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!
The 25 under 25 Art Award is on show at the Fremantle Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery in Henry Street, so go and have a look at some young non-pretentious art.
There is $ 2,000 worth of prize money up for grabs and a four week artist residency at the Fremantle Arts Centre. The winners will be announced this evening from 6.30 pm.
There is a very well done 3D piece Toilets by Elizabeth Bills, a realist painting of the New Edition bookshop by Megan Bouwer, while Lizzy Joyce takes the piss out of Coles with her Down Down Bilbys are Down 3D work of a bilby pushing a shopping trolley.
Open/Closed of grass growing out of bed sheets by Sophie Nixon is very tranquil, while cricketer Adam Gilchrist was painted in a huge colourful acrylic by Jaidip Singh.
And there is a very impressive oil painting on a metal lid by Lara Sawyer.
It is important to show support for young, fresh emerging artists, so go and say hello tonight!
I have been to a few Pecha Kucha events and they are always very interesting. They are fast and diverse as presenters only have 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to talk about their subject.
It’s on at the lovely Local Hotel in South Fremantle this Friday from 6pm and tickets are just $ 6.00.
The speed of it all attracts a lot of young and creative people and it is very enjoyable for a couple of hours while having a drink and a meal.
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??
It does not take much for me to discover a photo among the clutter of the city. When one keeps his eyes open for detail, even an empty flaking billboard will create its own piece of art when taken from an interesting angle. This one is at the Fremantle railway station.
Staying with the art theme, there is a very good Aboriginal art show on from Leonora at the Moores Building Arts Centre in Henry Street. TJIWARL COUNTRY is good and ridiculously cheap for the quality of art on show. A huge canvas for only $ 450.00 that should have been priced three times that. Go and buy some for Christmas. They are a bargain!
Get ready for summer and live music at the Fremantle Arts Centre! On the menu are THE CAT EMPIRE on September 26, BOY&BEAR on September 28 and the already sold out NIC CAVE concerts on November 27 and 28.
It will be a whole lot of fun on the South Lawn of the heritage centre. DANCE!
Come and support the Fremantle Bathers Beach Art Precinct and the J Shed artists on Friday August 22.
Greg James Studio is getting RAPT with an intimate evening of a diverse fusion of soul, blues, jazz and contemporary music by the Rosie McDonald, Ann Palumbo & Paul Laszlo Trio. Yes it’s a mouthfull and they could do with a more catchy name, but the music and ambience will be great!
Tickets are $ 25 and $ 20 concessions and it’s BYO but glasses and light refreshments supplied.