Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on October 19, 2015

sliding into the past

Fremantle photographer Glen Cowans in known around the world for his fantastic underwater photography. On Thursday he and guest photographer Peter Nicholas will exhibit photos taken on slide film, before the photo world went digital and Photoshop replaced knowing and understanding light, composition, etc. The exhibition is titled Sliding Into The Past.

The exhibition opening is from 6-9 pm and there will be a wonderful experience of an old fashioned slide show inside the Fremantle Roundhouse, our state’s oldest public building. The Roundhouse is not often open to the public at night so take advantage of this special event! The slide show will be at 7.30.

The Glen Cowans gallery is next to the Roundhouse in an former Pilot’s Cottage at Captain’s Lane. There is plenty of parking at Little High Street just below the Roundhouse ona Thursday night.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on February 20, 2015

I had a chat at Chalkys cafe yesterday with the owner of one of the beautiful apartments at Little High Street in the former warehouse so beautifully designed for adaptive re-use by architect Ralph Hoare. Greg asked why BID had not continued with lighting up all of High Street and although electricians worked many days on putting cables underground at his building and the former Tram building opposite, there were still no lights, so maybe someone at BID can explain why the money was spent and people inconvenienced for nothing.

Greg also questioned why the City of Fremantle had spent all that money on lighting up the cliff face of Arthur Head but closed the Whalers Tunnel at 7 pm. Councillors constantly talk about reactivating the area but for some reason the 10 pm closing time of the tunnel has been put forward to 7 pm. Please explain COF!

That brings me to another point about reactivation and the Bathers Beach Art Precint. Homeless people invade the verandas and backyards of the cottages at Captain’s Lane at night because the place is a dark unoccupied ghost town after 5 pm. The gallery at no 11 now only has one single artists left instead of the 4 who started it and Wild Twig is trying very hard but lacks professional appearance. The two galleries open infrequently while the Aboriginal centre is only open on weekdays till 1 pm and not on weekends. That is not activation!

The only professional outfit on top of the hill is the great looking Glen Cowans Photo Gallery but how long can he battle on on his own? The Bathers Beach Art Precinct has been badly handled by COF and Council needs to revisit this and come up with better solutions to activate the area, even more so now that it appears that Sunset Events is in no hurry to start a pub and live music venue at J Shed any time soon.

J Shed artist Jenny Dawson said yesterday that DAADA is fitting in really well next to Greg James in the studio earmarked for Sunset Events. Delighted to hear also that she is involved with artist Sandra Hill in a large artwork around the water feature at Elizabeth Quay. Unfortunately confidentially prevented her from telling me more or showing me what it is going to look like.

Arthur Head is a fantastic heritage area and I am glad to see many more people at Bathers Beach sun baking and swimming. The SCULPTURE@BATHERS  show in March will bring thousands of people to the area for a few weeks so let’s make it one huge beach party to celebrate Fremantle’s and Western Australia’s creative talent and artists’ initiative!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on October 31, 2014

The Fremantle Aboriginal Cultural Centre will be open this Saturday 1st November, between 12pm-4pm, as part of the Bathers Beach Art Precinct Open Day.

THE ORIGIN OF DOTS AND DIDJERIDOOS. Perhaps the most recognisable components of Aboriginal culture are Dots and the Didjeridoo, but where did these cultural art forms originate? Come visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, view our artefact display and Aboriginal Art or take a tour and the richness and diversity of Aboriginal Culture including the origin of dots and didjeridoos. Tours start at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Next door the David Giles, Wild Twig and Glen Cowans art studios will also be open and down at beach level the J Shed mob of Greg James, Janet Nixon, Jenny Dawson and Peter Zuvela also have open house, with live music and sausage sizzle.

It’s all part of the 2014 Fremantle Festival!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, GLEN COWANS by freoview on October 30, 2014

As reported it will be a big Fremantle Festival day at the Bathers Beach Art Precinct this Saturday November 1.

Don’t forget to go and see the new Sea of Life superb underwater photo exhibition at Glen Cowans Sudio at the Round House. Brilliant photos!

While there go and say hello at the new David Giles Gallery at 11 Captain’s Lane-my former home-and the Aboriginal Cultural Centre next to it.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, fremantle by freoview on July 16, 2014

Arthur Head


Just an observation. The City of Fremantle claims that they have a long list of artists and arts organisations who want to move into the Bathers Beach Art Precinct, but the No 1 studio at J Shed has been empty for months, and it does not look exactly  as if anyone is in a hurry to move into the cottage at Captain’s Lane, vacated by Mutima Art, either. I hear the next door neighbours from the Wild Twig Gallery might want to take over that cottage as well.

To establish a decent art precinct at Arthur Head the city needs to be more selective about the quality of art they want to have up there. Mediocrity is not going to attract the masses, I fear, so pro-actively trying to get some top and well-established artists up on the heritage hill would be a very good way forward. What it needs is artists of the calibre of sculptor Greg James, photographer Glen Cowans, and ceramic artist Jenny Dawson, who are great assets to the Fremantle arts scene and the Bathers Beach Art Precinct.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on June 22, 2014



What a huge storm last night in Fremantle. I hardly slept because the storm kept banging branches on the roof of my tiny abode, but I quite like listening to the elements, as long as I am safe, warm and dry.

I planned to take some wet weather photos today but am not feeling great, so I dug out a few golden oldies of reflections in puddles and rain drops instead, just to add a bit of colour to this rather dull Sunday.

My reflection photos are for sale at the Glen Cowans Photo Gallery next to the Round House. Buy a few and make my day! ;>)

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, fremantle by freoview on May 8, 2014

It is disappointing to hear that Mutima Arthouse on Arthur Head will be closing down because the City of Fremantle is unwilling to support them by reducing the rent for the former Pilot’s Cottage. The Bathers Beach Art Precinct(BBAP) was something Fremantle Council wanted to activate the area, but the City has done very little since to promote and support the precinct. There are only two signs at the Round House, but no signs around the city to promote the BBAP. There is no promotional brochure for it either, and  it would be interesting to find out how much or little the guides at the Visitors Centre know about Freo’s art precinct.

Established artists at Bathers Beach are doing fine, but that is because Greg James and Jenny Dawson don’t live from retail sales, but work on assignments for public art and private and corporate clients. Photographer Glen Cowans at Captains’ Lane has been there for years now and established himself, but the new artists are struggling.

The No 1 studio at J Shed has now been empty for over a month and the offer by Greg James to put art in that studio to make it look attractive has not been accepted by the City. Only they know why, because it makes little sense to have a vacant space there.

The Aboriginal Culture Centre, opened with a big fanfare, is a dud and very little is happening there, because the local Nyoongar artists show no interest running it, hence three city officers keep it open from 9 to 12 on week days, but it is closed on weekends, and apart from a few art works there is no Aboriginal experience for overseas visitors to enjoy. That is very disappointing.

The activation of the area has not happened, instead it has been deactivated, with the Captains’ Lane cottages only open from approximately  11-5 from Thursday to Sunday, but closed Monday-Wednesday and dark every night. When I lived up there as the caretaker of the Fremantle Society, the Crooks family and port pilots were also there 24/7. There was constant activity with the kids bringing friends from school, the Society holding events and meetings there and we all engaging with visitors to the area seven days a week from early till late. Hunter, the beautiful grey family cat was a great attraction for the tourists and photographed almost as much as the Round House. That has now gone and the precinct is a ghost town at night and half of the week during the day as well.

Mutima Arthouse had drumming classes, film and music nights, art exhibitions, etc. but that will now also stop, so even less activity will happen at Captain’s Lane.

The inflexibility and lack of understanding by City officers and councillors about the commercial viability to run Arthur Head as an art precinct  is disappointing, and so is the lack of serious promotion for the area. Where are the newspaper and magazine articles about the new art precinct, where are the flyers and signs, where are the events that should be held there? If the City of Fremantle believes this can all be done by artists willing to sign a $ 450 per week lease for the cottages, they are living in dream world and remote from reality. Far more needs to be done to support the artists and the Bathers Beach Art Precinct precinct, or it will fail. That there are still no signs around the City to promote the BBAP area, after the precinct was established a year ago, shows the City’s lack of interest in making it work, but why then evict the former long-term tenants who looked well after the place and kept it alive? The fact that Council signed off on allowing a pub and outdoor music venue there shows inconsistency and that all council wants it activation at all costs and that is matters little to them if the art precinct will survive.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 24, 2014

The Fremantle BATHERS BEACH ART PRECINCT artists did their own bit to activate the area on Saturday night with an end of summer concert at Captain’s Lane. More than a hundred people came up to historic Arthur Head to listen to Ngati, Mutima Band and The Biz, and wandered through the Glen Cowans, Wild Twig and Mutima Arhouse galleries.

The event was sponsored by BID, and the photos below are by J Shed photographer Peter Zuvela, who teaches photography, so sign up for one of his courses if you want to learn how to take better photos.

It was disappointing that the Aboriginal Cultural Centre was the only venue at Captain’s Lane that was closed on the night.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 19, 2014

The Fremantle BATHERS BEACH ART PRECINCT in collaboration with the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets will hold a FREE end of summer live music concert this Saturday March 22 from 5.30 to 9 pm at Captain’s Lane on historic Arthur Head, next to the Round House.

NGATI, the MUTIMA Band, and the BIZ PROJECT will be performing, while the studios along Captain’s Lane will be open, so check out the great underwater photography of Glen Cowans, the nature paintings at Twig Studio, and the eclectic creative mix at Mutima Arthouse. It is not confirmed yet that the new Aboriginal Cultural Centre will be open on the night, but I hope the City of Fremantle can organise that, so that our Nyoongar friends can showcase their work as well.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on December 6, 2013

Don’t run around like a headless chook to try to find good Christmas gifts. Check out the amazing photography by Fremantle photographer Glen Cowans. He has his gallery next to the historic  Round House on Arthur Head, but will also have a stall at the J Shed Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets tomorrow

The picture below are not aerial landscapes by world renowned photographer Richard Woldendorp, but underwater photos by Glen Cowans. Stunning, aren’t they!

Roel Loopers

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