Freo's View


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


yellow art


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


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


art 1

art 2


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


Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 2, 2019


art 5

art 1


The removal of the yellow Arcs D’Ellipse artwork in Fremantle’s historic High Street started this morning, so it will be interesting to observe the progress of it.

The public artwork by Swiss artist Felice Varini was installed in October 2017 for the Fremantle Festival and was highly successful, with tens of thousands of people photographing the stunning optical illusion from the steps of the Roundhouse.

Unfortunately the removal of the foil from the heritage-listed buildings proved to be a real pain in the arts and was delayed by six months.

Fremantle Council increased the budget for the removal works from $ 15,000 to $ 220,000 late last year. It is still flabbergasting why the City of Fremantle did not not require the artist to have public liability insurance for the removal of the artwork, as that is common practice in Australia.

Good luck to the contractors who took on the job. There was only one person working on it at 9am this morning, so it is going to be a long, slow and tedious process.

Roel Loopers




FBH firework


I do know that April Fools Day is still four months away, but what the …. There are people who celebrate Christmas in July, so why should April Fools only be in April, and there is far too little to blog about, so I might as well do what the mainstream media and Donald Trump are so good at and report fake news and hopefully make the New Year start with a smile for you.

Anyway, I had this nightmarish kind of a dream that the progressive Fremantle Council, always keen to lead with innovation, will be changing the date of New Year’s Eve to June 30. Fremantle already changed Australia Day to One Day and celebrates it a day or two after the rest of the nation.

The reasons for it are that those lefties on Council believe that there are already too many celebrations and inebriations around Christmas time and that there are a multitude of events and fireworks to compete with for our small port city.

For those reasons Fremantle Council has already decided that the Fremantle Festival in 2019 will be a winter festival in July, when the rest of greater Perth hibernates. This will link the festival with fireworks and the celebration of the new financial year.

So we will be seeing a return of the Fremantle fireworks, but it won’t be on Australia Day or New Year’s Eve, but on June 30. That will make it far more family friendly, because the sun sets earlier in winter and that means the kiddies can be in bed at a far more appropriate time than when the fireworks are in summer.


Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 14, 2018



The City of Fremantle has selected the successful contractor for the removal of the Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse yellow artwork along historic High Street. It is BUDO Group Pty Ltd.

The City will now begin to program the works and take paint samples for matching paint colour .

As a result of feedback from owners, Freo City have planned to start on site in the first week of January, after Christmas and before the new semester starts for Notre Dame students.

The City has scoped the works to remove all the yellow foil and restore the affected buildings to the pre-art installation condition. In the event that owners decide they would prefer to vary the scope of works, the City proposes a couple of options:
1. Contact Budo for a quotation for the full works. The works can then be carried out as part of the City’s program with the City covering the cost of the works outlined in the Property Survey, access and traffic management and the owner covering the shortfall / or
2. If owners would prefer to organise the works through their own contractor, the City will cover the contribution as per the rate outlined.

The City received advice from the Heritage Council which supports the methodology and process being followed.

For owners who have not yet approved the City to undertake these works, the Heritage Council has advised that any work carried out outside of this tender would need to have it’s own independent Heritage Council approval.

The work to remove paint from pavements, lamp posts and roof tiles will be carried out by a separate contractor. This work will coincide with the work in January.

The City of Fremantle will now start to meet with owners who have approved the works to agree a program of works.

Roel Loopers




Kraken 1-8pm


The Fremantle Kraken Festival is on from 1pm today at Arthur’s Head with stalls, a licensed area, music and performances, and a market.

And as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean the Karla-K Koorling will light fires along Bathers Beach, each with a theme; puppetry, dance, song, story telling and spoken word.

The Kraken event will be a small taste of Blazing Swan, offering free public entry to experience some of the Blaze spirit. The Kraken effigy constructed on Bathers Beach will be something to behold, incorporating a pirate ship and sea monster emerging from the sands! A selection of Blazing Swan theme camps will also have open tents at Kraken displaying art, playing music and offering a special experience in themselves………not to miss out hot n spicy street food at The Indian Grill.

At the southern end of Bathers Beach Kidogo Arthouse will open the cute Kelp Bar as well.

Roel Loopers






The City of Fremantle has advised all property owners along High Street, whose buildings are affected by the Felice Varini Arcs D’ellipse yellow artwork, that the City have put out a request for tender for the removal of the stunning artwork, that was put up for the Fremantle Festival in October last year.

A photographic survey with details on the recommended removal technique for each type of substrate on a building-by-building basis will be added to the tender documentation.

The City undertook extensive sampling of various methodologies and has developed a comprehensive list of requirements to ensure that the most appropriate contractor will be awarded the tender.

Work to remove the yellow foil is estimated to start in mid November and completed before Christmas.

Roel Loopers




The last summer Fremantle Festival starts in a month as it will become a winter festival from next year.

10 NIGHTS IN PORT will run from  12-21 July 2019  when the Fremantle Festival returns to a ten-day immersive experience of wild art and hidden treasures in 2019.

Presenting works across contemporary music, theatre, visual arts, film and live performance, the program is designed to encourage discovery and celebration. Informed by a sense of place and the undeniable uniqueness of our port city. Full 2019 program will be announced April 2019.

This year’s festival starts on Friday October 26 with the Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival at the Fremantle Arts Centre, followed on Sunday with the Blessing of the Fleet procession through the inner city to the Fishing Boat Harbour.

On Saturday November 2 Bathers Beach will be set alight when Kraken lights up a big Black Swan and when Karla-k Koorling lights many fires to connect the people of Fremantle, each fire hosting a dance, songs, puppetry, performance or spoken word.

Stay tuned for more info closer to the festival!

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 10, 2018


High Tide hub


I found it kind of sad to see the lovely High Tide Biennale festival hub being taken apart at Arthur’s Head next to the Roundhouse today.

I really like the construction of the round circle by Harris Architects, that was used for story telling, yoga, concerts, art events,weddings, etc. and  it was also very popular as a playground for primary school students. It juxtaposed really well with the old Roundhouse next to it.

And while we all like to have a whinge sometimes here in Freo, including I, we should also give credit when due, so let me say that it was impressive to see City of Fremantle senior arts officer Corine van Hall lugging around with the heavy wooden pieces, as that is definitely not a part of her job description.

And High Tide Biennale curator Tom Mueller also deserves to be  thanked for physically doing the heavy work all day. Did anyone realise Mueller organised the HT Biennale for the love of art and Freo without getting a cent paid for it?

Well done all and thank you!!

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on September 7, 2018



The mystery of how to remove the yellow art in Fremantle’s historic High Street appears to be a real science, for which one probably needs a university degree. More people arrived yesterday afternoon and were rubbing, pulling and scratching but the outcome was not promising.

One City of Fremantle officer said to a local cafe owner that she wished they had tested it before.

Fremantle Council increased the budget for the removal of the great and popular Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork from just $ 15,000 to over $ 200,000 after it became apparent that the removal of the yellow foil would be an enormous headache, but some experts have indicated it could cost a lot more than that.

Roel Loopers

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