Freo's View

RETHINK BATHERS BEACH ART PRECINCT

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, culture, Uncategorized by freoview on April 12, 2017

Fremantle Council made the right decision a few weeks ago about the Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Instead of just handing the DADAA Beach Street building over to Noongar people and see if the centre would work better in a different location from the one it occupied at Arthur Head, Council decided it actually needed to find out first what our local indigenous people want and need.

I believe Council should take the same approach to the Bathers Beach Art Precinct concept because it has not been working as well as it could have.

First Council needs to be very clear if they really believe a tavern at J Shed is appropriate for the arts and heritage precinct, because the WA Planning Commission and State Administrative Tribunal both don’t believe a tavern is the appropriate use for the A-Class reserve.

The arts precinct idea is nice but it lacks an outcome-based concept. All we keep hearing from Council is that they want to activate the area, but that cannot be achieved by packing amateur artists into residential small cottages at Captain’s and Mrs Trivett Lane.

The only truly professional outfit on top of the hill has been the Glen Cowans Photography Gallery, most other attempts have been dismal failures up there.

Arthur Head is already well activated with 135,000 people visiting the Roundhouse annually. That deserves more support and more thought from the City of Fremantle on how it can promote that tourist attraction better, hold more evening events in the historic building and how we can better connect the precinct with Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour.

J Shed has been working very well as an arts hub for many years, but professional artists are not performing circus animals and that is where the Bathers Beach Art Precinct fails and the concept is wrong. One cannot expect artists working on sculptures and ceramics to have their doors open to the public daily, as they simply do not have the time to engage with the public and interrupt their public art commissions. Even artists need to make a living!

The new Art in Freo gallery that took over the woodworkers No 4 studio works well and does children activities during school holidays, and holds events and classes, while Jenny Dawson and Greg James in the studios next door most of the time share their spaces with other international and Aboriginal artists.

Sunset Events ‘new’ proposal for the No 1 Studio is not very different at all from the one rejected by two state authorities and Fremantle Council. They have just given it a different name and now the tavern is supposed to be only a family restaurant with a tavern license with strong emphasis on culture and heritage. And pigs do fly.

Fact is that Sunset Events have only taken out the open air concerts part of their proposal and everything else is very much the same as it previously was, and was rejected.

Fact is also that nothing can stop Sunset Events from applying for so-called one-off events, such as large outdoor concerts on the reserve, and we all know that applicants often want to make changes once Council has approved a planning proposal.

So are we supposed to take Sunset Events’ word for it that the family restaurant won’t quickly change into a tavern with concerts when they realise the profit margin for a restaurant is too low for their investment? Yes pigs do fly indeed.

Fremantle Council needs to take the Arthur Head activation plans back to the drawing board, as they did with the Aboriginal Centre, and stop putting the cart before the horse. It needs careful consideration and more support for those who are already there, and much better quality control of who can lease the Pilots Cottages.

Working artists studios will never significantly activate the area, but professional art and craft galleries might. One also has to consider if selling tourism related goods would be a better option for the cottages because the markets in Fremantle are only open on weekends and many visitors to the area often ask for markets.

It is not going to do anyone any good to stubbornly hold on to the arts precinct idea when something else might just work much better.

Above all, let us not forget that Arthur Head is one of the most significant historic precincts in Western Australia, with the Roundhouse the oldest public building in the state.

Back to the drawing board and a think tank with artists, the tourism industry, etc. Freo Council!

Roel Loopers

SUNSET EVENTS’ NEW PLANS FOR J SHED

Posted in arthur head, bathers beach, bathers beach art precinct, fremantle, heritage by freoview on March 27, 2017

Sunset Events is holding a public information session today at 5.30 about their new plans for the number one unit at J Shed at Fremantle’s historic Bathers Beach.

Sunset Events’ previous plans for an 850 patron tavern and 1,500 people outdoor music venue on the A-Class reserve were rejected by Fremantle Council, the W.A. Development Assessment panel and the State Administrative Tribunal, so it will be a tough task to get a smaller tavern approved as that use was deemed inappropriate for the reserve by the two state agencies.

The meeting is at the Drill Hall-former Fly by Night club- at Parry Street at 5.30 pm today, Monday March 27.

Roel Loopers

MCMILLAN SHOW AT ART IN FREO

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, fremantle, western australia by freoview on March 1, 2017

Unseen, Unheard, Unspoken by Stuart McMillan is the new exhibition at Art in Freo at the Number Four Studio at J Shed on Fremantle’s Bathers Beach

“This exhibition shares the joys and failures of the creative process. I want to share artwork beyond the refined perfection. I feel it’s important to let people in on how much work goes into the process, a look behind the doors of my mind.” the artist says.

The opening of McMillan’s ‘Pop Up’ exhibition is on Friday March 3 from 5.30-8pm.

McMillan has been creating work solidly for over 14 years in many mediums from, painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, music and video. Much of his practice is fed by the environment he is immersed in, whether it be urban, rural or nature. McMillan says he likes to sit and ponder all the flux of these spaces and how humans interact within the different environments.

His creative process often involves capturing snippets of visual, audible or photographic information, taking this information, dissecting it, rearranging it, and sometimes even erasing it, to see the dialogue they create with each other.

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FREO’S BATHERS BEACH ART PRECINCT SHAMBLES

Posted in art, arthur head, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle by freoview on February 24, 2017

It is often difficult to write critical articles on my blog because Fremantle is a small community and more like a family to me and a place where I have a lot of friends.

While I don’t mind to stir the pot a bit now and then I don’t enjoy negativity, but sometimes there is no other way and what is happening at the Bathers Beach Art Precinct is such a case.

The thought bubble of making one of our state’s most significant historic precincts into an arts precinct to activate it was flawed from the start and the officers somehow have to implement what is not practical and never  was a good idea in the first place.

Small art businesses have failed at Captain’s Lane while the very professional Glen Cowans photography gallery bravely soldiers on offering outstanding photo art. The Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre has also failed and the art that has been on offer in the other cottages was mediocre, to say it kindly.

Now the next thought bubble has arrived and the No 10 cottage at Captain’s Lane will be included in the City’s Studios Program as low-cost non-commercial work spaces.

The artists will not be required to open their doors to the public and only need to have an open door event every six months.

This will do absolutely nothing to help activate the area and is worse than it was when the Fremantle Pilots, Fremantle Society and Crookes family occupied the three cottages.

The Society held community events on the lawn and inside the cottage, the pilots were there 24/7 and so were the lovely family where the kids brought friends from Lance Holt School, and engaged with visitors to Arthur’s Head.

What the City of Fremantle has created is a night-time ghost town that has attracted homeless people who defecate in the backyards, and during the day and weekends it is often only the Glen Cowans Gallery that is open to the public.

In the meantime the Roundhouse that receives 130,000 visitors a year is struggling to get support from the City and we have now been waiting for well over a year to get power into the Roundhouse so we can start applying for funds for stunning new interactive displays. We are activating the historic area, but no one at Fremantle Council gives a rat’s arse about that, because it is more important to continue with the flawed art precinct concept.

Down at J Shed the artists have been denied access to the No 1 studio to use it as exhibition space during the Sculpture@Bathers show , but I hear the City will announce today who is moving in till July, when Sunset Events is supposed to start some kind of business there.

And let me make this very clear! I do not blame the officers who really try very hard, but it is the ineptness and piecemeal governance of the area by Fremantle Council that really pisses me off!

Roel Loopers

WA ART, SUNSET AND FREO FISH&CHIPS

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, fremantle, sculpture@bathers by freoview on February 21, 2017

 

There are already many interesting sculptures at Bathers Beach where the installation of the 2017 Sculpture@Bathers show is under construction.

The exhibition that showcases 80 WA sculptors will open this weekend and will be on Fremantle’s inner city beach for two weeks.

Bruce Abbott from REPLANTS has planted some trees in the beach sand, so that is something very different

Many of the works will be lit up at night, as is the cliff face at Arthur Head, so a perfect excuse to go and watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean, see some great local art and eat fish&chips.

Roel Loopers

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FOLK&ROOTS AND A COLD SEA BREEZE

 

Unfortunately the very strong and cold sea breeze and the forecast of inclement weather kept people away from the Folk&Roots event at J Shed on Sunday afternoon, presumably because they did not know the music was performed inside the No 1 studio, with views to Bathers Beach through the huge window and sheltered from the weather.

Those who stayed at home missed out on very good music, a really nice atmosphere and yummy food from the Flying Falafels food van.

The No 1 studio at J Shed is perfect for events and the large space is very comfortable, so I hope Fremantle Council will approve the application for  a six months use by Emilia Galati who has applied to start O6M in that space, until Sunset Events take up their 25 year lease on July 1.

Emilia has really good energy and  was the brilliant manager of the former Merenda Aboriginal Gallery in High Street. She was also involved in organising the fantastic Aboriginal art market at the Fremantle Arts Centre earlier this year, so she will bring new vitality to J Shed.

Roel Loopers

 

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COME TODAY TO FOLK&ROOTS AT J SHED!!!!!

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, fremantle, j shed, music by freoview on December 11, 2016

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IT’S ON TODAY FROM 4-7 PM IN J SHED AT BATHERS BEACH. DON’T MISS IT!!

CLOUDS IN THE SKY SO EXPECT A DRAMATIC SUNSET, GREAT MUSIC, FOOD VANS, ART.

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FREMANTLE FUN DAY SUNDAY

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Sunday is fun day in Fremantle and tomorrow will be a good day for music, but first things first and start the day at the Growers Green Farmers Market on Lefroy Road from 8am till midday. They have live music as well!

From 2-4 pm the free courtyard music session at the Fremantle Arts Centre with Luke Dux and Atomic Lunchbox is on.

The WAM Award-winner performs stripped back, acoustic versions of his extensive catalogue of solo tunes. Joined by a line up of talented musicians, be captivated by his moody lowdown blues style and intricate guitar work.

And from 5-7 there is Folk&Roots and a great sunset at J Shed on Bathers Beach and food van Flying Falafels will be there for dinner. This is also a free family event!

It should be a very good day of community fun, so I am looking forward to it!

Roel Loopers

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FOLK, ROOTS AND ART DELIGHTS AT J SHED

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, fremantle, music, tourism by freoview on December 5, 2016

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Good to see more creative activity at J Shed and the Fremantle Bathers Beach Art Precinct with the Local Delights and Folks&Roots on this coming weekend December 9-11.

Local Delights showcases the artistic works of Freo artists all weekend while on Sunday December 11 the J Shed area will come alive with the sounds of the Folks&Roots event from 4-7 pm.

I was next to the Roundhouse at the Glen Cowans photo gallery all Sunday and wished I had taken time-lapse video to show how busy it was up there with tourists. It was a steady stream from 9.30 to 4.30 and I know that the footfall figures the Roundhouse guides record daily on their number counter clicker are well up from last year.

Roel Loopers

ART SHOWS OPENING AT BATHERS BEACH TODAY

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, fremantle, j shed, kidogo arthouse by freoview on November 24, 2016

It is a great day for art at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach tonight with the opening of four exhibitions.

At Kidogo Arthouse from 6.30 Japanese born Emi Ninoseki will show her beautiful Portraits in the large gallery, and next door in the small gallert Grant Sutherland has his Robots Travel West show with delightfully quirky small sculptures made out of recycled old cameras and household items. Theye are sooo cute and perfect Christmas presents.

At J Shed from 5-7 pm there is the photo show by National Portrait Photo Prize winner Elizabeth Looker at the No 1 studio, a mixed stock exhibition at the No 3 Greg James Sculpture Gallery and at the No 4 Freo is Art Gallery Ross Potter’s retrospective shows his stunning drawings.

Bring your bathers and have a dip and cool down while enjoying great art in one of Freo’s best locations!

Roel Loopers

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