Freo's View

FREO’S YELLOW ART FONDLY REMEMBERED

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 29, 2019

 

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Gone but not forgotten must be the thinking behind the new planter boxes with yellow stripes in Fremantle’s High Street. The yellow stripes will remind people of the fantastic optical illusion artwork Swiss artist Felice Varini created for the Fremantle Biennale Festival two years ago.

The work unfortunately became controversial because the removal of the yellow foil from the heritage buildings proved to be difficult and very costly, so we can only hope the Freo community has a sense of humour or at least acceptance of the debacle.

Lili Pilly trees will be planted in the boxes, but I do wonder why the boxes were not put next to the ugly car park to obscure it a little bit.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE WINTER FESTIVAL PORT IN A STORM

 

Fremantle is well served in the West Australian today with a full page interview with Nicole Lockwood the Chair of the WestPort Taskforce which are looking into the future of Fremantle Port and a new port at Kwinana. Good read!

Freo is also getting a wrap about the new winter Fremantle Festival, but strange that info was not released to local media as well, so I’ll ‘quote’ from The West.

The Fremantle Festival will be held for the first time in its 113 years during winter from July 12-22 and it is called 10 Nights In Port.

Freo festival co-ordinator Kathryn Taylor told the West that they “wanted it to be the harbour in a storm” where the community warmth at the fire. That means people will be able to enjoy glasshouses and relax in a steamy hot bath while enjoying entertainment. Sounds corny and a bit like the swimming pools at the Big Bash 20/20 cricket.

The Hidden Treasures music festival in the West End will grow with Future Treasures at Freo.Social to nurture young bands, while the Festival Club will be in the Moore&Moore cafe in Henry Street.

The late Bathers Beach ceramicist Joan Campbell will be honoured with Fired Up, where people will make small vessels at the Fremantle Arts Centre and taken to Bathers Beach where they are fired in an outdoor kiln.

There is a lot of other stuff and I hope there will be plenty of free things to do and not just ticketed events lower income people can’t afford to enjoy.

Roel Loopers

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FREO HIGH STREET EVEN MORE STUNNING

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 3, 2019

 

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How stunning the 1903 Owston’s Building in Fremantle’s Cliff Street looks after the removal of the yellow foil and a new coat of paint!

The owners will also paint the entire facade below the awning, so that will make it even better.

Next door on the corner of Cliff Street the building owned by former Freo Mayor Peter Tagliaferri is now also getting all the TLC it deserves, so High Street is going to be a stunner.

Now how can we convince building owners east of Henry Street to also paint their buildings, so that High Street will become even more of a heritage feature for our visitors?

Roel Loopers

PEACE IN FREO’S YELLOW WAR

 

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There appears to be a peace agreement in the Fremantle yellow art war with former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri agreeing that the City of Fremantle remove the yellow foil and repair and repaint his building on the corner of Cliff and High streets.

I am not sure if Tagliaferri has withdrawn his $ 50,000 writ against the City but that seems logic.

The removal of the fantastic and highly popular Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse, which was installed for the 2017 Fremantle Festival, proved far more difficult than anticipated and forced Fremantle Council to increase the removal/repaint budget from $ 15,000 to $ 220,000, but I have been told the final cost will be much less than that.

The repainted buildings along High Street look better than they have in 20 years and the workers are now painting the entire facade of the building that houses the Roma restaurant and Blink cafe.

The City will also install four large planter boxes along High Street from Cliff Street to Chalkys cafe to hide the unattractive Notre Dame University carpark there. As a quirky reminder of the great Varini artwork and controversy removing it the boxes will have a yellow stripe on them. Great idea!

Roel Loopers

FREO’S YELLOW ART REMOVAL A DELICATE ACT

 

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I was a wee bit skeptical about the claims by Fremantle Society president John Dowson that the City of Fremantle did not want to take back to its original tuck pointing the building on the corner of High and Cliff streets that is at the centre point of the yellow art removal controversy, and Dowson’s assertion that tuck pointing the building would cost about the same as repainting the entire facade.

City of Fremantle Director of Infrastructure and Project Delivery Graham Tattersall says that many buildings in High Street have condition problems; for some, the multiple coats of paint over the years have taken its toll and in some instances this has also damaged the sub-strata.

Director Tattersall told me that in reality the cost of repairing and returning the building to its original tuck pointed style would be considerably more costly than that of the planned works related to the foil removal.

Tattersall said “The City is wholly supportive of owners electing to take this opportunity to contribute for further works to restore or further improve their buildings (where requested, we agree to contribute the value of the yellow foil works towards the cost of an owners revised scope) and would not decline requests of this nature.”

“A number of property owners have taken the opportunity to engage the City’s contractor to carry out additional work on their properties at their own expense, which has greatly improved the appearance of the street, but as these are privately owned buildings it’s up to the property owner to make that choice.”

I think it is important to clarify this and also point out that building owner, former Freo Mayor Peter Tagliaferri, has taken out a writ against the City for $ 50,000 and that this legal action is continuing.

I have been watching how very time-consuming it has been to remove the paint of the brick building in Pakenham Street that will became the home of the Fremantle Republic gin distillery and micro brewery, and hence wondered if the claims by the Fremantle Society that the cost of tuck pointing and painting were similar could be correct. The Freo City director says they are not.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S YELLOW BATTLE CONTINUES

 

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Fremantle is an intriguing place with a fascinating community. Many of us mainly see the beauty and the special unique character of our city, but when one reads Freo Massive one could believe we live in a war zone where everything is wrong, especially ‘those bloody hopeless Councillors and administration of the City of Fremantle’.

With that in mind, I was stunned to see the painting contractors for the City removing the yellow foil on the High Street building owned by former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri, since he has issued a writ against the City of Fremantle, and that legal battle is still ongoing.

The City tells me “The City in still in legal action with the property owner, however he has agreed to allow the City to undertake the removal work.” That  sounds to me as if the owner is having a bob each way.

It will always remain hypothetical if Tagliaferri would also have taken legal action if his preferred Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart had won the last election, but for now he alleges that the City allowed the yellow Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse  artwork to be applied to his building without his approval. The court will in due course rule on that and we’ll all know more.

Freo, great one day, a total bloody mess the next one, hey! 😩 😍 😆

High Street is looking better than ever though, and there are still quite a few buildings where the yellow foil needs to be removed before it becomes a total picture paradise.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO’S HIGH STREET BEAUTIFUL TODAY, EVEN BETTER TOMORROW

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 24, 2019

 

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When I walked out of Chalkys cafe and noticed the beautiful early sun light illuminating the historic buildings along High Street this Sunday morning, I could not resist and take some more photos of the splendid work the City of Fremantle is doing on the removal of the yellow foil of the Felice Varini Arc D’Ellipses artwork.

It looks great! Perfect movie set backdrops, I reckon.

It is still a work in progress with many more buildings to do, so something I am really looking forward to.

Roel Loopers

WINTERWORLD SPONSORSHIP TOO MUCH FOR ONE FREO COUNCILLOR

 

To keep sponsoring the more and more successful Fremantle WINTERWORLD Festival we should get some guarantee of exclusivity, Councillor Rachel Pemberton argued at the FPOL Committee on Wednesday evening. There is a Winterworld in Perth and Hillaries at the same time as Fremantle, she said, and we don’t want another one at Bibra Lake or near Fremantle..

Winterworld this year will for the first time coincide with the Fremantle Festival, which has been moved from a summer to a winter festival, so that means more and better promotion for the festival.

The Winterworld organisers have again asked for cash sponsorship of $ 25,000 from the City plus $ 45,000 of in-kind sponsorship for a waiver of car park fees at the Italian Club, so a total of $ 70,000. The proposal is for a three-year sponsorship up to and including 2021.

Councillor Doug Thompson was the only one who does not like the cash sponsorship, but the FPOL members asked for the CEO to renegotiate the contract, because a more successful Winterworld creates more profits and hence should be able to do with less financial sponsorship from the City.

80,000 people attended Winterworld last year and it is estimated 100,000 will visit it this year.

I think it is quite funny that the City officers claim in the agenda that “the event created strong attendance from interstate” but the figures provided with the statement show that only 300 tickets were sold interstate, so that is hardly a strong attendance from the eastern states.

And one more issue I have been raising since Winterworld started. Where are the posters and flyers so that tourist destinations such as the Roundhouse can hand them out and make interstate and overseas visitors aware that the skating festival is on?

Roel Loopers

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FREO CITY REPLIES TO YELLOW ART CRITICISM

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 24, 2019

 

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The City of Fremantle has reacted to the ‘exclusive’ in the West Australian earlier this week about the removal issues with the yellow artwork along High Street, so I’ll publish that unedited below:

“The work program for the removal of the artwork and its timing were developed in consultation with the building owners. Works started on 2 January at the Round House end of High Street. Works to numbers 1, 2, 4a and 4 will be complete by 23 January. We will then move to number 6 and work our way up the north side of High Street and back down the other side. Work is currently programmed until mid-March.

A photographic/measured survey has been carried out on each building and the method being applied and area of the works was agreed with each owner prior to commencement. The remediation works not only address the areas that were covered by the yellow foil, but entire ‘panels’ of buildings, so that work does not appear as ‘patching’ but a more complete remediation to ensure an acceptable blended finish.

Step 1 is removal of the yellow foil. Foil is removed by abrasive action. This is similar to normal prep work which might be carried out prior to painting. The contractor is using a couple of different methods. For painted render, painted brickwork, timber frames and metal window bars, removal is through the use of a hand-held grinder fitted with a silicon carbide stripping disk. For more intricate areas such as tuck pointed brickwork and decorative scrolls, a hand-held scraper is used.

Step 2 is preparation. In addition to removing any small remaining pieces of foil (from step 1), the team are filling, carrying out minor repairs, scraping off loose paint, sanding and washing down the building. After that, if any additional cracks are uncovered as part of the wash-down they are also filled and sanded.

Step 3 is painting. Samples of the existing paintwork are taken and matched. A high quality paint is being used.

The approved budget for the removal of the artwork project is $211,000.

The majority of owners have been entirely happy with the process. Owners and tenants are being kept well informed. City officers are on-site daily to ensure works are progressing as agreed. As each building is completed, the City will meet with the owner to ensure they are satisfied with the work that has been done.

The contractor is doing an extremely good job and is very thorough. Officers will continue to actively engage with the contractor throughout the project and are very confident the project will provide a quality outcome. Officers also continue to liaise with representatives of the Heritage Council, who are happy with both the progress, the extent and the quality of the preparation and repainting works.

One property owner has initiated legal proceedings against the City, which the City will defend vigorously.

While the difficulties with removing the artwork – and the additional costs – are unfortunate, they should not overshadow the fact that the artwork was a great success which attracted thousands of people to the West End and contributed to their favourable impression of Fremantle.”

 

In fairness I need to add that former Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri claims that he did not give the City permission to use the building he owns at 7 High Street for the public artwork, so if Tagliaferri’s claim is correct the City trespassed and engaged in property vandalism, but the court will rule no doubt on that as well in due course.

 

Roel Loopers

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FIRST ATTEMPTS AT REMOVING FREO’S YELLOW ART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on January 4, 2019

 

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This is what the Fremantle former Tram Building in High Street looks like after the yellow foil of the Felice Varini artwork had been shaved off.

After this patching up and painting the entire facade will be necessary.

The yellow stripes on the road service, which were part of the public artwork, were also removed with power hoses. That will still require a decent clean up as it looks pretty messy at present.

Roel Loopers

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