The foundations for a new artwork are being put in the Fremantle High Street Mall near the corner of William Street as part of the Atwell Arcade development.
I have not heard who the artist is so stay tuned. I’ll put a photo up as soon as it is there!
Fremantle Council made the right decision a few weeks ago about the Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Instead of just handing the DADAA Beach Street building over to Noongar people and see if the centre would work better in a different location from the one it occupied at Arthur Head, Council decided it actually needed to find out first what our local indigenous people want and need.
I believe Council should take the same approach to the Bathers Beach Art Precinct concept because it has not been working as well as it could have.
First Council needs to be very clear if they really believe a tavern at J Shed is appropriate for the arts and heritage precinct, because the WA Planning Commission and State Administrative Tribunal both don’t believe a tavern is the appropriate use for the A-Class reserve.
The arts precinct idea is nice but it lacks an outcome-based concept. All we keep hearing from Council is that they want to activate the area, but that cannot be achieved by packing amateur artists into residential small cottages at Captain’s and Mrs Trivett Lane.
The only truly professional outfit on top of the hill has been the Glen Cowans Photography Gallery, most other attempts have been dismal failures up there.
Arthur Head is already well activated with 135,000 people visiting the Roundhouse annually. That deserves more support and more thought from the City of Fremantle on how it can promote that tourist attraction better, hold more evening events in the historic building and how we can better connect the precinct with Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour.
J Shed has been working very well as an arts hub for many years, but professional artists are not performing circus animals and that is where the Bathers Beach Art Precinct fails and the concept is wrong. One cannot expect artists working on sculptures and ceramics to have their doors open to the public daily, as they simply do not have the time to engage with the public and interrupt their public art commissions. Even artists need to make a living!
The new Art in Freo gallery that took over the woodworkers No 4 studio works well and does children activities during school holidays, and holds events and classes, while Jenny Dawson and Greg James in the studios next door most of the time share their spaces with other international and Aboriginal artists.
Sunset Events ‘new’ proposal for the No 1 Studio is not very different at all from the one rejected by two state authorities and Fremantle Council. They have just given it a different name and now the tavern is supposed to be only a family restaurant with a tavern license with strong emphasis on culture and heritage. And pigs do fly.
Fact is that Sunset Events have only taken out the open air concerts part of their proposal and everything else is very much the same as it previously was, and was rejected.
Fact is also that nothing can stop Sunset Events from applying for so-called one-off events, such as large outdoor concerts on the reserve, and we all know that applicants often want to make changes once Council has approved a planning proposal.
So are we supposed to take Sunset Events’ word for it that the family restaurant won’t quickly change into a tavern with concerts when they realise the profit margin for a restaurant is too low for their investment? Yes pigs do fly indeed.
Fremantle Council needs to take the Arthur Head activation plans back to the drawing board, as they did with the Aboriginal Centre, and stop putting the cart before the horse. It needs careful consideration and more support for those who are already there, and much better quality control of who can lease the Pilots Cottages.
Working artists studios will never significantly activate the area, but professional art and craft galleries might. One also has to consider if selling tourism related goods would be a better option for the cottages because the markets in Fremantle are only open on weekends and many visitors to the area often ask for markets.
It is not going to do anyone any good to stubbornly hold on to the arts precinct idea when something else might just work much better.
Above all, let us not forget that Arthur Head is one of the most significant historic precincts in Western Australia, with the Roundhouse the oldest public building in the state.
Back to the drawing board and a think tank with artists, the tourism industry, etc. Freo Council!
I love good mural art and the Numbat one by artist Roa in the Henderson Street mall is one of my favourites, together with the stunning one on the former Myer building at Kings Square.
But the lack of information at the Numbat mural is an opportunity lost I feel because many visitors to Fremantle do not know the animal is a numbat and might think it is a mythical figure.
It is also important to show that the numbat is a very endangered species, so why not put some words next to it to explain that all to overseas, interstate and local visitors.
This cute mural has been painted on the architecturally very creative new building at Douro Road in South Fremantle, so check it out when you ride, walk or drive by next time.
There was a lot of interest for the REVEALED Aboriginal art market at the Fremantle Arts Centre on Saturday morning and rightly so, as there were many stunning artworks for sale.
There was a bit of buying frenzy which made a few people forget they were dealing with art as they disrespectfully stepped onto the canvasses that were displayed on the ground to try to find a bargain.
It is overall a lovely and colourful atmosphere though but I wished the music they played on the day was more traditional.
The cafe was pumping out coffee like a factory assembly line, so for them too it was a good day.
I love Aboriginal art and while it was hard to get a good look because of the big crowd it is a great showcase for indigenous art from some of the very remote communities, so I hope it will continue next year.
The picollo Fremantle art gallery Galleria D’Arte West End at 38A Marine Terrace is celebrating its first anniversary tomorrow April 6 from 6pm with an exhibition by Italian-born Fremantle artist Roberto Balsamo.
The Drawings will be showing Balsamo’s wood sculptures and many small drawings. It is Roberto’s first solo exhibition since he arrived in Freo some 25 years ago.
The REVEALED art market at the Fremantle Arts Centre last year was just fantastic so I am really looking forward to going there again this coming Saturday between 10am and 5 pm.
You can also go to the Aboriginal Artists in Conversation on Friday from 10-12 am and to the official opening that night from 6.30 pm.
As you can see above Aboriginal artists from all over WA will be offering their great work for sale.
It comes out of the blue that Sunset Events director David Chitty has announced they are pulling out of the J Shed tavern proposal because of the negative backlash at the public information session they held last Monday.
Chitty said there was no way to please the local community and neighbouring J Shed artists and it was not worth the effort and money to try to get the new proposal for a tavern-licensed family restaurant through Fremantle Council and the state’s Planning Commission and SAT.
You can’t win them all, and we’ve tried hard to address the concerns and we compromised, but nothing we propose seems to be good enough for those with a very negative opinion about our organisation, Chitty said.
Sunset Events will instead be concentrating on making the Drillhall, former Fly by Night club, the number one destination for great concerts in Fremantle and continue with the St Jerome Laneway, Blues&Roots and other music festivals in WA.
The City of Fremantle gave Sunset Events a 25-year lease so it will be interesting to see what they will come up with now for the space, as it has been a shambles trying to push a tavern down the throats of local residents and artists.
There was such an air of negativity at the Sunset Events community information session about new plans for J Shed at Bathers Beach that I left before the questions started, as the interruptions were annoying.
I walked away asking how one can create trust between parties when there is so much negativity. Honesty helps to achieve that, so why did Sunset Events director David Chitty in his presentation omitted to mention plans for a brewery, as well as the tavern, restaurant and picnic area he mentioned?
That is so silly and tactically so unwise because now the people who are already against it will think SE have got more to hide and other controversial plans they don’t want to mention.
That was really disappointing because I quite like the concept of an affordable family restaurant, with function space(s), a cultural program and creative director to implement it and a nice picnic area on the grass in front of the artists’ studios.
A 400 patron venue is not huge but is a tavern appropriate for the A-Class reserve? Not according to the state’s DAP and SAT.
I liked that David Chitty admitted the trial period had shown that what they initially wanted did not work for them and the community, and that could have been the start of positively moving forward together but PLEASE cut the bullshit!
The restaurant is going to serve female friendly meals that are not too blokey? You must be kidding! Are sausages phallic symbols?
Australian BBQ, local fresh produce and seafood, yes please. Generous serves to assist obesity, no thank you!
Fostering a progressive cultural program is paramount to the project. I don’t think so as a pub environment is just not suited for it. Film nights are great, especially outdoors but the northern end of Bathers Beach is very bloody windy, as we found out when we ran the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Market there. Ask the Kelp Bar how they struggle with the Freo Doctor.
I want something special at that end of Bathers Beach but am not sure that bookend pubs are the go, but I do actually like the idea of something like COAST at Port Beach that could well work at BB and I believe David Chitty could pull that off with the right chef and leaving all the bullshit and brewery stuff behind.