Freo's View

PIECEMEAL MANAGEMENT OF HISTORIC ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

I am surprised to see this message from the City of Fremantle on Facebook

We’re seeking applications from groups, organisations or individuals for the use of Unit 1 J Shed in the Bathers Beach Art Precinct! You can register your expression of interest for the studio space by next Wednesday here: https://bit.ly/2QrndhQ

And when going to the link it includes:

We’re seeking applications from groups, organisations or individuals for the use of Unit 1 J Shed.

Unit 1 J Shed is located within the Bathers Beach Art Precinct (BBAP) and is ideal as an individual or shared studio space. 

BBAP is a dynamic, innovative and authentic art and culture area and applicants will need to showcase how their proposal will benefit the area.

Applications close Wednesday 19 December 2018.

Current artists have been told that Fremantle Council will address the art precinct and J Shed during their February 2019 meeting, and I assumed that after the Sunset Events tavern debacle Council would consider different options for Arthur’s Head and a Masterplan for the historic precinct.

This is just more piecemeal management of the important tourist district that really deserves a whole lot more attention from Fremantle Council. This is very disappointing!

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! I have just been made aware that the EOI is only for the period of January 7 to March 7, so that is reassuring.

 

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ROSS POTTER OPEN STUDIO AT J SHED

 

14 Dec Ross Potter open studio

 

Fremantle J Shed artist ROSS POTTER will have an OPEN STUDIO this coming Friday, December 14 from 5-8pm.

Go and have a look at the excellent photorealistic drawings Ross patiently creates over many weeks and even months.

Currently he is doing a life-size drawing of Perth Zoo elephant Tricia.

J Shed is at Fleet Street, just on your way out to the South Mole.

Roel Loopers

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CHRISTMAS AT FREO’S ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

FBH christmas sunday

Dec 9 J Shed open day

 

If you are coming into Fremantle on Sunday don’t forget that the Fishing Boat Harbour traders are putting up a special Christmas event for the next three weeks from midday on.

Performances, live music, a market, kids activities, etc.

Also on Sunday is the J Shed Open Day, just a three-minute walk from the Fishing Boat Harbour, so pop into the studios there, and while there walk up the steps to view the amazing underwater photos at the Glen Cowans photo gallery next to the Roundhouse.

Roel Loopers

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WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF ARTHUR’S HEAD?

 

I hear that J Shed artists have been told by the City of Fremantle that license/lease negotiations will be on hold until Fremantle Council has debated the future of the shed, and presumably the entire Bathers Beach Art Precinct, at their monthly meeting in February next year.

While this has created some uncertainty and stress for the artists, whose future at J Shed is not secure again, it is not necessarily a bad thing that Council wants to revisit plans for Arthur’s Head, as the Bathers Beach Art Precinct in its present form is flawed and not working as well as it could.

I would like to see a real Masterplan with long-term goals for the historic precinct and the City spending money on infrastructure such as public toilets at beach level, an outdoor deck at Unit 1, and making the area into an attraction instead of an afterthought.

It is clear from the Sunset Events fiasco that ‘applicant driven’ ideas can grow out of proportion, as was also the case with talking about a large burger restaurant for the small Esplanade hub. Council struggles to contain these ideas so that they are actually what the elected members wanted to achieve and don’t get kidnapped by commercial profit thinking.

Arthur’s Head is an amazing precinct with huge potential to make it into a real tourist attraction for visitors and the Fremantle community, but that requires financial commitment and creativity from Council and not just filling up vacant spaces ad hoc.

It is time to get back to the drawing board, conduct some intense community consultation, make the Roundhouse a much bigger drawcard with proper marketing and evening events, light up the Pilot Cottages at night and create better connectivity between Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour.

The historic significance of Arthur’s Head needs to be the main consideration, but that does not mean a good arts and culture component can’t be part of the future there. A stunning sculpture park on the A Class Reserve in front of J Shed could be amazing.

Roel Loopers

 

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GREG JAMES’ EDMUND RICE BRONZE SCULPTURE

Posted in art, bathers beach, city of fremantle, culture, education, greg james, history, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on November 7, 2018

 

Edmund Rice

 

Fremantle J Shed artist Greg James is one of Western Australia’s truly outstanding bronze sculpture artists, as he proves again with the remarkable sculpture of Edmund Ignatius Rice, that will be installed at the Christian Brothers College in January.

Irish born Rice(1762-1844) was a Roman Catholic missionary and educationalist who established the Christian Brothers, who still follow the traditions established by Rice.

If you happen to walk past J Shed at Bathers Beach ask Greg James if you can have a look at the bronze artwork.

Greg is already working on his next work that is very Fremantle. His great, great grandmother was a passenger on the Marquis D’Angelsea in 1829, that was shipwrecked at Bathers Bay. She lost all her belongings, including her piano, which will be the focus of James’ heritage art work, and something the City of Fremantle should definitely buy.

 

Roel Loopers

THE FUTURE OF FREO’S J SHED

 

With the saga about a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach now finally closed it is now time for Fremantle Council to look at a long-term plan for historic Arthur’s Head because the Bathers Beach Art Precinct idea has clearly not improved activation of the area, and that is what Council supposedly was hoping for when approving the 21-year tavern lease with Sunset Events.

There are a few simple facts about the art precinct and that is that quite a few artists have tried but could not even earn enough to pay the rent, and only a few real professionals such as Greg James, Jenny Dawson and Glen Cowans have survived and contributed to the area, and to a lesser extend also the messy looking David Giles gallery where many Sunday painters gather.

We also know that hospitality operators looked at the No 1 glass wall studio at J Shed but did not believe it was financially viable to start a business because they would have had to invest in sewerage, toilets and building a commercial kitchen, and the costs were prohibitive. It was also questioned if a hospitality venue would be a good neighbour next to a semi-industrial art workshop where grinding, welding, wax and bronze melting takes place.

Activation is a buzz word in Fremantle, as was placemaking for a few years, but what does it really mean and how much of it is needed at Arthur’s Head? Already the Roundhouse attracts some 150,000 visitors a year and that is the number of people actually going through the door, while many who walk up to the limestone cliff face just wander around without entering. It is a coming and going that make the place look popular, and the Glen Cowans gallery next to it offers fantastic underwater photography that is admired by many visitors from all over the world.

If Fremantle Council is seriously interested in activating the area why does it not use the lawn next to the Roundhouse and the A Class reserve in front of J Shed more often for events, one has to wonder. Why for example is the far west end of High Street not used as a stage for the Street Arts Festival to attract people there and help the activation Freo councillors keep dreaming about? Why is there no weekend art and craft market in the area?

Where is the investment in the area when Bathers Beach still does not have public toilets and where the connectivity from The Fishing Boat Harbour to Victoria Quay is still not resolved properly? Why are the Pilot’s Cottages not lit up at night, that would also discourage homeless people from using them?

Why also do we live with scaffolding and fencing around the cliff face since May, and work has still not started on it when tourists numbers and cruise ship visits will increase during the warmer summer months? Why has it taken so long, nearly half a year!, to find a solution?

Fremantle Council needs to walk the walk and put ratepayers’ money to good use at Arthur’s Head, because the area looks run down and uncared for and that is unacceptable for this heritage and tourist precinct. Forget activation, prioritise tender loving care first!

Roel Loopers

J SHED TAVERN LEASE TERMINATED!

 

In a great exclusive the FREMANTLE HERALD today reports on its front page that Sunset Events has asked the City of Fremantle to terminate its 21-year lease for a tavern at J Shed.

The development approval was rejected by the WA Planning Commission last month, but there were fears in the community that Sunset Events might take it all the way to the State Administrative Tribunal, instead the events promoters decided to walk away from the Bathers Beach venture.

This is an amazingly good outcome for the Fremantle community and heritage groups who protested long, loud and clear against the inappropriate proposal, but the majority of Fremantle Councillors just did not want to listen to them and now have egg on their face for pursuing this for far too long.

It is now time for Fremantle Council to revisit plans for J Shed and the entire Bathers Beach Arts Precinct, which needs to have new innovative ideas to activate it more and better and to make it a tourist destination in the significant heritage area just below the Roundhouse.

Roel Loopers

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J SHED SAGA NOT OVER YET

 

Word on the J Shed grapevine is that Sunset Events is going to take the application for a tavern at Bathers Beach all the way to the State Administrative Tribunal, after it was refused this week by the WA Statutory Planning Commission as being an inappropriate use of the A Class Reserve.

I believe it is disappointing that the SE directors are so stubborn and want to fight a proposal that has been strongly rejected by many community groups and the WASPC.

Rumours also have it that if Sunset Events do not get their way at SAT they are considering legal action against the City of Fremantle, although CoF are not the deciding authority.

So here we go again, deja vu and groundhog dag all together.

Roel Loopers

HERITAGE GUIDES MISREPRESENTED AT PLANNING COMMITTEE

Posted in arthur head, bathers beach, city of fremantle, heritage, j shed, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2018

 

A disturbing fact turned up in the minutes of the most recent WA Statutory Planning Committee, that dealt with the application for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

It is recorded in the minutes and clear that former Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides president Cheryl Greaves misrepresented herself to the state government committee as a spokesperson for the Roundhouse volunteer guides organisation, when she was not authorised to do so.

7.3 Proposed Change of Use to Tavern and Additions to Existing Building at Lot 2051 Fleet Street, Fremantle (J-Shed) (Item 8.5) Presenter: Ms Cheryl Greaves – Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association Ms Greaves made a presentation to members on behalf of the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association in support of the recommendation by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. Ms Greaves discussed the historic importance of the Arthur Heads Reserve and that it is a dedicated A Class reserve because of its heritage significance and that the nature and scale is not fit for the reserve and the application should be refused.

While the on-line minutes of the WASPC still have to be authorised at the next committee meeting I assume that they are correct.

Current Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides president Frank Duffy confirmed yesterday to me that Ms Greaves had asked for permission to speak on behalf of the volunteer organisation but that request had been refused.

Cheryl Greaves was a very controlling president of the Roundhouse volunteers group and a stickler for rules and regulations when she was in charge. Everything had to be done by the book, so it is astonishing that against the express directions of the present committee she decided to address the WASPC without the authority to do so.

No matter how passionate we all are about protecting Fremantle’s heritage and character, we can not walk around and claim to speak on behalf of an organisation and its members, when all we do is express a personal opinion. It is very bad form, unprofessional and not acceptable.

 

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO J SHED TAVERN REFUSED BY WAPC!

 

The WA Statutory Planning Committee announced in the Minutes today of their meeting on August 28 that they REFUSE the development of a tavern by Sunset Events of the No 1 studio at J Shed at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach.

The committee members agreed that the area could be activated but there was a need to find an appropriate and compatible use.

“1. The proposed application does not comply with there requirements of the Clause 30 (1) of the Metropolitan Region Scheme as it is inconsistent with the purpose for which the land is reserved under the scheme, inconsistent with the orderly and proper planning of the locality and does not allow the preservation of amenities in the locality.
2. The proposed application does not comply with there requirements of Development Control Policy 5.3 – Use of Land Reserved for Parks and Recreation and Regional Open Space as it is not of a nature and scale compatible with the use and zoning of the surrounding land, the nature and purpose of the reserved land and the environmental character of the location.”

This is a huge win for Fremantle heritage groups, local residents and the J Shed artists who have been fighting Fremantle Council from the very start of the proposal.

Council signed a 21-year lease with Sunset Events for an 850 patron tavern and a 1,500 patron outdoor live music area against the strong opposition of all the community groups and Fremantle Ports. Even a packed Townhall for a special electors meeting did not sway the elected members to change their mind.

Sunset Events watered down their proposal to a tavern for only 350 patrons and no live outdoor concerts but the WASPC still believed that this would be an inappropriate use of the A Class Reserve.

The lease contract between the City of Fremantle and Sunset Events will now be declared null and void.

Roel Loopers

 

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