Freo's View

DUCKS AT BATHERS BEACH

 

ducks

 

Fremantle J Shed sculptor Greg James has created these lovely ducks and they are out and about on the grass at J Shed, so take the kids for a look, and also have a look inside at all the art displayed in the gallery.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE’S BRONZE FISHERMAN CAUGHT

Posted in art, bathers beach, city of fremantle, fishing boat harbour, greg james, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on November 17, 2019

caught!

back view

 

Two rather different photos of J Shed sculptor Greg James‘ artwork in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour. Workers who are repairing the jetty have caught one of the bronze fisherman, while the Bathers Beach House looks different when taken through the massive legs of the big sentinel.

The stolen Bella sculpture by Greg James still has not been found.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE MAYOR RESPONDS TO ART PRECINCT CRITICISM

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt responded to the criticism directed at him in the Fremantle Herald by Arthur’s Head artists and I believe it is fair to publish this more prominently than just a comment under yesterday’s article about it here on Freo’s View, so here is what Brad Pettitt had to say:

My blog post was intended to be a conversation starter so I’m pleased to see that it is starting a conversation on how Fremantle can best nurture its creative sector.

In relation to the article in the Herald, the Herald didn’t actually interview me for that story – they just quoted from my blog.

I thought it was very good that the Herald put this key issue out there more widely, but the words that the arts precinct at Arthur Head had ‘failed’ and the creative sector had ‘languished too long’ were the Herald’s words, not mine.

What I did say on my blog was that the Arthur Head Arts Precinct has never quite worked as a precinct, despite some individual high achievers.

However, I think the observation that the precinct as a whole hasn’t realised its full potential is fair.

The intent of my statement regarding the creative sector was to support and develop creative industries in Fremantle, not to criticise or denigrate the excellent work that has already been achieved.

I greatly value the contributions of those mentioned as part of the successful arts and cultural fabric of Fremantle, and have said to them that I would very much appreciate their involvement in future discussions about how we can nurture and grow Fremantle’s creative industries.

Best regards, Brad

 

Roel Loopers

FREO ART PRECINCT NOT A FAILURE SAY ARTISTS

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 25, 2019

 

There is a bit of a backlash from Arthur’s Head artists against Mayor Brad Pettitt’s claim in the Fremantle Herald last week that the Bathers Beach Art Precinct concept had failed.

David Giles, Glen Cowans, Greg James, Jenny Dawkins and peter Zuvela all pointed out that they have been very successful up on the Roundhouse hill and at J Shed for many years and that it might just be time for Fremantle Council to acknowledge the success of these artists and support them better.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ART PRECINCT NEEDS SOME PICKLE

 

DSC_5703

 

The report today in the property pages of the West Australian about the new Pickle District art development in the west end of the City of Vincent made me think-again-about how inadequate the City of Fremantle’s concept for the Bathers Beach Art Precinct has been.

While Vincent is encouraging the organic growth of art and culture in the historic warehouses and factories in the Newcastle, Loftus and Charles Street precinct, Fremantle has been disrespectful to the long-established artists at J Shed and have tried to move them on by permitting a tavern and live music venue on the A Class reserve at historic Arthur’s Head. That was only stopped by the WAPC.

The City of Vincent shows that one needs creativity and confidence in artists to just let things happen and grow, with small infrastructure support from the council.

Fremantle Council unfortunately often wants to micro manage development and that has shown to be counter productive at Arthur’s Head because Council lacks good ideas for the area and the unwillingness to invest there.

And while the dedicated artists just want to keep creating Freo City can’t even provide the No 1 studio at J Shed with power, so stone sculptor Jina Lee can’t use power tools and start working on new sculptures. I did not hear that from her by the way as she dedicates all her energy to her art.

It is time for the City to sit down with some really creative people in Fremantle and come up with a good concept for an arts precinct, and ideally that should include lovely Slip Street in Fremantle Port.

Roel Loopers

I AM SHAKING MY ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

When the City of Fremantle many years ago evicted the long-term residents and Port Pilots at Captain’s Lane on Arthur’s Head to create the Bathers Beach Art Precinct I warned they would be creating a ghost town at night that would attracts vagrants, homeless people and anti social behaviour, and I was right.

Fremantle Council is now finally acknowledging that the BBAP does not work in its current conception, so one has to wonder what will be coming next.

The J Shed artists have been stressed for far too long about their future at Arthur’s Head, with having to fight the ridiculous decision by Fremantle Council  to lease the shed for a tavern and outdoor music venue to Sunset Events. That madness was only stopped by the WA Planning Commission after years of protests from residents .

Now the J Shed artists have not got their four-year leases renewed because Council is dreaming about an Aboriginal culture centre there, so what is the future for Greg James, Jenny Dawkins, Janet Nixon, Lesley Barrett, Jina Lee, Peter Zuvela and others?

Fremantle Council has been talking for years about activating Arthur’s Head and the West End of town, but have spent very little money on the area. The tavern nonsense would have given them sewerage and public toilets, paid for by others, and they have neglected one of our state’s and the city’s most significant historic precinct for yonkers.

The City should have built public toilets, a small cafe at J Shed, and extend the boardwalk from the Bathers Beach House to J Shed, but instead they have been living in LaLa land in the hope that commercial investment will do what the city does not want to finance.

Arthur’s Head is falling to bits with rock fall forcing the fencing off of large areas. It looks terrible!

For twenty years Fremantle Council has shown no interest whatsoever in the management and running of the Roundhouse. The oldest public building in Western Australia receives no annual funding from the city, it does not get financial and in kind support for marketing, or uniforms or anything, and it is a struggle for the volunteers to get the smallest repairs done.

The Roundhouse receives around 150.000 visitors a year so it is a significant tourist attraction, but the City says when the volunteers started they wanted to be autonomous, so what?! That does not mean Council should not show a very close interest in how it is working out and if the volunteers might just need a bit of help and TLC now and then. The mainly senior guides definitely deserve it, as they keep the old goal open seven days a week throughout the year. That’s a massive effort!

When the Crookes family, the Fremantle Society and the Port Pilots were still up on Arthur’s Head there was 24/7 activation. The kids brought friends home from Lance Holt school. They played on the grass, had lemonade stands to sell drinks to tourists, the Society held Bocce nights, heritage festival and Australia Day events, etc. And there was a lot of interaction from the verandas with passing visitors, but all that was not good enough for our elected members.

The place has now become an eyesore after many artists failed to succeed in the residential former pilots’ cottages, and even the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre does not have a big impact there.

Fremantle Council wants more activation, but closes the Whalers Tunnel at 7pm, which is well before sun set in summer. It could have made the pilots’ cottages into B&B to guarantee activation of Captain’s and Mrs Trivett Lane, but instead they added them to the artist studios program of the Fremantle Arts Centre, which means that many don’t even have to, or are allowed to, open to the public.

Arthur’s Head is shambles, it brings shame on Fremantle, and it is a sign of very bad governance of the area. And of course the State Government conveniently states that the cliff was vested in the City of Fremantle so it is not their problem to stabilise the cliff face, do urgent repairs and beautifications, and show a serious interest in the historic Roundhouse. All that while Fremantle Prison and the Shipwrecks and Maritime museums are getting all the financial support they need from the state government.

It is not good enough Fremantle Council and Premier Mark McGowan!

Roel Loopers

VANDALS SET FIRE AT FREO’S J SHED

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, crime, fire, j shed, Uncategorized, vandalism by freoview on July 18, 2019

 

J Shed fire

 

There was again serious vandalism at Fremantle’s Arthur’s Head last night with idiots setting fire to the northern wall of the J Shed art studios.

No major damage was done but the power had to be cut off for safety reasons. It is just lucky that the fire brigade arrived early as otherwise the entire shed and some very important artworks could have been destroyed.

Although vandalism is frequent in the area there are still no CCTV cameras in the historic precinct.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S OLD SHEDS

 

J Shed 1

E Shed in B Shed

C Shed in B Shed

 

The story of four old sheds in three photos. Late afternoon light created the J Shed art studios exterior, while the windows of the B Shed cafe offered great reflections of C Shed and the E Shed markets.

Yes indeed, This is Fremantle! 😎

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S WEST END LAKES DISTRICT

 

ah 1

ah 2

 

The wet weather is leaving its marks in Fremantle. It is impossible to get through the Whalers Tunnel because of a deep puddle on the west end of it, while the foot and bicycle paths on either side of Arthur’s Head also have huge puddles.

There is a sink hole starting to develop on the corner of High and Little High Street next to Chalkys cafe and there is a lake in front of J Shed.

It’s not a good look for visitors to our city.

In that context, what is the progress with the stabilisation works required at Arthur’s Head, City of Fremantle?

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE COMPETITIVE LEASING POLICY UNFAIR TO ESTABLISHED BUSINESSES.

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, local government, retail, shopping, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on June 11, 2019

 

Item 1906-1 on Wednesday’s FPOL Committee agenda of Fremantle Council raises interesting questions as to why the City of Fremantle has a ‘competitive manner leasing policy’ for its properties.

The item is about renewing the lease of the Fremantle Public Golf Course at Montreal Street and officers suggest that Councillors agree to an exemption of the competitive manner leasing policy because the Lessee has a proven record.

I believe it is pretty fair to extend the lease for the present Lessee but question why that does not apply to other Lessees or License Holders in Fremantle, such as the artists of the Bathers Beach Art Precinct.

It is not as if the competitive policy allows the City to get more money for its properties, because the City sets the rents, so it can only be about wanting change for no practical reasons.

Why does the City want established artists who have been professionally and successfully operating to engage in a competitive process, when there is no guarantee that new artists will be equally successful and able to pay the rent? There have been several failures at Arthur’s Head where at the end the City had to write off outstanding rent because it was not recoverable.

There are not many sculptors who still do traditional life-size bronze sculptures the way Greg James does at J Shed, so that should qualify as unique as well.

Jenny Dawson has run her ceramic art business successfully for twenty years at J Shed and pays full commercial rates to the city, which are determined by an outside consultant.

I have heard the argument from Councillors that if the artists pay commercial rates at Arthur’s Head it won’t be difficult for them to pay full rates elsewhere in Fremantle, but that is bollocks, and even more so for retail art galleries such at Glen Cowans and David Giles.

Establishing a small business is bloody hard work, and starting somewhere else all over again sets back a business by years, so it is time Fremantle Council reconsidered its competitive manner leasing policy because all it does is penalise successful established businesses, and that is very unfair.

Roel Loopers

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