Freo's View

WHY HOLD ON TO FREO’S FAILED ARTS PRECINCT?

Posted in art, arthur head, artists, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 12, 2019

 

I am absolutely not sure where the City of Fremantle is going with the Bathers Beach Art Precinct. They constantly talk about activating Arthur’s Head and the West End of the City, but now they are renting out studio spaces where the artists only have to be open to the public one day in six months. That is ridiculous!

All it means it that we have more closed doors at Captain’s Lane and I hear that the No 4 Studio at J Shed also is not required to open to the public.

Why does the City hold on to this failed concept when only the Glen Cowans photography gallery and the David Giles abstract art studios open regularly and several days a week, while the rest keep their door closed and create an ambience of ghost town?

Here is the EOI for artist studios at 10 Captain’s Lane and also in the Moores Building art centre in Henry Street:

The City is calling for proposals from artists to secure low-cost studio space within the City of Fremantle Studios Program.

The program encompasses Studios 1–2 in the Moores Building, 46 Henry St and Studios 1–6 at 10 Captains Lane, Bathers Beach Art Precinct, both in the City’s historic West End.

This call out applies to Studios 5 and 6 at 10 Captains Lane, both available for a hire term of 6 months to one artist. Artists have 7 day a week, 24 hr access and studio floor space per room ranges from ~10.35–11m2. The total cost is $60 per week charged monthly and in advance.

Studios are purely workspaces and non-commercial. Artists will need to commit to a minimum of one open studio event in the 6 month period.

Submissions close 5pm, Friday 26 April 2019.

Roel Loopers

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COUNCIL SUPPORT FOR NEW FREMANTLE ABORIGINAL CENTRE

 

 

Plans for an Aboriginal cultural centre at J Shed were talked about in detail at last night’s FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council.

Although I first suggested we could keep J Shed and the cultural centre could be built on Victoria Quay, I quite agree  with Councillor Rachel Pemberton that Manjaree/Arthur’s Head is very significant, as it was the first point of contact between the British settlers/invaders and the Whadjuk Noongar people.

Pemberton said this would be an opportunity to make the precinct a place of healing where we could move forward together and share our cultures.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan said the officers’ report was amazing and much better than what Councillors had received previously. The area was important for all Aboriginal and local people, not just the Noongars and that a cultural centre should have the appropriate State level importance and not be a Freo City facility.

Sullivan also warned about rising sea levels that might impact on a new building at Bathers Beach and was skeptical about relocating J Shed-again.

Councillor Sam Wainwright said this was the right direction in consideration with the relationship Bathers Bay has with Wadjemup/Rottnest Island, while Councillor Doug Thompson called for further investigation and community consultation.

Councillor and FPOL Chair Hannah Fitzhardinge also pointed out the opportunities to collaborate with what is planned for Rottnest Island and that there should be a Walyalup Wadjemup dialogue about that. Great idea!

I wonder though if J Shed is going to be relocated, and that is still many years away, if the present artists there could not also relocate with the shed or be offered alternative studios in A Shed on Victoria Quay or elsewhere in Fremantle, instead of just letting them go, as their contribution to our city has been significant.

Roel Loopers

PS: The yellow circle in the photo is of an art studio for lease at Captain’s Lane.

 

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URGENT CARE NEEDED FOR FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE

 

round house- arthur head

 

While the possibility of a brand new Aboriginal cultural centre at Fremantle’s Arthur’s Head would be great the entire area needs a lot of TLC and large financial investment, as the officers’ report in the FPOL Committee agenda for this Wednesday shows.

As a volunteer at the Roundhouse and someone who visits Arthur’s Head daily I have found the neglect of the heritage precinct a disgrace and an insult to our history. If we do not respect the past we ignore our roots and that is not acceptable to me.

A few months ago I questioned in a letter to the West Australian and on Freo’s View why the Roundhouse, Western Australia’s oldest public building, does not receive annual funding from the State and Federal governments, and that extends to entire Arthur’s Head, because a city with a small ratepayers’ base like Fremantle simply does not have the money required to properly maintain the old building and limestone cliff area. That needs to change with urgency and priority!

Here some of what the FPOL agenda states:

The condition of the cliff faces and man-made walls at Arthur Head Reserve were found to range from poor to good. The recommended remediation for different areas varies from minor works such as removal of vegetation and repairs such as repointing of existing masonry walls through to major works including the extension of the Whaler’s Tunnel portal in areas where there is significant potential for collapse and risk of harm to visitors.

The condition of the limestone walls of the Round House has been deteriorating for some time. Major conservation and restoration work is required to maintain this important historical building.

Previous conservation and stabilisation works undertaken between 2001 and 2018 were completed in a piecemeal manner. Some of these works included shaving the cliff faces to address safety issues of rock fall did not consider or address the issue of erosion and only accelerated the retreating of the cliff face towards some significant heritage buildings.

The Round House which is recognised as being Western Australia’s oldest public building and is one of this State’s most significant heritage buildings is one of the biggest attractions in Fremantle with an estimated 100,000 persons per year visiting the building annually.

The last major conservation works of the Round House were undertaken in 2004. Since then small amount of maintenance works have been carried out each year under the City’s building maintenance budget.

Due to the exposed marine environment, vandalism and the well-intentioned but damaging repairs carried out during the twentieth century the building is now in need of some urgent conservation works. In particular, works are urgently required for the remediation and repair of the limestone walls.

Given the heritage significance of Arthur Head and its buildings, a long term solution to stop the erosion of the cliff faces and repair of the Round House walls is required to ensure that the assets in the Arthur Head Reserve survive for future generations to enjoy.

The pre-tender estimate completed in March 2019 which was developed from the completed designs and contract documentation indicates the total project cost for all remediation works to the cliff faces to be in the order of $1.8 million (Exc. GST).

The remediation works can be undertaken in stages which could be sequenced based on risk.

The conservation and remediation works to the Round House are estimated at between $500 000 and $1 000 000.

I am surprised that the officers put an estimation of 100,000 visitors for the Roundhouse as the exact visitors numbers are available. They are recorded each and every day by the team leader of the day, who has a clicker counter to record everyone who enters the Roundhouse and that comes to 140,000 -150,000 annually, which is well above the estimated number.

Roel Loopers

STUNNING PEACEFUL PHOTOGRAPHY MOMENTS AT J SHED

 

zzzzz

 

The eclectic and cluttered upstairs gallery at sculptor Greg James’ studio in J Shed at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach is always worth a visit, but even more so now with the Peaceful Moments exhibitions.

There are only five large photos by Amerigo Carello and they alone should be seen by anyone interested in outstanding landscape photography. The three landscapes where the rising sun creates dappled light in the undulated scenery are exquisitely painterly. They are sublime and should be bought for a corporate collection or boardroom! There are also two images of Fremantle. One of the Maritime Museum just before sunrise and a night shot of historic High Street.

There are also very creative collages by Ivan Zuvela, sweet beach landscape paintings by David Moran and of course a variety of smaller sculptures from the Greg James stable by him Lesley Barrett and others.

J Shed is an enigma. It frustrates Fremantle Council because in its desperation of activating the area it appears to overlook the significance of it as a venue where great art has been created for more than twenty years.

On Saturday Arthur’s Head looked like an ant hill with hundreds and hundreds of people, including passengers from the Sea Princess, climbing the stairs to the Roundhouse. The West End of Freo was buzzing.

The Bathers Beach Art Precinct is on the radar of our Councillors and City officers and it is likely it will be an agenda item for the Ordinary Council meeting in April. Will they come up with new creative solutions, such as a sculpture park on the A Class Reserve at J Shed, or change tune totally and abandon the arts precinct idea? It is anyone’s guess at present.

Go and have a look at the J Shed show. You won’t regret it!

Roel Loopers

 

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ARTHUR’S HEAD MESSY TOURIST EXPERIENCE

 

art precinct

 

This mess is what visitors to the Bathers Beach Art Precinct saw yesterday at one of the art studios at Mrs Trivett Lane.

Behind it there is bedding from homeless people, and in the garden of the cottage where the Roundhouse guides have their office people also had left bedding and rubbish and trampled the bushes.

Fremantle safety officers drive up to Arthur’s Head a couple of times a day but police officers are rarely seen up there any more.

Arthur’s Head is a ghost town at night, since Fremantle Council decided to make it into an art precinct and evicted the people who lived in the Pilot’s Cottages. I warned them at the time that this would be happening but my concerns were ignored because I was one of the people who lived there as caretaker for the Fremantle Society, hence I was considered a NIMBY whose concerns were irrelevant.

Fremantle Council is currently reconsidering the art precinct, but whatever the outcome they need to create a better night environment up on our historic hill.

Roel Loopers

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PROMOTING ARTHUR’S HEAD SHOULD BE FREO CITY PRIORITY

 

When the J Shed artists present their case at the City of Fremantle on Monday officers and elected members should first decide if they want a visual art precinct or activate the area, because the latter has been the buzzword for years at Fremantle Council.

The reality is that a visual art centre is great and will attract a certain type of visitors, but it will not create mass activation of Arthur’s Head. Even if the City were prepared to invest money and build a cafe at the number one studio, with an outdoor deck from which to watch the Indian Ocean and the setting sun, the area won’t suddenly get a huge number of people, but as the boardwalk and Bathers Beach House have shown at the southern part of Bathers Beach visitors’ numbers will increase and so will the use of the beach.

What also needs to happen with some urgency is making the Whalers Tunnel more attractive and re-installing the displays which were removed from the nooks by the Maritime Museum. There is also a sign in the tunnel that claims that convict labour was used to build it, but convicts arrived in Fremantle well after the tunnel was built.

And signage all over the area needs to be improved. Why for example is there no sign at the bottom of the steps to point out that the Roundhouse is the oldest public building in Western Australia and where is the sign near the tunnel entrance to point to the J Shed art studios?

It is naive from Fremantle Council to believe that artist studios will create significant activation, but the Roundhouse is doing that without much support from the City’s marketing department, so stepping up the promotion  for the area should be the very first step for the City to undertake. There is not much value in constantly talking about activating the West End of our city when nothing is done to significantly promote it. Walk the walk, Fremantle Council and don’t expect the artists and Roundhouse volunteers to do the job your marketing department and the Tourism Commission should be doing.

Roel Loopers

 

 

FREMANTLE J SHED ART STUDIOS FOR LEASE

 

j shed

 

The City of Fremantle is seeking applications from groups, organisations or individuals for the use of Unit 1 and 4, J Shed.

Unit 1 and 4, J Shed are located within the Bathers Beach Art Precinct (BBAP) and is ideal as an individual or shared studio space.

BBAP is a dynamic, innovative and authentic art and culture area and applicants will need to showcase how their proposal will benefit the area.

Applications close Friday 1 February 2019.

On-site viewings

By appointment only on:

  • Wednesday 23 January 3–4pm.
  • Tuesday 29 January 10–11am.

RSVP to mandyh@fremantle.wa.gov.au.

More information

Contact Senior Project Officer Arts & Culture, Mandy Hawkhead on mandyh@fremantle.wa.gov.au.

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EARLY MORNING IN THE FREO WEST END

 

we 5

we 1

 

 

I had time left between having an early coffee and reading the West Australian and Fremantle Herald before my meeting with a designer about the planned new historic interpretive displays at the Roundhouse, so I had a walk around the West End where I took the photos above.

A group of people attending an art class on the corner of Cliff and High streets, a colourful alfresco cafe in High, a crane signalling rare new development in the heritage-listed West End and a colourful reflection at J Shed on Bathers Beach at the new temporary studio of stone sculptor Jina Lee. Make sure to visit her and all the other Arthur’s Head artists soon!

Roel Loopers

 

PIECEMEAL MANAGEMENT OF HISTORIC ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

I am surprised to see this message from the City of Fremantle on Facebook

We’re seeking applications from groups, organisations or individuals for the use of Unit 1 J Shed in the Bathers Beach Art Precinct! You can register your expression of interest for the studio space by next Wednesday here: https://bit.ly/2QrndhQ

And when going to the link it includes:

We’re seeking applications from groups, organisations or individuals for the use of Unit 1 J Shed.

Unit 1 J Shed is located within the Bathers Beach Art Precinct (BBAP) and is ideal as an individual or shared studio space. 

BBAP is a dynamic, innovative and authentic art and culture area and applicants will need to showcase how their proposal will benefit the area.

Applications close Wednesday 19 December 2018.

Current artists have been told that Fremantle Council will address the art precinct and J Shed during their February 2019 meeting, and I assumed that after the Sunset Events tavern debacle Council would consider different options for Arthur’s Head and a Masterplan for the historic precinct.

This is just more piecemeal management of the important tourist district that really deserves a whole lot more attention from Fremantle Council. This is very disappointing!

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! I have just been made aware that the EOI is only for the period of January 7 to March 7, so that is reassuring.

 

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ROSS POTTER OPEN STUDIO AT J SHED

 

14 Dec Ross Potter open studio

 

Fremantle J Shed artist ROSS POTTER will have an OPEN STUDIO this coming Friday, December 14 from 5-8pm.

Go and have a look at the excellent photorealistic drawings Ross patiently creates over many weeks and even months.

Currently he is doing a life-size drawing of Perth Zoo elephant Tricia.

J Shed is at Fleet Street, just on your way out to the South Mole.

Roel Loopers

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