Freo's View


Posted in aboriginal, art, city of fremantle, fremantle arts centre, Uncategorized by freoview on February 8, 2020



Whatever you do, and if you don’t see another art exhibition this year, do not miss the amazingly sublime show by John Prince Siddon at the Fremantle Arts Centre!

Siddon’s show is totally contemporary and absolutely Aboriginal. I was blown away when I walked into the big gallery this morning, because I had never seen Siddon’s  work before.

Beautiful paintings and 3D objects, on skulls and kangaroo skins. It so beautiful, so intense, and beyond anything I have seen before. I am still mesmerised just looking at the photos I took.

John Price Siddon is a Walmajari man who is based in Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of WA and the show is part of the Perth Festival.

In the smaller gallery they show paintings by Gooniyandi man Janangoo Butcher Cherel, and that brought a tear to my eyes, as Butcher was a good old mate who showed me his country when I visited in the mid 1990s.

I’ll never forget the night of talking with him at the Fitzroy Inn, and I had  a couple too many to drive him to Muludja community where he lived, so we shared my small room in the hotel, where Janangoo sang songs in language and translated his stories for me.

Butcher was a gentle law man and a very fine artist and I will always miss him.

Roel Loopers


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Posted in art by freoview on May 27, 2014

Rover Thomas - Cross Roads - Argyle HillJack Britten - Joalingi - Round HillsDavid Downs - Kurtal

























The works of some of my favourite Aboriginal artists will be exhibited at Fremantle’s Japingka Gallery in High Street from this Friday until July 9. The KIMBERLEY OCHRE ARTISTS show will feature works by Rover Thomas, Queenie McKenzie, Jack Britten, David Downs, Freddie Timms, Henry Wambini, Shirley Purdie, Lily Karadada and Nancy Nodea.

Also on show will be MINI MASTERS, paintings from desert artists, and there will be Tiwi carvings and sculptures as well.

The opening is at 6.30 this Friday. It will be a feast for the eyes for those who appreciate Aboriginal art.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, fremantle by freoview on March 31, 2014

Fremantle Japingka Gallery will be showing two new exhibitions from Friday April 4 in their High Street premises. Desert Song will bring together 50 paintings by signficant women artists from the Western and Central Desert.

Also on show is The Pike Family, an exhibition of works by the late Jimmy Pike‘s brother Edgar Pike and Edgar’s daughter Francine Steele. This will be a show of paintings, silkscreen prints, etchings and silk scarves.

The great Jimmy Pike made Japingka the well-respected Aboriginal Gallery it has become, so it is good to see the gallery’s long association with the Pike family.



Posted in tourism, western australia by freoview on June 16, 2010

It is 15 years ago that I started my trip around Australia on June 18, 1995, and I wanted to share some of the highlights. I sold my house and most of my possessions and bought a new Pajero.

I drove up to the magic Cape Leveque and spend every day at One Arm Point watching the blackfellas fishing. From there up to Fitzroy Crossing where I caught up with a lot of the Aboriginal artists, whose paintings my ex-partner Brigitte exhibited at her Artplace gallery in Perth. My old mate, and law man, Janagoo Butcher Cherrel showed me around his country and in the evenings sang songs in his language in the tiny motel room I had rented at the inn. That was very special.

I loved the Bungle Bungle and stayed eight nights there. It was an incredible spiritual feeling to be between the dome-shaped hills. The most unreal moment was the night I spend under the full moon in Piccanini Gorge all by myself. One moment I was at total peace while the next moment I felt I should not be there and that I was intruding. I had goose bumps all over.

Another full moon experience was driving with my lights off on the Gibb River Road towards Derby. Life can be so full of beauty.

Flying over Lake Argyle in a helicopter with my Dutch friend and photographer Richard Woldendorp was another highlight of the journey.

Uluru was another special moment. Out of respect for the Anangu people I never climbed it, but walked around the massive rock instead.

In the Gulf country at the Burketown pub I was lucky enough to be able to buy stunning Vasse Felix cabernet for only $ 10.00 a bottle, because no one knew the value. The female pub owner was in jail for having done grog runs to dry communities in a light aircraft.

Travelling along the coast of Queensland north of Port Douglas through the Daintree was simply sublime. Some of the most stunning nature I have ever seen, with the rainforest sloping down towards the ocean, while out in the ocean are all the islands.

In gorgeous Cooktown I befriended a local Aboriginal musician who’s girlfriend was a Dutch auto mechanic. We went picking bush tucker together near his community just north of the town. From there I drove up along the old telegraph track all the way up to Cape York and the most northern part of Australia.

Months later I was up in the high country of Victoria driving through the clouds in freezing cold and wet weather, and later again through the South Australian hills full of wine.

I came through Coober Pedy, Bourke, Ballina, Ballarat, Mackay, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Mount Isa, went up to Darwin and down to Esperance. I zigzagged and drove wherever I felt like going. I had no plans or fixed destinations and my mood decided on the day if I drove north, south, east or west. I agree there was a certain madness there, but so good to do things on the spur of the moment, rather than doing the responsible thing I had done all my life.

Towards the end I became exhausted from all the driving and unsettled in the knowledge I had no home to go back to. I saw so much beauty and met so many good people on my 58.000 kilometre trip, but sadly also witnessed racism towards Aboriginal people often.

The racism upset me so much, because I had experienced the dignity, resilience and culture of many Aboriginese, so when I arrived back in Fremantle, after seven months on the road, I wrote my very first letter to the Fremantle Herald about it and also joined the Walyalup Reconciliation Group.

The trip was the most challenging and best thing I have ever done. It defined for me who I was and who I wanted to be. I realised how much I like people, and that respect and consideration for them would be of utmost importance to me.

Although my trip made me financially broke, I have no regrets about it and would love to do it all over again, the next time however I’d like to share it with the new love in my life. I haven’t met her yet though. 9>)

Roel Loopers

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