PSAS-the Pakenham Street Art Studios-have a new exhibition that is very relevant to Fremantle. Artist Zora Avila questions in her exhibition Next Level Bullshit when-or if-graffiti is art and if tagging is just like dogs leaving their marks. Is good graffiti art-when not commissioned-still just simple vandalism or is it an expression of rebellion and unhappiness with society?
Here is the media blurb from PSAS:
Next Level Bullshit is a reflection of the confluence of architectural structure and order both designed for, yet often broken by, its very inhabitants. It asks the question: Is graffiti endemic to cities enlightenment, expression and art, or is it nothing more than ego and destruction? Is tagging no more artistic than a dog cocking its leg on a building to mark its territory?
Post-modern commentary has sought to elevate graffiti and street “art” from pure vandalism to reflective art, highlighting the local vernacular. But is that just some next level bullshit? Is destruction simply destruction? Who decides if vandalism is art or damage? Why is the “art” of a graffiti artist revered as beautiful, while tagging by a gang so maligned?
An award-winning artist, born in the United States and a child of the 80’s, Avila is influenced by that period of popular culture, which is expressed in her work. At a young age, she developed a love of architecture, light and geometric form. The conformity to these rules of geometry, contrasted against bold expression and unrestraint, is the foundation of Avila’s visual language.
The exhibitions opens tonight at 6.30 and will run till February 14. PSAS have got the very good Studio 37 Cafe at ground level, so enjoy and relax.
It has been a very pleasant summer in Fremantle so far with the early sea breeze keeping the temperatures down on most days and making the nights balmy. I took these photos of the Maritime Museum and Indian Ocean at sunset yesterday. They make for a good start of the mid week.
The FREMANTLE VOLUNTEER HERITAGE GUIDES celebrated the 184th birthday of the Roundhouse in style today at the Fremantle Yacht Club and of course a birthday needs to have a birthday cake.
The Roundhouse officially opened on January 18,1831 and is the oldest public building in Western Australia and a purpose-built jail.
Fremantle’s Bathers Beach was full with people enjoying the late sea breeze and a cooling dip in the Indian Ocean around sunset on Saturday, while at Victoria Quay many families tried to catch a fish for dinner. The sunset was very impressive and the Maritime Museum always guarantees some eye-catching photos.
Roel’s Fremantle Photo Tours
Good to see that heritage conservation works have started on the former Fremantle BOYS SCHOOL at Princess May Park. The City is spending a lot of money on it so let’s hope they will find a new tenant to replace the Film and Television Institute-FTI- which occupied the building for many years. An art film and international films cinema would be nice there.
Rumours that the renovations on the Flag&Whistle-the former International Backpackers-at Beach Street have been stopped are incorrect. The upper levels of the neglected building were painted but then the work stopped temporarily. Reasons for that are that the owners are relocating their business to Rockingham and building a new building there and that they need to file a planning application for the heritage listed building in Fremantle before proceeding with the work.
The top levels were in the past, against good heritage conservation practice, rendered with cement and hence the City of Fremantle allowed the upper levels to be painted with acrylic paint, but the street level has not been cement rendered and to allow ‘breathing’ to happen acrylic paint can not be applied there.
It is always easy to say property owners should put a coat of paint on heritage buildings but to do that with best heritage practice that often means lime-based paints need to be used, instead of acrylic paint.
Down town at the former Synagogue on the corner of Parry and South streets things are not good with the owner stoping all work because the COF wanted him to restore a demolished small heritage section. It’s a shame as they put a lot of work and money in restoring the synagogue and were on the way building short-stay accommodation units at the back near Fremantle Oval. I wonder how that issue will be resolved as the City should not give in to people who don’t comply with planning approvals.
The best way for me to express my love for Fremantle is in photos, so I went through my files to create this Happy New Year photo essay for you all.
May we have learned a few important lessons from 2014 and try not to make the same mistakes. May selfishness be replaced with empathy, judgment with tolerance, and may love replace violence.
HAVE A GREAT 2015!
The year 2014 has been the year of akrasia, as there have been too many mind-boggling decisions made by our local and state governments. Stubbornness has crept into politics, where not many elected members seem to care about long-term implications of their short-sighted decisions.
State Government keeps overriding local government planning decisions with little regard for the communities who do not want dramatic changes to the character of their suburbs and lifestyle. High density commercial and residential is the way forward no matter that office buildings in Perth and West Perth are empty and that Sirona Capital seems to be unable to sign up major tenants for the Fremantle Kings Square development. There is enormous competition from Joondalup, Midland, Cockburn, etc. but up we go and the DAP will just sign off on high buildings to please developers.
Residential units are on average $ 80,000 more expenisve in Freo than when one buys them in Perth, so why bother moving to the port city when it costs a decent year’s salary more than elsewhere?
The Roe Highway truck toll road is pure madness because it means all these fast-moving trucks will end up in long queues at North Fremantle. One has to ask also why Fremantle Ports built a million-dollar rail loop and extended the train terminal, when State Government wants to move away from rail and more containers transported by road.
While State Government blames the drop in commodity prices for its bad financial state, fact is that W.A. lost its Triple A credit rating well before the price of iron ore dropped. It’s not just the low GST return that made our state be in the financial mess it is in, but basic bad decision-making is to blame. Instead of building light rail through north Perth and linking universities and hospitals we are building rail to the airport and a truck freeway through the Beeliar wetlands. Akrasia and stubbornness are the probable explanations for that. The Elizabeth Quay project and new Burswood stadium are other clear examples of that.
Fremantle Council has been all over the shop with inconsistent decision-making. Community consultation is sheer tokenism, as especially the Malcolm Street decision showed, that will change the tight-knit community there forever. There is little respect for community sentiment and it is dismissed as NIMBY mentality.
In February we will see the launch of Fremantle Transitions, but I have given up all hope that it will be of any substance after the lengthy Visioning 2029 project that ended with a rubbish document.
The City of Fremantle has no real vision for the future and suffers from naivety and mediocrity. It makes little difference to produce new master plans and so-called integrated vision plans, when they are not outcome based. It’s all about making the community feel good about community consultation and gives and air of professionalism to what basically is a shambles. Let me ask some questions here: What is the City’s Plan B for the Kings Square development? What is the City’s vision to attract more tourists and give them more attractions? What is the City’s realistic vision to improve retail and make Fremantle a shopping destination again? Why did the COF sign off on a very expenisve new civic centre when it was known that East Fremantle would amalgamate with Fremantle and that the EF council chambers and administration offices would become available to the bigger City of Fremantle?
I am all for looking after the planet but let’s be realistic about the impact on our economy of being a One Planet, Carbon Neutral city. Does any of it improve the plight of our local retailers, the homeless, those looking for affordable housing?
The Fremantle community no longer believes it is listened to and those of us who consistently attend workshops are very disillusioned and believe we wasted our time, because against better knowledge the elected members will often vote against the wishes of the community. When elected members are on record saying that they are happy to extend community consultation on highrise at McCabe street in North Fremantle but that they will not change their mind on it, that smells of incredible arrogance that the community will not tolerate.
The best outcome for Fremantle will be the amalgamation and that we can vote a whole new council in, a council that will hopefully have more common sense and vision for the future than the present one had displayed. To move Fremantle forward we need broad-minded visionaries without green goggles on Council who can see a realistic bigger picture for our city, so that’s my wish for Freo for the New Year.
I wish all Freo’s View readers around the world a very happy 2015. The blog was read by over half a million people in 136 countries this year. I posted 1,252 posts up to now this year. This one is number 1253. It has been a labour of love for Freo, and your participation has shown you appreciate my commitment to the city I love and care about.
A modern three-storey building is planned in Fremantle for 67 Wray Avenue next to the newly-opened GP practice in the art deco building on the corner of Hampton Road. The mixed use building will house three commercial units plus six multiple dwellings.
I hear the doctors are not too impressed about it as there will only be a narrow drive way for patient parking between the two buildings. The former VET cottage building next the proposed new building is also for sale.