Freo's View

ABORIGINAL CULTURAL CENTRE OPEN DAY

Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on October 31, 2014

The Fremantle Aboriginal Cultural Centre will be open this Saturday 1st November, between 12pm-4pm, as part of the Bathers Beach Art Precinct Open Day.

THE ORIGIN OF DOTS AND DIDJERIDOOS. Perhaps the most recognisable components of Aboriginal culture are Dots and the Didjeridoo, but where did these cultural art forms originate? Come visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, view our artefact display and Aboriginal Art or take a tour and the richness and diversity of Aboriginal Culture including the origin of dots and didjeridoos. Tours start at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Next door the David Giles, Wild Twig and Glen Cowans art studios will also be open and down at beach level the J Shed mob of Greg James, Janet Nixon, Jenny Dawson and Peter Zuvela also have open house, with live music and sausage sizzle.

It’s all part of the 2014 Fremantle Festival!

Roel Loopers

FAILED FREMANTLE ART PRECINCT

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on October 8, 2014

Round House 1

 

 

The Fremantle BATHERS BEACH ART PRECINCT  is one-year-old and has failed to do what it set out to do; activate the area. That only comes as a surprise to those naïve Councillors who came up with the flawed concept that artist studios would be huge attractors to the Freo community and tourists. They were never going to be and the small residential heritage Pilot’s Cottages were never going to attract top W.A. artists, simply because they are unsuitable and too dark for studios and too small for serious art galleries.

The BBAC is also always flawed because it tries to incorporate three significantly different areas. There is the top of Arthur Head at Captain’s Lane, the J Shed down at Bathers Beach, and Kidogo Arthouse at the Old Port Project. The historic significance of the area was ignored because some young Councillors decided it would be perfect for an arts precinct. It never was and never will be.

The only business that has worked up at Captain’s Lane is the Glen Cowans Photography Gallery, and one only has to walk in to see why. The place just oozes professionalism and class. This is as good a gallery as one can get in a tiny cottage, with great displays, furniture and outstanding photos, all printed and framed to very high quality. Wander next door though to the Wild Twig artist collective and one is in a different world. Yes, they try hard but they lack the style and class the Cowans gallery has.

Next door to that Mutima tried very hard and had a lovely gallery but their concept was bewildering because they also sold clothes. But at least they did have music and movie events that actually attracted new people to the area.

The Aboriginal Cultural Centre is also struggling to attract sufficient visitors’ numbers to warrant existence and I am not surprised about that. It was always just Wadjela-white people- patronising tokenism to put something as significant as our City’s indigenous centre in a shitty little residential cottage that formerly was the office of the harbour pilots. Our Nyoongar brothers and sisters deserve something much better and more prominent, in a better inner city location, and I feel sorry for the delightful Brendan Moore who is trying to make the Centre a success.

It shows how serious the City of Fremantle is about our Aboriginal Centre that the yearly funding for it is less than the money spent on the once a year four-hour Wardarnji Festival. Appalling!

J Shed at Bathers Beach has housed successful professional artists for over twenty years, so why was there suddenly the eagerness that sculptor Greg James and his artists in residence, and ceramic artist Jenny Dawson and her collaborating artists had to become performers, open to the public? These are professional business people who work throughout the year on public and private art projects worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that was not good enough for those who don’t understand the arts industry.

The main attractor at Arthur Head is the Round House, our State’s oldest public building. More than 110,000 people come through the door there every year.

It is kept open by less than 40 Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides, who have an office, lunchroom, kitchen and toilet in a small cottage at Mrs Trivett Lane. These mainly elderly volunteers open the Round House-hail or shine-363 days of the year from 10.30 to 3.30 and fire the cannon at 1 pm, but that is not good enough for the COF officers who have told them that to get a new lease on the cottage they will have to share it and one of the rooms of the cottage needs to be activated and opened to the public. Why?!

Before the Bathers Beach Art Precinct started there was 24/7 activation of the area. The Harbour pilots did their day and night shifts, the Crookes family kids brought friends home from Lance Holt school to play on the grass, the family had friends over and barbeques and engaged with passing tourists. Many overseas visitors were introduced by the kids to our local bush tucker when the lilly pilly were in abundance.

The Fremantle Society held their meetings, let other organizations use the cottage, created heritage festival events at Arthur Head, community Boche nights, Australia Day fireworks BBQ, etc. and I lived there as the care-taker, but they, like the Crookes family and Fremantle Port Pilots, were not good enough for the City of Fremantle. The area needed to be reactivated with artists studios, and what a flawed concept that is.

Where are the activation events of BBAP? Where is the art market, why is Wardarnji not held up there but at the Fremantle Arts Centre, why are the community Boche nights in collaboration with FICRA not re-introduced?

Instead of activation of the area we now have a nightly ghost town up there that attracts anti-social behaviour. Most cottages are only open from 11-5 Thursday to Sunday, the Aboriginal Centre is not open on weekends, and on weekdays only from 9am to noon. On the long Queens Birthday weekend only the highly professional Glen Cowans Photo Gallery was open on the Monday, and of course the Round House.

Activation does not happen, it has to be inspired and organised and real money has to be spent by the City of Fremantle to make it work. Why not have a pop-up bar one evening a week as they do in Lemon Lane in Claremont, for example.

The one summer event that really and highly activates the area is the Saturday Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets. It attracts many thousands of people who are all loving it, and it is of course a private enterprise because at Freo Council they wait and see and do the same old, same old festivals each and every year, and none of these festivals embrace the west end of town with any significance.

I love art and I have been advocating for an indigenous centre in Freo for many years, but unfortunately the Bathers Beach Art Precinct is another one of Council’s  flawed ideas. And now the new silly idea is to put a live music venue and micro-brewery at J Shed. Yep, let’s ignore the heritage significance, yep, let’s ignore it is an art precinct, let’s now try an entertainment precinct instead. Do you have any more bright ideas, Freo-thought bubble-Council?

Roel Loopers

Disclosure: I am a volunteer guide at the Round House and also involved in the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets.

NAIDOC GOT A WET WEATHER START

Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 7, 2014

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The inclement weather did not keep a small crowd away from the Fremantle Aboriginal Cultural Centre on Arthur Head for the opening of NADOC week. Several speakers emphasised the importance of recognising Aboriginal culture and the inclusion in the Australian and Western Australian constitutions. Dancers braved the wet and cold conditions, and kangaroo sausages helped us to better deal with the conditions on the way back to the car.

In attendance were  Mayor Brad Pettitt, Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson and Councillor Jon Strachan.

The big NAIDOC event is on Friday from 5 to 8 pm at the centre, so come along with the family and spend some time with our Nyoongar mates.

Roel Loopers

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NAIDOC WEEK IN FREMANTLE

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle by freoview on July 7, 2014

festival 14

 

The NAIDOC Week celebrations are on this week from July 7 to 11, so head to the Fremantle Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Arthur Head at 12 Captain’s Lane. The official opening is today, Monday at 12 noon, but the big event is on Friday July 11 from 5-8 pm with a smoking ceremony, Nyoongar dancers, a performance by Phil Walley, and Aboriginal food will be on offer.

On Tuesday from 10 am-12 noon are art classes, on Wednesday jewellery classes during the same time period, and on Thursday there will be story telling also from 10 am till noon.

The Aboriginal Cultural Centre is open on weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm, so pop in and say Kaya!

The ACC will take over the organisation of the Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival during the Fremantle Festival this year, so stay tuned for that

Roel Loopers

ROEL’S FREMANTLE PHOTO TOURS

Bookings: Text 0419 850981. Email: roel.loopers@iinet.net.au

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FREMANTLE NAIDOC WEEK EVENTS

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle by freoview on July 2, 2014

NAIDOC Week July

 

The NAIDOC Week celebrations are on next week from July 7 to 11, so head to the Fremantle Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Arthur Head at 12 Captain’s Lane. The official opening is on Monday at 12 noon, but the big event is on Friday July 11 from 5-8 pm with a smoking ceremony, Nyoongar dancers, a performance by Phil Walley and there will be Aboriginal food.

On Tuesday from 10 am-12 noon are art classes, on Wednesday jewellery classes during the same time period, and on Thursday there will be story telling also from 10 am till noon.

The Aboriginal Cultural Centre is open on weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm, so pop in and say Kaya!

The ACC will take over the organisation of the Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival during the Fremantle Festival this year, so stay tuned for that

Roel Loopers

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SHARE FREO’S ABORIGINAL CULTURAL CENTRE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on June 12, 2014

The City of Fremantle is looking for Aboriginal not for profit organisations or arts collectives to share space at the new Aboriginal Cultural Centre on Arthur Head. The maximum period for a license will be two years and collaboration with the centre and the Bathers Beach Art Precinct is required.

Rent will be negotiable, so if you have any queries contact Mike Pforr on 9432 9522, or send your Expression of Interest to the Community Development Directorate. PO Box 807. Fremantle 6959.

The Centre is in a former Pilot’s Cottage and just a few metres away from the historic Round House goal that attracts over 100,000 visitors each year.

Roel Loopers

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FREE CONCERT AT CAPTAIN’S LANE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 19, 2014

The Fremantle BATHERS BEACH ART PRECINCT in collaboration with the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets will hold a FREE end of summer live music concert this Saturday March 22 from 5.30 to 9 pm at Captain’s Lane on historic Arthur Head, next to the Round House.

NGATI, the MUTIMA Band, and the BIZ PROJECT will be performing, while the studios along Captain’s Lane will be open, so check out the great underwater photography of Glen Cowans, the nature paintings at Twig Studio, and the eclectic creative mix at Mutima Arthouse. It is not confirmed yet that the new Aboriginal Cultural Centre will be open on the night, but I hope the City of Fremantle can organise that, so that our Nyoongar friends can showcase their work as well.

Roel Loopers

 

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