremantle!
One of the most annoying and frustrating issues for me in Fremantle is the lack of coordination of community events, as we miss out on good ones because they happen at the same day and at the same time.
The Fremantle Network has talks every first Tuesday of each month and there is Council involvement there, so why does Councillor Jon Strachan has an event exactly at the same time today?
The Fremantle Network at 6 pm today upstairs at the National Hotel presents speakers from Core Fremantle and Hot Soup which occupy space at the Queensgate building at Kings Square. They will be talking about the role of emerging artists and students in the ecology of the city.
At the same time today at 6 pm at The Meeting Place in South Fremantle Jon Strachan will tackle the challenging topic of Sustainable Transport and Parking in Fremantle and the big picture of emerging social and transport trends in Perth.
I want to go to both events, but that is not possible, so why on earth do we not coordinate events in Fremantle better? I suggested years ago for the City of Fremantle to set up a register where people can lodge their events, so they are aware of other events that might clash with theirs.
I am always extremely keen to hear the ideas and visions of the younger generations, but am also very interested in the traffic issues in and around Fremantle. Where to go?
Some arty photos I took this afternoon of the J Shed art studios at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach.
I love spending time there and watch out over historic Bathers Bay and get startled by the 1 o’clock cannon fire at the Roundhouse.
Arthur Head is a very special place in Western Australia’s history, so go and visit it!
Good news for lovers of the Glen Cowans photo gallery at the Fremantle Roundhouse. The gallery now also opens for a trial period on Mondays from 10.30 am to 4 pm, in addition to the Thursday to Sunday opening of the underwater photography gallery.
Glen told me today they have noticed an increase in tourists at Captain’s Lane and that is confirmed by the daily figures the Roundhouse volunteer guides record each and every day
I have no hesitation in stating that I am a big supporter of Glen Cowan’s sublime photography. The gallery is without a doubt the best and most professional one at Arthur Head and attracts many tourists because of its high ratings on TripAdvisor.
And don’t forget to view the stunning videos Glen’s beautiful wife Louise Stazionelli makes (She is the ‘model’ in the second photo).
There are small prints, large canvasses, necklaces and other items for sale at the gallery that make fantastic gifts, so pop in one day soon and check it out, and tell your overseas and interstate visitors about it!
Loopy’s Gift Register: Glen makes me a free coffee sometimes when I am on duty as a Roundhouse volunteer guide.
My gorgeous Japanese friend and outstanding printmaker Junko Kitamura has returned from a well-earned holiday in Europe and is looking for a studio space in Fremantle.
If you know a vacant studio or artists who want to share please do contact Junko on 0425 831 038.
Fremantle based SHAC-Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Access Housing to construct 12 affordable rental dwellings on the Kim Beazley site in White Gum Valley that is being developed into a large residential area at Stevens Street.
Donaldson and Warn are the project architects.
I am always skeptical when I hear the word affordable, because there never is an upper or lower limit to what is supposed to be affordable, so do we mean affordable to people on $ 75,000 a year or people on unemployment benefit or a pension? Is affordable rental property $ 200 a week or $ 400 or more?
Now that we will have affordable housing for creative people what about a co-op for street cleaners, garbos, shopping trolley collectors, etc. I am not at all sure I like the ghetto for certain professions idea. What do you think??