Freo's View

HIGH STREET BEAUTIFICATION A DELIGHT

 

 

A lot of people have commented to me on how good Fremantle’s historic High Street is starting to look now that the City of Fremantle is in the process of removing the yellow foil of the Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork and partly or totally paint the facades of the gorgeous buildings.

The building at 10 High Street still does have the yellow foil attached but that is because architect Michael Patroni, who owns the building, wants to take it all the way back to the original tuckpointed facade, and no worries, the City won’t pay for that.

It’s great to see heritage building beautified, but that does not mean I condone the mess  the city administration made out of the fantastic public artwork and not doing their homework about how to safely remove the foil. That should not have happened.

I hear that the City also wants to install more seating along High Street and that no doubt will be welcomed by tourists, locals and Notre Dame university students

Roel Loopers

WINTERWORLD SPONSORSHIP TOO MUCH FOR ONE FREO COUNCILLOR

 

To keep sponsoring the more and more successful Fremantle WINTERWORLD Festival we should get some guarantee of exclusivity, Councillor Rachel Pemberton argued at the FPOL Committee on Wednesday evening. There is a Winterworld in Perth and Hillaries at the same time as Fremantle, she said, and we don’t want another one at Bibra Lake or near Fremantle..

Winterworld this year will for the first time coincide with the Fremantle Festival, which has been moved from a summer to a winter festival, so that means more and better promotion for the festival.

The Winterworld organisers have again asked for cash sponsorship of $ 25,000 from the City plus $ 45,000 of in-kind sponsorship for a waiver of car park fees at the Italian Club, so a total of $ 70,000. The proposal is for a three-year sponsorship up to and including 2021.

Councillor Doug Thompson was the only one who does not like the cash sponsorship, but the FPOL members asked for the CEO to renegotiate the contract, because a more successful Winterworld creates more profits and hence should be able to do with less financial sponsorship from the City.

80,000 people attended Winterworld last year and it is estimated 100,000 will visit it this year.

I think it is quite funny that the City officers claim in the agenda that “the event created strong attendance from interstate” but the figures provided with the statement show that only 300 tickets were sold interstate, so that is hardly a strong attendance from the eastern states.

And one more issue I have been raising since Winterworld started. Where are the posters and flyers so that tourist destinations such as the Roundhouse can hand them out and make interstate and overseas visitors aware that the skating festival is on?

Roel Loopers

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HIGH STREET WILL BE EVEN MORE STUNNING

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 25, 2019

 

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I bumped into the owner of one of the apartments at 2 High Street and had a chat with him about the removal of the yellow foil of the Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork. He said the owners of the building are very happy with the way the work has been done professionally by the BUDO group and are delighted about the result.

The owner, a former president of FICRA, also said that we should not forget that once affected buildings along historic High Street have been repainted the street will look better than ever before, and I believe he is absolutely right.

We can forever whinge that this should not have happened, but all the negativity will make no difference at all. Solutions have been found to deal with the problems, the Heritage Council is keeping an eye on the repairs, as are the City of Fremantle heritage experts, so by the time April arrives and the work has been done Freo’s most beautiful street will look even more stunning. I reckon that’s a win and good for tourism.

Roel Loopers

FREO CITY REPLIES TO YELLOW ART CRITICISM

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 24, 2019

 

yellow art

 

The City of Fremantle has reacted to the ‘exclusive’ in the West Australian earlier this week about the removal issues with the yellow artwork along High Street, so I’ll publish that unedited below:

“The work program for the removal of the artwork and its timing were developed in consultation with the building owners. Works started on 2 January at the Round House end of High Street. Works to numbers 1, 2, 4a and 4 will be complete by 23 January. We will then move to number 6 and work our way up the north side of High Street and back down the other side. Work is currently programmed until mid-March.

A photographic/measured survey has been carried out on each building and the method being applied and area of the works was agreed with each owner prior to commencement. The remediation works not only address the areas that were covered by the yellow foil, but entire ‘panels’ of buildings, so that work does not appear as ‘patching’ but a more complete remediation to ensure an acceptable blended finish.

Step 1 is removal of the yellow foil. Foil is removed by abrasive action. This is similar to normal prep work which might be carried out prior to painting. The contractor is using a couple of different methods. For painted render, painted brickwork, timber frames and metal window bars, removal is through the use of a hand-held grinder fitted with a silicon carbide stripping disk. For more intricate areas such as tuck pointed brickwork and decorative scrolls, a hand-held scraper is used.

Step 2 is preparation. In addition to removing any small remaining pieces of foil (from step 1), the team are filling, carrying out minor repairs, scraping off loose paint, sanding and washing down the building. After that, if any additional cracks are uncovered as part of the wash-down they are also filled and sanded.

Step 3 is painting. Samples of the existing paintwork are taken and matched. A high quality paint is being used.

The approved budget for the removal of the artwork project is $211,000.

The majority of owners have been entirely happy with the process. Owners and tenants are being kept well informed. City officers are on-site daily to ensure works are progressing as agreed. As each building is completed, the City will meet with the owner to ensure they are satisfied with the work that has been done.

The contractor is doing an extremely good job and is very thorough. Officers will continue to actively engage with the contractor throughout the project and are very confident the project will provide a quality outcome. Officers also continue to liaise with representatives of the Heritage Council, who are happy with both the progress, the extent and the quality of the preparation and repainting works.

One property owner has initiated legal proceedings against the City, which the City will defend vigorously.

While the difficulties with removing the artwork – and the additional costs – are unfortunate, they should not overshadow the fact that the artwork was a great success which attracted thousands of people to the West End and contributed to their favourable impression of Fremantle.”

 

In fairness I need to add that former Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri claims that he did not give the City permission to use the building he owns at 7 High Street for the public artwork, so if Tagliaferri’s claim is correct the City trespassed and engaged in property vandalism, but the court will rule no doubt on that as well in due course.

 

Roel Loopers

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NOTHING NEW ABOUT FREO’S YELLOW ART IS NOT EXCLUSIVE!

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 22, 2019

 

 

The integrity of the West Australian newspaper is on the line with yet again another claim of exclusivity when in fact the article reports absolutely nothing new.

It has been well known in Fremantle for months that former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri has taken a writ out against the City of Fremantle and wants $ 50,000 to repair and repaint the facade of his building on the corner of High and Cliff streets for the removal of the yellow foil of the Felice Varini artwork.

But that has not stopped the only daily newspaper in Perth from claiming today that the article is exclusive. Bull….!

In the meantime painters are working hard to remedy the damage and the first three buildings they have almost done look pretty good to a layman like me.

Roel Loopers

 

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IT IS NOT ALL PAIN OF THE YELLOW ART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 10, 2019

 

yellow

 

The removal of the yellow foil and repainting of 2 High Street has been going very well by the look of it, so it is not all black and bleak reporting about the deconstruction of the Felice Varini artwork in Fremantle.

This is what it looked like around 4pm today.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE ART REMOVAL A MAJOR CHALLENGE

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 10, 2019

 

yellow art

 

This photo of the former St Andrew’s Mariners Chapel in Fremantle’s historic High Street, taken late yesterday afternoon, clearly shows the challenges the contractors face in removing the yellow foil of the Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork from the buildings.

The building to the west if it escaped major damage as they could pull off the foil, but this one looks pretty awful, so it appears that it will need a lot more work before it can be re-painted.

It is quite clear that all the buildings will need individual treatment, as the City of Fremantle has indicated, so I don’t envy those who have to find solutions for the problems they encounter. Good luck!

Roel Loopers

 

FIRST ATTEMPTS AT REMOVING FREO’S YELLOW ART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on January 4, 2019

 

art 1

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This is what the Fremantle former Tram Building in High Street looks like after the yellow foil of the Felice Varini artwork had been shaved off.

After this patching up and painting the entire facade will be necessary.

The yellow stripes on the road service, which were part of the public artwork, were also removed with power hoses. That will still require a decent clean up as it looks pretty messy at present.

Roel Loopers

THE FINE ART OF FREMANTLE ART REMOVAL

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 2, 2019

 

art 5

art 1

 

The removal of the yellow Arcs D’Ellipse artwork in Fremantle’s historic High Street started this morning, so it will be interesting to observe the progress of it.

The public artwork by Swiss artist Felice Varini was installed in October 2017 for the Fremantle Festival and was highly successful, with tens of thousands of people photographing the stunning optical illusion from the steps of the Roundhouse.

Unfortunately the removal of the foil from the heritage-listed buildings proved to be a real pain in the arts and was delayed by six months.

Fremantle Council increased the budget for the removal works from $ 15,000 to $ 220,000 late last year. It is still flabbergasting why the City of Fremantle did not not require the artist to have public liability insurance for the removal of the artwork, as that is common practice in Australia.

Good luck to the contractors who took on the job. There was only one person working on it at 9am this morning, so it is going to be a long, slow and tedious process.

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE TO CHANGE THE DATE OF NEW YEAR’S EVE

 

FBH firework

 

I do know that April Fools Day is still four months away, but what the …. There are people who celebrate Christmas in July, so why should April Fools only be in April, and there is far too little to blog about, so I might as well do what the mainstream media and Donald Trump are so good at and report fake news and hopefully make the New Year start with a smile for you.

Anyway, I had this nightmarish kind of a dream that the progressive Fremantle Council, always keen to lead with innovation, will be changing the date of New Year’s Eve to June 30. Fremantle already changed Australia Day to One Day and celebrates it a day or two after the rest of the nation.

The reasons for it are that those lefties on Council believe that there are already too many celebrations and inebriations around Christmas time and that there are a multitude of events and fireworks to compete with for our small port city.

For those reasons Fremantle Council has already decided that the Fremantle Festival in 2019 will be a winter festival in July, when the rest of greater Perth hibernates. This will link the festival with fireworks and the celebration of the new financial year.

So we will be seeing a return of the Fremantle fireworks, but it won’t be on Australia Day or New Year’s Eve, but on June 30. That will make it far more family friendly, because the sun sets earlier in winter and that means the kiddies can be in bed at a far more appropriate time than when the fireworks are in summer.

 

Roel Loopers

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