Freo's View

FREMANTLE COUNCIL’S MOMENT OF INSANITY

 

J Shed

 

Predictably Fremantle Council last night voted to recommend for approval by the WA Planning Commission a 300 patron tavern at J Shed on Arthur’s Head, against the express wishes of the local community, Noongar people, artists and heritage groups.

But the battle was lost long before last night when over four years ago Council in a moment of collective insanity decided that the best applicant for the Expressions of Interest process for a bar/cafe/gallery was the proposal for a 1,500 patron live outdoor music venue and an 850 patron tavern, and signed a 21-year lease with Sunset Events.

Since then the live music aspect was taken away as the Council back tracked more and more because of public outrage, so at the end they believed everyone had compromised enough and 300 patrons was just a bit more than a small bar, and a tavern would activate Arthur’s Head.

The public gallery was jam packed full, and more than 30 people spoke for an hour and a half, with 80 per cent of them being against the tavern.

There were many new faces and young artists and valid arguments were made that a good arts venture would help activate J Shed and the historic area, while a very eloquent young psychologist warned about the dangers of alcohol and public health, but it was all to no avail and only four of the nine Councillors present voted against the proposal.

It was very disappointing that the elected members were abused by some people in the public gallery as that is totally inappropriate. The planning approval went through proper process and the community has elected Councillors to make decisions, and as with all decisions governments make half of the people won’t agree with them. For the record. I don’t agree with this one either.

The deciding authority is the WAPC and even if they approve Sunset Events’ application they will still need to convince the liquor licensing authority that a tavern at Bathers Beach with only portaloos is a good idea.

I am very disappointed with Fremantle Council about this issue. They did not have the backbone to admit the 21-year lease for a tavern was wrong, so they had to back their wrong decision all the way. That is not good governance.

Roel Loopers

 

MORE CREATIVE WAYS TO ACTIVATE ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

In context to the controversial tavern proposal for Fremantle’s J Shed there is a timely article in today’s property pages of the WEST AUSTRALIAN by Brett Mitchell, who is a lecturer at Curtin University at the School of Design and Built Environment.

The article Past, present populate our cityscape argues that we can no longer treat development sites as terra nullius.

Brett Mitchell writes “Our past history and future aspirations should be entwined as creative starting points for making meaningful places.”

He writes that before moving forward we have to look back first. Mitchell uses the heritage-listed cemetery in East Perth as an example where development dictated the shifting boundaries, and that once important meeting places for Whadjuk Noongar people became surrounded and claimed for expansion.

“With an awareness and retelling of our embedded stories the built environment also offers us a chance to reveal the past within the present” writes Brett Mitchell.

These are the things Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt clearly did not consider when he wrote his block post about the, in his opinion, historic irrelevance of the A Class Reserve at Arthur’s Head that is home to J Shed.

The cliff that was once there was the point of the first lighthouse in Fremantle, probably just about where J Shed now is.

We should never ever try to rewrite history to make political points, because it is flawed and very wrong. Arthur’s Head is arguably the most significant historic site in Western Australia and any development there needs to be done with respect for the past.

The desired activation of  Arthur’s Head can be achieved in better and more creative ways than building a tavern there. It is only Council’s shortsightedness and stubbornness that has prevented better outcomes.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

FREO MAYOR’S BAD ARTHUR’S HEAD HERITAGE CALL

Posted in aboriginal, arthur head, city of fremantle, j shed, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 22, 2018

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s latest blogpost about the changing face of Arthur’s Head: https://cofremantle.wordpress.com is an attempt at trying to justify his support for the Sunset Events tavern proposal at J Shed. This is no doubt in response to the smoking ceremony held at Bathers Beach on Saturday in protest to the tavern proposal.

I am grateful for the historic facts and the fantastic historic photos the Mayor published, but I believe Brad Pettitt is missing the point. His argument that because Arthur’s Head changed so much and the J Shed building was added later, it is less significant than other parts of the area above it is flawed.

It is like arguing that land significant to Aboriginal people is no longer significant because mining and development have changed the area.

Just a few metres south of the proposed tavern was the Whaling Station, and Bathers Bay was where the Swan River Colony started, and sadly also the transport of Aboriginal men and boys to the inhumane Rottnest Island Aboriginal Quod prison.

As a board member of the Heritage Council Mayor Brad Pettitt should be well aware that there is tangible and intangible history. Even the beaches and slaughter fields of all the wars have changed over time, but have never become less significant because changes to the areas were made.

Historic significance of place is not measured in metres or what has been taken away or been added! There is very little tangible evidence left of the WWII bombing of Rotterdam, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Berlin, etc.

The Roundhouse is no longer the same as it was when it was built, so does that make the oldest public building in Western Australia less significant?

I have no issue with the Freo Mayor being a big fan of the tavern at J Shed, but I would expect a more intelligent debate from him to support his position than to try to discredit the heritage significance of parts of Arthur’s Head.

Bad call, Brad!

Roel Loopers

THE CHANGES IN FIGURATIVE SCULPTURE LECTURE

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, j shed, sculpture, Uncategorized by freoview on March 28, 2018

 

There is an interesting lecture at the Greg James studio at J Shed this evening from 7-9pm.

Jason Arkles will be giving a lecture: “The origins of Renaissance sculpture – how the figure evolved from the Gothic tradition in Renaissance Italy”.

$20.00 entry fee, refreshments provided.

Jason Arkles is an art historian and sculptor and details the actual and technical stylistic changes that occurred in figurative sculpture six hundred years ago that transformed the art from little more than architectural decoration to the iconic beauty of the Florentine Renaissance.

Arkles is an American sculptor working in the traditional methods and materials one would normally associate with a sculptor in Florence. His large-scale figurative work in bronze, marble, terracotta and wood can be found in public and private spaces, museums, cemeteries, and churches in Europe and America, including on the façade of Saint Mark’s English Church, here in Florence. Trained locally in the studio of Charles H. Cecil (the human figure in clay), in Studio Sem in Pietrasanta (marble), and in a Pontifical Academy in Rome (sacred art). 

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VERY FREO PHOTO SHOW AT ART OF FREO

Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, j shed, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on February 16, 2018

 

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An early warning about a new Fremantle photo exhibition next week on Friday.

Freo by Kylie is a very Freo solo exhibition by emerging local photographer Kylie Richardson at ART of FREO at the J Shed No 4 studio on Bathers Beach.

The promo says that Richardson captures the quirkiness and ingenuity that lurks behind every corner in Fremantle, through stunning images that are vibrant and energetic, aiming to share her personal experiences and perceptions of the City of Fremantle.

Freo by Kylie is the first exhibition held through the Emerging Artist Support Fund, a grant program founded by Art of Freo to assist emerging artists with their first solo exhibition. The Emerging Artist Support Fund is proudly supported by the City of Fremantle

The exhibition opens on Friday 23rd February at 6pm and runs Wednesday to Sunday 11-4pm until Sunday March 11th. Mayor Brad Pettitt will do the official opening at 6.30pm.

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WILL THERE BE J SHED MEDIATION OR NOT?

Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on January 29, 2018

 

When Fremantle Council at its meeting on December 13 decided it would engage a professional mediator to move forward with the Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed, it was expected that this meant mediation between J Shed artists, the proponents and the City of Fremantle, but that assumption appears to be wrong.

There has not been mediation between the artists and Sunset Events but some Councillors and Creating Communities have visited J Shed to consult with the artists.

There are of course the rumours that Freo City and Sunset Events will agree on a change to the contract and scale down the use of the A Class reserve to create a much smaller foot print for the controversial hospitality outlet.

Sunset Events director David Chitty mentioned at the council meeting in December that  permitting fewer patrons would mean a smaller foot print for the tavern and that SE might not need all the Bathers Beach A Class Reserve allocated to them.

There is still nothing official and the saga drags on further, but one has to wonder when mediation is actually mediation and why council decide to have it but than not implement the action.

Freo Council often works in mysterious ways hey. ; >)

—————

Of course there are other ways to activate J Shed as yoga instructor Ava Irani points out:

A few months ago I was really sick of the lack of activation of studio 1 at the J shed and decided to take some action to create a 1 day yoga festival for the community.

It has been birthed, and we will enjoy music, family, yoga, meditation, sound healing, dance, busking and healthy food on Sunday the 18th of February.

We want to create a community vibe outside the shed as well, where kids activities will carry on on the grass, and a space for people to gather in a relaxed way on the grass and at the beach. Of course this will all be free.

However, if participants want to take a class on the schedule IN the J shed its around $15-20 per class.

I’d really love eventually for the city to support something like this. I’m happy to put in the work with my team and put up the money to rent the space but I want the community and city to recognise that we can have alcohol-free, wellness based, community-building yet totally funky family friendly offerings in this space.

Here some more details :
http://spandaschool.com/class/classes/fremantle-yoga-festival/

 

So maybe it was just a typo and Fremantle council meant meditation, and not mediation. ; >)

 

Roel Loopers

FREO J SHED ARTIST JINA LEE IN THE MEDIA LIMELIGHT

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on December 31, 2017

 

Jina Lee

 

Great to see Fremantle J Shed artist Jina Lee getting a big photo in the Sunday Times today.

The Korean-born artist is an outstanding sculptor who travels all over the world to create stunning stone carvings. At the moment she is in New Zealand for a sculpture event, after having returned from Italy only recently.

The work in the Sunday Times photo is for the Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea, so go and have a look at it. It’s on from March 2-19.

Jina is one of the most delightful down to earth people one can ever meet and can be seen grinding, chiselling and polishing behind the Greg James studios at J Shed on Bathers Beach most days when she is in town.

She won the $ 10,000 Rio Tinto Emerging Sculptor Mentorship 2017.

 

Roel Loopers

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J SHED MEDIATION FAR TOO LATE

Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2017

 

Arthur Head

 

Fremantle Councillors will be pleasantly surprised that they are getting a lot of agreement from this obnoxious blogger about the Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

I agree with Mayor Brad Pettitt that there must be a way forward, and I agree with Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge that mediation between the J Shed artists, City of Fremantle and Sunset Events is a good idea.

I also agree with Councillor Adin Lang that Sunset Events need not only convince Fremantle Council but also the local residents and neighbouring artists, and I agree with Councillor Jenny Archibald that the proposal for a tavern does not resemble anything the City asked for in its expression of interest.

And I agree with Councillor Andrew Sullivan about the connectivity of places around the inner city and about activation of that rather dormant part of Bathers Beach.

But the major question for me is WHY NOW AFTER FOUR YEARS?! Why was this not suggested much earlier in the process to avoid all the negative polarisation between the stakeholders? It’s mind-boggling.

And why does Sunset Events put a planning proposal to Council, but director David Chitty then told us tonight they actually won’t need to use all the leased area for a 400 patron tavern.

Why did Sunset Events not put in a proposal showing that they are going to make the tavern a much smaller footprint, and why did they not go to the City of Fremantle and ask for a new lease for a smaller area?

And let’s be clear about connectivity between Bathers Beach and Victoria Quay here too. There needs to be a path in front of the J Shed studios so tourists don’t have to divert to the west to walk between those tourist destinations. A tavern fence there is not ever acceptable, no matter how small the footprint or the number of patrons.

We will now have three months of mediation to see if there actually will be a good compromise, a way forward and a whole lot less negativity, but I fear the polarisation, dislike and disrespect between the J Shed artists and Sunset Events is now so ingrained that it will just become more nastiness, and the City of Fremantle deserves all the blame for that.

Roel Loopers

FREO ARTIST WINS JOONDALUP PEOPLE’S AWARD

Posted in art, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on November 3, 2017

 

Ross Potter

 

Congratulations to Fremantle J Shed artist Ross Potter who won the $ 2,000 People’s Choice Award of the City of Joondalup Community Invitation Art Award 2017.

Pop into the Freo Maritime Museum where Ross Potter is working on a huge life-size drawing of a whale for the Fremantle Festival till mid November!

 

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S J SHED ARTISTS MAKE THEIR MARK

Posted in art, bathers beach, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on October 10, 2017

 

Diego

 

Sometime local artists are undervalued because we take them a bit for granted, and that seems to be the case with the Fremantle J Shed artists at Bathers Beach.

Artist Greg James has just finished another bronze sculpture for Busselton. It will be his fourth artwork for the main street there and two more are commissioned, so that will make the main stretch of Busselton into the Greg James art boulevard.

Artist Lesley Barrett, who works out of J Shed has won the Pemberton art prize and artist Yuko Takahashi, who also creates at J Shed won the Claremont art prize.

And in the meantime J Shed artist Jina Lee has been creating stone sculptures in Italy for a few weeks.

Greg James’ Diego sculpture is about the Spanish settlers to Busselton who introduced olives and wine grapes in the region. It took over 12 months to create the work that weights 310 kilo.

Artist David Johansen, he on the right, was the model for the face of Diego.

Greg James’ next artwork is already on the go and will be a sculpture of Edmund Rice for the Christian Brothers School in Fremantle.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

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