Freo's View

BATHERS BEACH ART BONANZA AT J SHED

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on May 10, 2017

My friends at the Fremantle J SHED art studios on Bathers Beach are having an open studios day this Friday May 12 from 6 pm.

There will be eclectic shows in the four studios, from ceramics, to sculptures, paintings and photography and there is even a stunning camper van work in progress at the number 1 studio.

Photographer Peter Zuvela has used interesting Photoshop techniques for his old crane port photos, while next door Axel Kayser has done some stunning wildflower photos and also fascinating aerial photos of very creative crop creations.

Ross Potter will show his integrate pencil drawings, Brett Todman paintings and sculpture and Jenny Dawson ceramics.

The A Class reserve has been transformed into a sculpture park, so come a bit early to watch the sun set!

The artists received a phone call from a City bureaucrat to tell them they do not have a license to play live music at the opening and that is just plain bloody stupid!

Many art exhibition openings have live music and Fremantle Council has been keen to activate the Bathers Beach Art Precinct for many years, but when the artists collaborate and initiate new ideas, some red tape addict wants to stop them from attracting the community to the event by banning live music by local musos who donate their time and talent.

Just get a life City of Fremantle. Your management of the Arthur’s Head arts precinct is less than satisfactory!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the delightful Janet Nixon! Enjoy the bubblies Greg James just brought in. ; >)

Roel Loopers

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QUIET STREET ARTS SUNDAY

Posted in culture, fremantle, street arts festival, Uncategorized by freoview on April 17, 2017

 

It was unusually quiet on Sunday afternoon for the Fremantle International Street Arts Festival but traders told me it had been busy during lunchtime.

There were only a handful of people in High Street between 2-4 pm when I walked around to take some snaps and even the Cappuccino Strip was not packed full.

It is likely some people came into Freo for the evening performances, but compared to very busy Friday and Saturday it was relatively quiet on Sunday, so now hoping that the masses will come today for the last day of the free festival.

I must admit the festival has not excited me as much this year as previous years, so I hope other people will have found more fun in the acts.

Roel Loopers

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

TOUGH TITTIES AT FREO ARTS CENTRE

Posted in culture, fremantle, fremantle arts centre by freoview on April 3, 2017

 

As promised I went to have a look at the ORANGE show in the Fremantle Arts Centre about Osho, Sheila and the Sannyas cult and the hundreds of people dressed in orange in Fremantle in the early 1980s.

It is more a historic show than an art exhibition, but it is very interesting to look at some of the photos and read some of the stories.

But I am far more interested in this coming Saturday’s REVEAL Aboriginal art market at the FAC as it was a great atmosphere last years and nice to catch up with some blackfella brothers and sisters from all over WA.

Roel Loopers

FEMALE FOOD FOR BATHERS BEACH

Posted in bathers beach, culture, fremantle by freoview on March 27, 2017

There was such an air of negativity at the Sunset Events community information session about new plans for J Shed at Bathers Beach that I left before the questions started, as the interruptions were annoying.

I walked away asking how one can create trust between parties when there is so much negativity. Honesty helps to achieve that, so why did Sunset Events director David Chitty in his presentation omitted to mention plans for a brewery, as well as the tavern, restaurant and picnic area he mentioned?

That is so silly and tactically so unwise because now the people who are already against it will think SE have got more to hide and other controversial plans they don’t want to mention.

That was really disappointing because I quite like the concept of an affordable family restaurant, with function space(s), a cultural program and creative director to implement it and a nice picnic area on the grass in front of the artists’ studios.

A 400 patron venue is not huge but is a tavern appropriate for the A-Class reserve? Not according to the state’s DAP and SAT.

I liked that David Chitty admitted the trial period had shown that what they initially wanted did not work for them and the community, and that could have been the start of positively moving forward together but PLEASE cut the bullshit!

The restaurant is going to serve female friendly meals that are not too blokey? You must be kidding! Are sausages phallic symbols?

Australian BBQ, local fresh produce and seafood, yes please. Generous serves to assist obesity, no thank you!

Fostering a progressive cultural program is paramount to the project. I don’t think so as a pub environment is just not suited for it. Film nights are great, especially outdoors but the northern end of Bathers Beach is very bloody windy, as we found out when we ran the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Market there. Ask the Kelp Bar how they struggle with the Freo Doctor.

I want something special at that end of Bathers Beach but am not sure that bookend pubs are the go, but I do actually like the idea of something like COAST at Port Beach that could well work at BB and I believe David Chitty could pull that off with the right chef and leaving all the bullshit and brewery stuff behind.

Roel Loopers

MATHAS AND FEELS AT FREO ARTS CENTRE

Posted in art, culture, fremantle arts centre by freoview on March 26, 2017

Winter is approaching and that means the Sunday concerts at the Fremantle Arts Centre will stop soon, but today it is still on with MATHAS and his intricate lyrics and beats.

He will be joined by the new percussion-electro duo FEELS, so it should be a delightful afternoon in the lovely courtyard.

The cafe, pizza bar and drinks bar are open and so are the galleries.

Roel Loopers

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ARTISTS AT HOME IN FREMANTLE

Posted in art, culture, fremantle by freoview on March 25, 2017

 

BRILLIANT is a very good exhibition by Fremantle artists about the theme HOME.

Home is so important to all of us and can be anywhere as long as we have a sense of belonging and connect with the community.

I believe Fremantle is very good at making one feel at home. It embraces you with charm and warm friendliness and people who care.

The show is on at the Moores Contemporary Gallery in Henry Street that also houses the great Moore&Moore cafe and a children’s playground in the courtyard, so go spend some time there this weekend.

Participating artists are Claire Bailey, Theo Koning, Jo Darvell, Clyde McGill, Sharyn Egan, Alessandra Rossi, Megan Anderson, David Carson, Andrew Christie, Olga Cironis, Ben Crapsley, Jenn Garland, Fiona Gavino, Anisa Hirte, Darren Hutchens, Marcia Hadlow, Junko Kitamura, Steve Makse, Susie Marwick, Respoke, Jane Ryan, Nick Vervest, Annabelle Williamns, Mark Welsh, Rosina Wonglorz.

Roel Loopers

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FEELING AT HOME IN FREMANTLE ART

Posted in art, culture, fremantle by freoview on March 24, 2017

A very good Fremantle exhibition is opening tonight at 6 pm at the Moores Contemporary Gallery in Henry Street.

I had a quick glimpse of it when they were installing it yesterday and there are a lot of artworks I like very much, so don’t miss it!

BRILLIANT is about home and what it means: Home…A 3×1 with room to park a car, a picket fence out front, clothes line out the back, manicured green lawn? In Fremantle you’re not even close.

Artists participating are Claire Bailey, Theo Koning, Jo Darvell, Clyde McGill, Sharyn Egan, Alessandra Rossi, Megan Anderson, David Carson, Andrew Christie, Olga Cironis, Ben Crapsley, Jenn Garland, Fiona Gavino, Anisa Hirte, Darren Hutchens, Marcia Hadlow, Junko Kitamura, Steve Makse, Susie Marwick, Respoke, Jane Ryan, Nick Vervest, Annabelle Williamns, Mark Welsh, Rosina Wonglorz.

I’ll post some photo of it later today or tomorrow as I am gallery sitting and short of blog time.

Roel Loopers

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NOOGARS DESERVE BETTER THAN DOGOODERISM

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, culture by freoview on March 20, 2017

Fremantle Council will consider this Wednesday if they should start a six-months process for a Noongar ‘Eldership’ to come up with a concept for the Beach Street building at the East Street jetty, that will be vacated by DADAA soon.

The issue for me is that I hear that this time a different group of Noongars will be consulted than those who were involved with the Walyalup Centre and I believe that is a problem.

It seems to me that the City of Fremantle is putting the cart before the horse and have already decided on this one location, when there is not even a proper concept of what the local Aboriginal people want and need, and what they want might be better somewhere else.

I know Fremantle Council’s heart is in the right place but for me it smells a wee bit of patronising tokenism as the Wadjelas are generously offering a space that might not be suitable at all for the Noongars, as is the case with the present Walyalup Centre at Arthur Head, that has failed for many reasons that have yet all to be assessed.

Why not have a proper and inclusive process managed by the Aboriginal South West Land Council, instead of selectively including and excluding certain families in the decision-making for a new Aboriginal cultural community centre?

Why not find out first if the Noongar people want a community centre as a meeting place for themselves, or if they want a Noongar showcase for tourists that could generate income through the sale of art and events, or a combination of both.

Why restrict the Noongars to only the one location at Beach Street when maybe a nature-based location would be better for them in Booyeembarra Park or out of town. Maybe a bigger bush project where Fremantle collaborates with Cockburn could be an option?

To me it feels too much like dogooders wanting a feel-good process instead of a best-outcome based one where Noongar people will take on ownership of the new centre and manage and run it autonomously.

What we should want for our Whadjuk Noongar people is the very best cultural centre, not just any space that is available.

Roel Loopers

LUCY PEACH AT FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE

Posted in art, culture, fremantle arts centre by freoview on March 19, 2017

It’s going to be a very pleasant 26 degrees this Sunday so a perfect day to head out to the Fremantle Arts Centre and enjoy the free courtyard music from 2-4 pm by Lucy Peach.

Fresh from winning the WAM Award for Best Folk Act 2016, Lucy will stun you with her epic vocals and evocative songwriting, weaving bitterly sweet tales of wayward love.

The pizza bar, cafe and bar will be open and of course there are exhibitions on, and the craft and gift shop is open.

See you there!

Roel Loopers

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