Freo's View

IRRUNGADJI ARTISTS AT KIDOGO ARTHOUSE

 

July 13 Kidogo NAIDOC

 

Fremantle’s Kidogo Arthouse at Bathers Beach has artists from the Irrungadji community in residence this weekend, so go and say hello and check out their colourful story telling creations.

NAIDOC Week is an important time to connect-even more- with our indigenous people, so don’t forget to go and view the show and have a chat.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE’S OLD SHEDS

 

J Shed 1

E Shed in B Shed

C Shed in B Shed

 

The story of four old sheds in three photos. Late afternoon light created the J Shed art studios exterior, while the windows of the B Shed cafe offered great reflections of C Shed and the E Shed markets.

Yes indeed, This is Fremantle! 😎

Roel Loopers

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SCULPTURES AT BATHERS BEACH IS BACK!

 

Sculpture@Bathers

 

I am delighted that the great SCULPTURE AT BATHERS exhibition will be back on next year with the organisers calling for entries.

The show at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach attracted thousands of people in the past and is a great showcase of Western Australian 3D art.

Roel Loopers

J SHED ARTISTS CREATE OWN SIGNS

 

j shed 3

 

The Fremantle J Shed artists at Bathers Beach have had enough of Council constantly talking about activating the historic precinct while they ignore their own placemaking advise of low hanging fruit of supporting and promoting existing businesses, instead of just pipe dreaming about the big projects for Arthur’s Head.

So the arty J Shed mob have started to put their own way finding signs around to make visitors aware there is creative light at the end of the Whalers Tunnel, and by the way, also a gorgeous beach.

Roel Loopers

LET’S GET REAL ABOUT WEST END ACTIVATION

I missed the Fremantle Council FPOL Committee meeting on Wednesday due to the Candidate Debate being at the same time, so could not observe myself what went on about Arthur’s Head.

What I hear is that that tired buzzword ‘activation’ was thrown around a lot and that Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt talked about a “Grand Vision” with substantial development, ideally in the form of a National Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the location where J Shed is at the moment.

The one major issue here is that such a building would probably cost $ 40-50 million, which Fremantle has not got, and staff cost and maintenance Fremantle cannot afford either, and…. the State Government wants to build the centre somewhere in Perth and Fremantle is not a preferred location unfortunately.

So should we risk $ 50,000 of ratepayers money on a feasibility study for an Aboriginal centre Fremantle can’t afford to build, manage and maintain, when there is hardly even a remote change that it would be approved and funded by the McGowan government?

Grand visions are great, but they need to be realistic and achievable if we are going to throw money at it.

Now let’s talk a bit about activation. First there was the idea for the Bathers Beach Art Precinct that was meant to activate the area, but did not, and galleries who tried it up on Arthur’s Head closed.  Only the Glen Cowans photograpy gallery established itself well. Now the residential cottages will become artist studios and that will do absolutely nothing to activate the area and attract more people there because the artist studios do not have to be open to the public.

Then Fremantle Council had the brilliant brain flash that a large tavern with an even larger live outdoor music venue would activate Arthur’s Head, against the wishes of the community. They proceeded anyway, to finally be told by the WA Planning Committee that it was inappropriate use of the area, after Sunset Events had wasted a lot of money and Council had managed to frustrate many Freo people. Who cares, we’ve got a grand vision!

To top it off Fremantle Council does not give a rat’s arse about the only place that actually activates Arthur’s Head 363 days a week, the Roundhouse. This major tourist attraction that gets 150,000 visitors a year has not received a single cent of Fremantle Council funding since I have been a volunteer there, which is nine years. But who cares about that tiny activation when one has a grand vision for the area. Maybe we should just demolish WA’s oldest public building and get on with an ever bigger grand vision of a twenty-story hotel on the site. Now that would activate the area.

If this is good governance, Mayor Brad Pettitt, Elected Members and Minister David Templeman than we might as well keep supporting unrealistic pipe dreams instead of supporting those who have put the hard yards in for twenty years without any help from the local, State and Federal governments. You have disrespectfully been taking the Roundhouse for granted for far too long!

You can’t see the activation of Arthur’s Head because you are blinded by your grand visions. Grow up! Mature! Inject some reality into your thought bubbles instead of talking nonsense.

Maintain Arthur’s Head better and make it more attractive. Support the Roundhouse volunteers financially and substantially, and market the old prison more and better. Get rid of the artist studios and offer tourism merchandise along Captain’s Lane, hold a monthly art&craft market on the A Class reserve at J Shed, include it in more festival events such at the Street Arts Festival, and PLEASE stop believing you need to build a monument to be remembered by. It’s not working.

Roel Loopers

 

MORE ART STUDIOS FOR ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

The Fremantle Bathers Beach Art Precinct will join the City’s Studio Program and the former Pilots Cottages will become home to multiple artists instead of art galleries.

City staff conducted a trial period and believe there are benefits for Arthur’s Head, such as “an increase in the diversity of activation” and “a more dynamic precinct has been created”

This is of course self-serving bollocks as the art studios do not have to be open to the public, so one can hardly claim there is now a more dynamic precinct at Captain’s and Ms Trivett lanes, and while there might be diversity of use inside the buildings there is no diversity of activation outside and not much to attract visitors.

The marvelous and very popular Glen Cowans underwater photography gallery stands out as a beacon of professionalism, and at least the artists in the David Giles gallery open the doors, paint on the veranda and engage with the public.

The matter of the area being a ghost town at night is not addressed, so that will only get worse.

Fremantle Council has been wanting to activate Arthur’s Head for many years but fails to understand that artist studios which are closed to the public are not going to do that. It has also dismally failed to support the Roundhouse volunteers who run a major tourist attraction without receiving any funding at all from the City or the State.

The item is on the FPOL Committee agenda on Wednesday.

Roel Loopers

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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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