Freo's View


Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 20, 2018


art 1


The removal debacle of the yellow Arcs D’Ellipse artwork in Fremantle’s historic High Street is in the media spotlight today with an article and photos in the West Australian and crews from Channel Nine, TEN and SEVEN interviewing people on the street this morning and interviewing Mayor Brad Pettitt at 10.30am.

The media release by the City of Fremantle states that it was easy to remove the artwork from the Townhall, and that is for a very specific reason. The renovation of the Townhall included anti graffiti coating and that created problems for artist Felice Varini when he attached the yellow foil. It actually partly blew off after a big storm and the artist had to go back up on a cherrypicker and do it again.

The media release also states the City has budgeted for repairs to the buildings, but how do you budget for something when you don’t know the costs? Did CoF budget $ 50,000 or $ 500,000?

As I said to Channel Nine and Ten, the artwork is great and I will always support creative and innovative public art, but it was done back to front with testing now done on how to remove the foil. You don’t hold a concert at the Fremantle Arts Centre and then do a sound check after the event.

Anyway, time will tell if a professional painter or industrial chemist will come up with a solution of removing the yellow foil without major damage to the paintwork.

Roel Loopers

PS, just bumped into a commercial wall cleaner who came from Osborne Park to have a look at possibilities to remove the foil and he told me Fremantle City has a major problem on their hands.





A year ago Fremantle celebrated the inclusion of the historic West End on the WA State Heritage List, but at present it is playing deaf and dumb about the damage done and problems with the removal of the Arcs D’Ellipse yellow artwork along High Street.

There has been no official word from the City of Fremantle, probably because they don’t want to admit liability in case it becomes a legal process with property owners, and probably it is just one of those immature PR exercises where the idea is that if you don’t respond to criticism it will just fade away.

I had another look yesterday at some of the damage already done by removing the yellow foil from heritage listed buildings and it’s not pretty. It is unlikely that building owners will accept a patch up job where the paint does not perfectly match the existing paint, and that might well mean that some of the buildings will have to have a significant paint job at huge costs to the ratepayers.

The process has been back to front, with the City now getting testing done on how to safely remove the foil, when that should have been done well before permission was given to the artist to attach it.

Will the City of Fremantle insurance cover the damage when it was attached by volunteers who are not staff of the City? Will the City of Fremantle admit this was amateur hour incompetence, and what about the silence of the High Tide Biennale directors and curator about this shambles? All those who were keen to take credit and be photographed with the Felice Varini artwork are now nowhere to be seen or heard.

Not commenting won’t make it go away, City of Fremantle!

Roel Loopers

I received this official statement from the City of Fremantle late on Wednesday afternoon:

The Arcs d’Ellipses artwork proved to be hugely popular and helped to raise Fremantle’s profile and attract thousands of visitors to the West End.

The City commenced the removal of the artwork last month by removing it from the Town Hall without any difficulties, but has encountered some problems removing it from some buildings on High Street.

It was always a condition of the agreement with property owners that the City would make good any damage to paintwork as a result of the removal of the artwork. There is provision for this in the City’s budget.

The City will work with building owners to ensure any damage caused by the removal of the artwork is repaired.

The City is looking to engage a paint specialist within the next week to assist in the removal of the artwork and repair of the buildings. Once they’ve been engaged we will have a better understanding of the costs involved.



Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 16, 2018



There is quite an incredible amateur attitude at the City of Fremantle regarding the damage done to heritage buildings by the Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork along High Street.

The assurance to building owners that the City will repair the damage is simply not good enough because it will only ever be patch up work. Some of the deeper damage may require re-rendering parts of the buildings, and after that the near impossible task will start to colour match fading paint in all different forms and shapes all over the buildings.

It is not good enough that there was a cavalier attitude toward using these old buildings by the well-paid artist, the High Tide biennale directors and City of Fremantle staff, and it is extremely unprofessional that someone’s word was accepted that it would be easy to remove the foil, instead of doing proper testing before the yellow foil was allowed to be attached to the buildings.

The West End is the soul of Fremantle and its significance should never be under estimated and be taken for granted, but that is what all involved with this art project did!

I love the Varini artwork and so did the tens of thousands of visitors who admired it and promoted it all over the world on social media. It is very important to have great innovative public art and that should never be discouraged, but the basic principle has to be that one knows what one is doing, and not let someone else clean up the mess.

It is not good enough City of Fremantle and the lack of professionalism of some of the people involved should be seriously questioned.

We also still have not heard an official word from our City’s leaders about this, so what about it CEO Phil StJohn and Mayor Brad Pettitt?

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 13, 2018


Arcs D'Ellipse


In remarkable proof that reality can be more intriguing than fiction the removal of the yellow Felice Varini artwork along Fremantle’s Hight Street has been stopped. The City has advised property owners that the City of Fremantle is conducting further investigation into the effective removal of the foil from the buildings.

At the time of installing the artwork it was claimed that foil would be used so that the heritage facades would not be damaged, but it appears now that neither the High Tide curator nor City staff actually tested if the foil could be removed without any problems.

It seems a very unprofessional approach to claim easy removal of the foil without knowing if that is the case, and property owners rightly question who will be responsible for eventual repairs and if the High Tide insurance will pay for it.

The glass repair company which repaired the damage done at the installation of the work on the building next to the Orient Hotel still had not been paid for their work last month, eight months after the damage was done.


Roel Loopers


Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, development, hospitality, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on July 11, 2018




I am delighted to see this sign stating that the former synagogue building on the corner of Parry Street and South Terrace is now under contract.

The site behind the building was going to be developed into short stay tourist accommodation but heritage issues arose and the owners left the partly developed site unattended for a long time now.

It will be great to see it used again. Hopefully soon!

By the way, City of Fremantle, what is happening with the Evan Davies building in the former KULCHA spot above the Dome cafe? Restaurant development there was approved by council months ago, but nothing appears to happen. What’s going on?

Roel Loopers




Victoria Hall


The City of Fremantle will offer historic Victoria Hall for sale from September this year.

The building, designed by Talbot Hobbs, is one of the last Goldrush period buildings east of Kings Square and was built in 1896/97 as the St John’s Parish Hall.

It was renamed Victoria Hall to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria.

A previous Fremantle Council planned to demolish the building to allow for widening of High Street, but the Builders Labourers Federation put a Green Ban on it and saved the building from demolition.

The sale of Victoria Hall is in line with the adopted 2018/19 budget and comes as a result of the Fly by Night club moving out, as it has not demonstrated ongoing sustainability. The City will waive outstanding rent debt.

Victoria Hall was bought by the City of Fremantle in 2001 and restored for an estimated $ 2 million.

Net proceeds from any sale will be placed in the Town Hall Conservation Reserve and the Heritage Reserve of the City.

Roel Loopers



Hub commendation


THE HUB next to the Fremantle Roundhouse, created by Fremantle-based Harris Architects, was awarded a commendation at the recent WA architecture awards.

The Hub was created for the High Tide Biennale as the festival hub and has since become very popular for weddings on Arthur Head and school groups on excursions having their lunch break in it.

It is a delightful, light and open structure that mirrors the Roundhouse, so I am one of many who hope and wish that the City of Fremantle will allow The Hub to remain permanently on the Bathers Bay look out.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2018


wedding wall


Good to see that the Fremantle’s Notre Dame University acted swiftly on my concerns about the so-called Wedding Wall in Cliff Street.

Repairs to retain the integrity of the heritage-listed wall have started, so now hoping that NDA will also beautify the rather unsightly carpark behind the wall in the near future.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, seasons, Uncategorized, winter by freoview on June 26, 2018



Nice soft winter morning light in the High Street mall today, shows that Fremantle is beautiful every day of the year.

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, GLEN COWANS, maritime, oceans, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on June 19, 2018


Arthur Head drone photo


My friend and fellow photographer Glen Cowans took this amazing drone photo of the Fremantle Roundhouse and Arthur Head.

Glen has his underwater photography gallery next to the Roundhouse and was testing his new drone for future diving photo trips around the world.

Since Glen gave me permission to publish the photo here on Freo’s View I’d better give him a plug. ; >)

The Glen Cowans Photography Gallery at Captain’s Lane is an amazing insight into the wonderful and mysterious world of the oceans and well worth a visit.

Mounted and block mounted prints, print on canvas, and jewellery are all on display. Check out the pendants, rings and earrings created by Glen’s wife Louise, ladies!

The gallery is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30am till 4pm.

You can also check out all Glen’s work on-line here:

Roel Loopers

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