Freo's View

WHY HOLD ON TO FREO’S FAILED ARTS PRECINCT?

Posted in art, arthur head, artists, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 12, 2019

 

I am absolutely not sure where the City of Fremantle is going with the Bathers Beach Art Precinct. They constantly talk about activating Arthur’s Head and the West End of the City, but now they are renting out studio spaces where the artists only have to be open to the public one day in six months. That is ridiculous!

All it means it that we have more closed doors at Captain’s Lane and I hear that the No 4 Studio at J Shed also is not required to open to the public.

Why does the City hold on to this failed concept when only the Glen Cowans photography gallery and the David Giles abstract art studios open regularly and several days a week, while the rest keep their door closed and create an ambience of ghost town?

Here is the EOI for artist studios at 10 Captain’s Lane and also in the Moores Building art centre in Henry Street:

The City is calling for proposals from artists to secure low-cost studio space within the City of Fremantle Studios Program.

The program encompasses Studios 1–2 in the Moores Building, 46 Henry St and Studios 1–6 at 10 Captains Lane, Bathers Beach Art Precinct, both in the City’s historic West End.

This call out applies to Studios 5 and 6 at 10 Captains Lane, both available for a hire term of 6 months to one artist. Artists have 7 day a week, 24 hr access and studio floor space per room ranges from ~10.35–11m2. The total cost is $60 per week charged monthly and in advance.

Studios are purely workspaces and non-commercial. Artists will need to commit to a minimum of one open studio event in the 6 month period.

Submissions close 5pm, Friday 26 April 2019.

Roel Loopers

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ARTHUR’S HEAD MESSY TOURIST EXPERIENCE

 

art precinct

 

This mess is what visitors to the Bathers Beach Art Precinct saw yesterday at one of the art studios at Mrs Trivett Lane.

Behind it there is bedding from homeless people, and in the garden of the cottage where the Roundhouse guides have their office people also had left bedding and rubbish and trampled the bushes.

Fremantle safety officers drive up to Arthur’s Head a couple of times a day but police officers are rarely seen up there any more.

Arthur’s Head is a ghost town at night, since Fremantle Council decided to make it into an art precinct and evicted the people who lived in the Pilot’s Cottages. I warned them at the time that this would be happening but my concerns were ignored because I was one of the people who lived there as caretaker for the Fremantle Society, hence I was considered a NIMBY whose concerns were irrelevant.

Fremantle Council is currently reconsidering the art precinct, but whatever the outcome they need to create a better night environment up on our historic hill.

Roel Loopers

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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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FREO CITY, SUPPORT THE WEST END ACTIVATORS!

 

Carriage Cafe

 

I hear that the owners of the cute Carriage Cafe on the Fremantle Esplanade have been told that they can stay till March next year and then will be offered a lease until 2022, but with the option for the City of Fremantle to terminate the lease on a monthly basis.

This is ridiculous, unprofessional and unworkable, as no one in their right mind will invest in a business that does not have a secure long-term tenure.

Last winter the thick plastic ‘curtains’ that keep the wind and rain out of the cafe’s dining area where ripped to pieces during a storm, so the owners will have to put new ones in which will cost thousands of dollars. Why would they do that if they can be chucked out on short notice? Even a pop-up shop gets a six-month lease, for heaven’s sake!

Why does Fremantle Council make it so hard for businesses who want to stay in Fremantle, when vacant shop fronts pop up faster than weeds in our city? Does anyone at all understand what commercial viability means and how important safe tenure is?

Let’s be realistic and pragmatic about the Esplanade masterplan. The new hub and new cafe won’t happen for years, if at all, because the City of Fremantle does not have the money to finance it, so accept the reality and support the Carriage Cafe owners who have plans to also open at night as a restaurant.

West End businesses were left off the new shopping map, and Arthur’s Head businesses are not sure about their future there, while the place is falling apart because of poor maintenance, so it’s urgent time for Fremantle Council to stop talking about wanting to activate the West End of Fremantle and actually start supporting those who are already activating it!

Roel Loopers

 

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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KRAKEN IN FULL SWING

 

k 1

 

THE KRAKEN Festival in the Fremantle Bathers Beach Art Precinct is in full swing this afternoon, so make sure to go and have a look.

There are art and craft and food stalls, live music and performances, stuff for the kids to do, and all that around historic Arthur’s Head.

The Fremantle Doctor is blowing very hard so that will be a challenge to light the fires of the Karla-K Koorling at 7pm. Don’t mis it though!

Roel Loopers

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NEW LAWN AT BATHERS BEACH

Posted in art, arthur head, bathers beach, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on December 5, 2017

 

Kidogo lawn

 

It took many years of complaints from Kidogo Arthouse owner Joanna Robinson and local residents about the dust bowl at Bathers Beach before the City of Fremantle saw reason.

Initially the complaints were dismissed because of the heritage interpretation of the project and Fremantle Council and its officers refused to acknowledge that the soft surface simply was not practical and created dust and dirt problems in the art galleries.

Expensive dust suppression material was sprayed onto the surface, but it made little difference, so now finally new turf is being laid at the popular West End beach, to the delight of the Kidogo owner and local community.

Roel Loopers

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SUNSET J SHED TAVERN ON PLANNING AGENDA

Posted in arthur head, bathers beach, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on December 2, 2017

 

J Shed plans 3

J Shed plans 2

 

The controversial proposal by Sunset Events for a 400-patron tavern and micro-brewery in J Shed at Fremantle’s historic Bathers Beach is on the agenda again at this Wednesday’s Fremantle Council Planning Committee.

The deciding authority is the WA Planning Commission, but the CoF officers recommend that the City’s planning committee refuse the application for following reasons:

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION
Planning committee acting under delegation 2.1:

Refer to the Western Australian Planning Commission with a recommendation for REFUSAL under the Metropolitan Region Scheme, the proposed partial change of use to Tavern, and additions and alterations to an existing building at No. 1 (Lot 2051) Fleet Street, Fremantle, as detailed on plans dated 1 November 2017, for the following reasons:

  1. The proposal is inappropriate having regard to the purposes for which the land is reserved under the Metropolitan Region Scheme.
  2. The proposal is inconsistent with objectives 3.1 and 3.2 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF5 – Arthur Head Reserve Strategy Plan.
  3. The proposal is inconsistent with Policy 3 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF6 – Arthur Head – (West End of High Street, Fremantle).
  4. The proposal is inconsistent with clause 3.4 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF26 – Planning Policy for the West End of Victoria Quay.
  5. The proposal is inconsistent with clause 1.1 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DBU6 – Late Night Entertainment Venues Serving Alcohol.
  6. The proposal is inconsistent with clause 4.1.2(b) of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF14 – Fremantle West End Conservation Area Policy.

 

The whole tavern idea has become a real farce because initially Fremantle Council approved a 19-year lease for a large tavern and outdoor music area, but now they are scrambling to get out of their ridiculous decision after community outrage. That is unfair to Sunset Events which signed the lease in good faith that they could open a tavern at J Shed.

It was preposterous to believe a tavern would be suitable for the Bathers Beach Art Precinct and historically very significant Arthur Head, so why sign a long-term lease with SE in the first place?!

But now after Fremantle Council approved a lease, they suddenly discover a tavern is not suitable for Arthur Head and want to refuse it. That’s shambolic!

The new proposal cuts off the connectivity between Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour and would have a negative impact on the gallery business of the adjoining art studios of Greg James, Janet Nixon, Jina Lee, Lesley Barrett, Jenny Dawson, Ross Potter and Ellen McCarthy, as people would have to walk around the tavern boundaries, when coming from the south, to get to the galleries. That is not acceptable!

Imagine though a beach restaurant in the style of the Swanbourne beach cafe Shorehouse,  Port Beach Coast, or Beaches cafe, Cottesloe, instead of a tavern and brewery. A lovely cafe/restaurant with a big deck to watch the sunset, have breakfast and chill out. Now that would be a good way of activating that part of Bathers Beach.

The item is on the agenda of the Planning Committee this Wednesday December 6 at 6pm.

Roel Loopers

FREO NEEDS TO LEARN TO CHILL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on November 22, 2017

 

Fremantle Council meetings can sometimes be a wee bit irritating or frustrating because Councillors in their attempt to get everything right sometimes overdo it and want to micro-manage everything.

It was such a meeting this Wednesday evening, where I wondered sometimes why the elected members were still debating an item that should have been passed, rejected or deferred many minutes earlier.

Take the debate about an awning at Newman Court for the Kings Square Project. It is bold, it is the innovative FOMO retail concept that wants to be different, modern, daring and cheeky, but our Councillors just wanted something horizontal, to the great frustration of Mayor Brad Pettitt (and me!).

We need to get over the idea that new bold design can be very Freo, as in old Fremantle, and we need to allow the entire Kings Square concept to have its own life and organically grow on us as a community.

What was great architecture 50 years ago is no longer the way we design and build. Fremantle has changed, is changing and will be changing even more, simply because times change and cities do not remain the same. They grow, evolve, progress and modernise.

Trying to micro-manage the Kings Square Project is more likely to become a design disaster, so we need to have some trust in the architects, the retail experts, the community surveys about shopping, and also in Sirona Capital, which is investing a shitload of money in the project.

Freo needs to learn to chill a bit and not always fear the worst possible outcome. FOMO is all new and something we know very little about, so let’s allow it to happen with confidence, not fear. It’s not forever, it can and no doubt will change over time, when shoppers tell us what they like and dislike and that is the time to be flexible and willing to adapt and change.

Other items on the agenda:

  • Finally signed off was the new clubhouse at Fremantle Park.
  • Finally rejected a proposal for an extension and new cafe at Wray Avenue next to  Butcher Frank’s
  • The Fremantle RSL not happy that  the Beach Street premises will be leased to Arts on the Move.  Councillor Doug Thompson agreed and said Council should prefer local organisations.
  • Councillor Jeff McDonald has been elected on the board of Circus WA.
  • 13 Mrs Trivett Place in the Bathers Beach Art Precinct will be leased to artists Mark Welsh and Fiona Gavino. It took forever to change the terms from 5 years to then 1+1+1+1+1, to finally 2+1+1+1. But they got there in the end.

I found it all a bit tedious this eve, so I need a drink!!

Roel Loopers

KIMBERLEY ART AT KIDOGO ARTHOUSE

Posted in aboriginal, art, city of fremantle, kidogo arthouse, Uncategorized by freoview on October 20, 2017

 

Oct 20. Kimberley Art Kidogo

 

There is a good exhibition of Aboriginal art from the Kimberley on at Fremantle’s  Kidogo Arthouse at Bathers Beach.

Works by Jimmy Pike, Sonia Kurarra, Mervyn Street, Betty Carrington, Elizabeth Nyumi and others will be on display an for sale.

It starts with an auction this evening at 6.30pm to support artists and the environment.

It will be opened by former WA Premier Carmen Lawrence.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

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