Freo's View

ALL ABOUT ART IN FREO

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on August 22, 2017

 

The Fremantle Network event about art in Fremantle at the National Hotel was yet again a very informative community session. Tom Mueller of PS Art Space in Pakenham Street and Robby Lang of the Fibonacci Centre in Blinco Street spoke about their art hubs.

Mueller said it was special to operate out of a federation style brick and iron heritage building, built in 1907. To financially support their arts program PSAS had to diversify through private functions such as weddings, birthday parties, corporate functions, etc. This allowed them to plan their art exhibitions two years ahead.

Small art businesses needed to be adaptive and PSAS tried to make their shows all about giving people a voice, and an honest and emotional response to art, Mueller said.

It is all about the conservation with the community and being open to change, and about creating something in the big warehouse space of the building.

There are 36 studios upstairs with practising artists, but also an architect, and there is the Studio 37 cafe on the ground floor as well.

PSAS had host the Fashion Collective and Hidden Treasures music festival.

Robby Lang of The Fib said that creative people don’t like to work for someone else, and that’s why he started the arts incubator 15 years ago in a run-down warehouse in an industrial area.

People are looking for a different way to exist and keep out of the rat race, and artists look at the cracks in society.

The Fib has art studios, but also a central space for exhibitions and functions, and a cafe.

Lang said it was all about giving people the opportunity to do their own things, and it was not purely about art. It is an environment where people can hang out, express themselves, and feel safe.

You have to be massively flexible and open to what people want to do within the space of the Fib. Micro management only limits your own imagination.

The industrial area he started The Fib in 15 years ago has now changed and there are a lot of creative businesses in the surrounding streets. It probably needs its own branding as an arts precinct, Robby Lang said.

Fremantle is brave enough to take chances and make changes and that is good, as nobody looks back in history where people played it safe. Fremantle has the opportunity to embrace things that are a bit scary and new.

The Fib has been a fantastic journey but a financial disaster, he laughed.

The next project is a movable creative container space for makers and sellers, but council regulations often made it difficult to get innovative things off the ground.

During the public discussion Tom Mueller said that the age of entitlement for artists is over and that relying on public funding was not on anymore. Artists can’t rest on their laurels.

J Shed sculptor Greg James said that an art space is primarily where people create art, and it is not a tourist destination, but the license he has with the City of Fremantle requires him to be open to the public 20 hours a week and that interrupted the work flow and productivity.

I agree that Fremantle Council needs to revisit the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct and be clear about what it wants to achieve. An arts hub of makers is not going to greatly activate the area, and if the City wants to create a Freo Montmartre it needs to come up with more innovative ideas for the area.

Robby Lang said it was important for artists to take chances and that an alternative culture needs to happen in Fremantle.

It was a really interesting couple of hours with two very good and likeable speakers!

Roel Loopers

FREO COUNCIL NEEDS ARTHUR HEAD RETHINK

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on July 10, 2017

 

arthur-head

 

I have been thinking about this for many months, because I am confused, annoyed, flabbergasted and puzzled. I cannot believe that the same Fremantle Council which has done such tremendously good strategic and long-term planning work has messed up Arthur Head so badly.

It is beyond me that the Elected Members have created the Bathers Beach Art Precinct mess and J Shed debacle, when they were so good at future planning Fremantle in other areas.

The new Sunset Events proposal for a 400 patron tavern at J Shed should still be un-approvable because it is inappropriate for the heritage location and A Class Reserve, but why did Fremantle Council let it come this far in the first place,?

Let’s stop blaming Sunset Events, which has every right to pursue with the tavern idea after Fremantle Council signed a 21-year lease with them. Sunset Events at that time had the support of Fremantle Council for a 850 patron tavern and a 1,500 patron outdoor live music venue. Let’s not forget that!

Why that contract was ever signed, after severe public opposition and even a special electors meeting at the Townhall, is anyone’s guess. I believe it was the stubbornness of certain Councillors rather than common sense.

We now have a stalemate where Council and Sunset Events more or less have each other by the balls, so to speak, and no one can make a move without inflicting severe pain.

Council cannot rip up the contract and Sunset Events won’t get the size of venue that will be a financial success for them, but there is a legally-binding contract that neither can get out off.

The Bathers Beach Art Precinct has been a shambles that created a ghost town at night at Captain’s and Mrs Trivett Lane, where homeless people reside, shoot up and defecate.

The artist’s studios have done absolutely nothing to activate the area and attract more people, and the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre in a tiny old residential cottage was tokenism at its worst and failed dismally as well.

Only the highly professional Glen Cowan underwater photography gallery bravely battles on, but gets little to no support from the neighbouring cottages, that are mainly closed.

But no one at Fremantle Council wants to admit it was a failure and they keep telling the community and affected J Shed artists that it is a work in progress, when the rest of us know that train wrecks have no future, but for the scrap heap.

Council urgently needs to revisit and revise the Bathers Beach Art Precinct concept because it is not working. It also needs to realise that cutting off the connectivity between Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour at the proposed J Shed tavern is bad for tourism, and unfair to the J Shed artists.

Everyone makes mistakes, and great people admit to them. It is time for Fremantle Council to show greatness and start from scratch!

And why are there still no signs on the Number One unit at J Shed that Sunset Events has applied for planning and liquor licensing approval?

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FREO COUNCIL NEEDS ARTHUR HEAD RETHINK

BATHERS BEACH SHOWCASE FOR W.A. SCULPTORS

Posted in art, bathers beach, culture, fremantle, sculpture@bathers by freoview on March 4, 2017

bb-1

Don’t forget to visit Fremantle’s Sculpture@Bathers at our gorgeous inner city beach over the long Labour Day weekend.

It is a the showcase for 85 Western Australian sculptors, so support our local creatives!

The lovely Kelp Bar at Kidogo Arthouse is open and a great location to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on BATHERS BEACH SHOWCASE FOR W.A. SCULPTORS

FREO’S BATHERS BEACH ART PRECINCT SHAMBLES

Posted in art, arthur head, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle by freoview on February 24, 2017

It is often difficult to write critical articles on my blog because Fremantle is a small community and more like a family to me and a place where I have a lot of friends.

While I don’t mind to stir the pot a bit now and then I don’t enjoy negativity, but sometimes there is no other way and what is happening at the Bathers Beach Art Precinct is such a case.

The thought bubble of making one of our state’s most significant historic precincts into an arts precinct to activate it was flawed from the start and the officers somehow have to implement what is not practical and never  was a good idea in the first place.

Small art businesses have failed at Captain’s Lane while the very professional Glen Cowans photography gallery bravely soldiers on offering outstanding photo art. The Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre has also failed and the art that has been on offer in the other cottages was mediocre, to say it kindly.

Now the next thought bubble has arrived and the No 10 cottage at Captain’s Lane will be included in the City’s Studios Program as low-cost non-commercial work spaces.

The artists will not be required to open their doors to the public and only need to have an open door event every six months.

This will do absolutely nothing to help activate the area and is worse than it was when the Fremantle Pilots, Fremantle Society and Crookes family occupied the three cottages.

The Society held community events on the lawn and inside the cottage, the pilots were there 24/7 and so were the lovely family where the kids brought friends from Lance Holt School, and engaged with visitors to Arthur’s Head.

What the City of Fremantle has created is a night-time ghost town that has attracted homeless people who defecate in the backyards, and during the day and weekends it is often only the Glen Cowans Gallery that is open to the public.

In the meantime the Roundhouse that receives 130,000 visitors a year is struggling to get support from the City and we have now been waiting for well over a year to get power into the Roundhouse so we can start applying for funds for stunning new interactive displays. We are activating the historic area, but no one at Fremantle Council gives a rat’s arse about that, because it is more important to continue with the flawed art precinct concept.

Down at J Shed the artists have been denied access to the No 1 studio to use it as exhibition space during the Sculpture@Bathers show , but I hear the City will announce today who is moving in till July, when Sunset Events is supposed to start some kind of business there.

And let me make this very clear! I do not blame the officers who really try very hard, but it is the ineptness and piecemeal governance of the area by Fremantle Council that really pisses me off!

Roel Loopers

FREO’S SCULPTURE@BATHERS SHOW

Posted in art, bathers beach, fremantle, sculpture@bathers by freoview on February 20, 2017

 

bathers

 

Installation of the artworks for the Sculpture@Bathers show on Fremantle’s Bathers Beach started this morning.

Eighty Western Australian sculptors will showcase their art from Saturday for two weeks all around the beach, on the boardwalk and inside Kidogo Arthouse.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FREO’S SCULPTURE@BATHERS SHOW

GET SERIOUS ABOUT ABORIGINAL CENTRE

Posted in aboriginal, art, city of fremantle, culture, indigenous by freoview on February 10, 2017

If the City of Fremantle is serious about an Aboriginal cultural centre in Fremantle it has to stop the tokenism and invest money and get expert advise on how to provide an Aboriginal experience for overseas visitors.

It is known from tourism surveys that many visitors complain about the lack of opportunities to meet Aboriginal people and engage with them and get to know more about their culture and history.

I don’t like to say it, but I told you so when I still lived at Captain’s Lane that the Walyalup Centre in a tiny old cottage was never going to work. Even Councillor Rachel Pemberton said at the FPOL committee meeting this week that Councillors knew the cottage at Arthur Head would not be perfect but it was a case of better something than nothing.

In my opinion it was also not going to work because of the wrong choice of personnel to manage the centre. The cultural centre needs someone who knows how to engage with tourists, who knows how to run an art gallery and who knows how to come up with and manage events. The Aboriginal liaison officer of the City of Fremantle is not that kind of person, no matter how likeable he is and how good he is at the job he was employed for. It is unfair to expect him to run the centre and it is not his failure but that of the administration who put him in charge. I am sure his job description when he applied for the position did not mention managing a cultural centre .

A totally different energy and knowledge base is needed to run a cultural centre than the one needed to liaise between a Wadjela administration and the Whadjuk Noongar community.

If the Walyalup Centre was to be moved it should be to the No 1 studio at J Shed that was wrongly and stupidly leased to Sunset Events to create a tavern and outdoor music centre.

If the Noongar community is not against a centre at Arthur Head this is the right location because it has a large outdoor area suitable for music and dance events and story telling, while the large space of J Shed allows for serious Aboriginal art exhibitions and events that might help fund the centre and even make it self-funding over time.

Wishy-Washy Fremantle City governance and inconsistencies are to blame for the mess the Bathers Beach Art Precinct is, because there is a serious lack of quality control and lack of a real concept for the area.

Up at Captain’s Lane the City has created a night-time ghost town that has attracted anti social behaviour (I told them so!), while it has created day-time mediocrity, with the exception of the excellent and professional Glen Cowans underwater photography.

The Walyalup centre could enhance the historic, cultural and art aspect of the area and tell the Noongar stories, and the impact of British settlement and about the connection of the area to the horrendous indigenous Rottnest Island Quod prison where so many Aboriginal men died.

To do that the City needs to go through a process of consultation, expert advise and contracting the right people to run a centre of significance that will attracts many thousands of visitors each year, help activate Arthur Head and will allow the proud Noongar history to be told by our first nation people. To continue as it is in any location will be a failure that the Noongar community does not deserve.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on GET SERIOUS ABOUT ABORIGINAL CENTRE

BIG CLOUDS OVER SUNSET EVENTS

Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, entertainment, sunset events by freoview on January 29, 2017

It is a worry to read in the Sunday Times this morning that Fremantle Sunset Events director David Chitty has admitted his company does have financial problems and paying suppliers after a less than successful Southbound event.

Several companies claim Sunset Events owes them tens of thousands of dollars with one of them making strong personal attacks on Facebook.

The worry for Fremantle is what this will mean for the Jerome Laneway Festival, but more importantly what it will mean for the 25-year-lease Sunset Events has signed for the No 1 studio in J Shed at Bathers Beach.

Rumours are that the company still wants to go ahead with a scaled-down version of the tavern and music venue, after planning approval for it was refused by Fremantle Council, the WA Planning Commission and the State Administrative Tribunal.

Will Sunset Events be able to commit hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a tavern, toilets, commercial kitchen, etc?

Maybe it is time for City of Fremantle officers to pro-actively engage with the events organisers and find out if it would be better to move on and for them to relinquish the lease and for the City to find a more appropriate use for the historically significant location.

Roel Loopers

ANYONE WILL DO FOR FREO’S ART PRECINCT

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, food, j shed by freoview on January 27, 2017

While the official statement I received from the City of Fremantle is that they are looking for alternative options for the short-term lease of the No 1 studio at J Shed, the Fremantle Herald reports that Freo Food will be moving in for five months because O6M will not take up the lease.

Let me first state that I believe that Freo Food is a very good idea. Linking local producers with local customers and supplying packaged-free produce is great. Also good to try to keep it cheap by cutting overheads, so I am all for it.

But the Bathers Beach Art Precinct is the most inappropriate location for a fruit and vegetable shop and it is ridiculous for City staff to tell J Shed artists that the BBAP concept does have allowance for a hospitality operator. Freo Food is not a hospitality operator and it is not an arts related business, so it should not be given the lease to the art studio within the arts precinct. For CoF staff to even consider it is ridiculous!

The anyone will do attitude by the City of Fremantle for the Bathers Beach Art Precinct has resulted in many failed attempts and the committee has not done a very good job in attracting high-quality art businesses to Arthur Head.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on ANYONE WILL DO FOR FREO’S ART PRECINCT

FOLK, ROOTS AND ART DELIGHTS AT J SHED

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, fremantle, music, tourism by freoview on December 5, 2016

j-shed-1

 

j-shed-2

 

Good to see more creative activity at J Shed and the Fremantle Bathers Beach Art Precinct with the Local Delights and Folks&Roots on this coming weekend December 9-11.

Local Delights showcases the artistic works of Freo artists all weekend while on Sunday December 11 the J Shed area will come alive with the sounds of the Folks&Roots event from 4-7 pm.

I was next to the Roundhouse at the Glen Cowans photo gallery all Sunday and wished I had taken time-lapse video to show how busy it was up there with tourists. It was a steady stream from 9.30 to 4.30 and I know that the footfall figures the Roundhouse guides record daily on their number counter clicker are well up from last year.

Roel Loopers

SUPERB DREAMING STONE EXHIBITION AT J SHED

Posted in art, fremantle, j shed, JINA LEE by freoview on October 29, 2016

jina-lee

 

If you love outstanding art don’t miss the opening today-Saturday-of Jina Lee’s DREAMING STONE exhibition of superb stone sculptures at J Shed at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach at 5 pm.

Jina’s artwork is so beautiful that I always want to hug them, so give yourselves a treat today and an early Christmas present and buy one of her delightful works.

The show is on at the Fleet Street Greg James Sculpture Gallery till November 12.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on SUPERB DREAMING STONE EXHIBITION AT J SHED

%d bloggers like this: