Freo's View

FREO’S YELLOW ART REPAIRS ON BUDGET

 

 

There are a few rumours around town and on (anti)social media about the removal of the yellow foil of the Felice Varini artwork and the patching up and painting of the facades of the heritage-listed buildings along Fremantle’s historic High Street.

I wanted to find out first hand what is going on as claims were made about additional work costing the city a lot more money, etc. so I asked Graham Tattersall, Director of Infrastructure and Project Delivery of the City of Fremantle to clarify what is happening, so that we are all on the same page, as they say, and all white elephants are taken care of.

Here is what he emailed me:

“I can clarify that we received council approval to allocate a budget of $211K (for all removal works and associated tidy-up…inc buildings….and roofs, pavement, lampposts etc…).

Our (internal) measured pre-tender estimate for the building removal works was $130k. This included a 10% contingency for potential additional painting to ensure match-ups.

The tendered works for removal of Art-work (from the High St buildings) was ultimately won by BUDO; the agreed contract sum actually being $113k. There have been some minor variations to this figure (to ensure façade match-ups) but we are still well within our contingency allocation.

At this point I am confident that all works related to remove the yellow foil from buildings will be covered by the contract and contingency.

Some additional work to buildings on High Street is being carried out by BUDO under instruction from the owners (for example, numbers 8, 12 and 32 have opted for a full façade paint). In these cases, the City is funding the removal of the yellow paint and remediating paint work where the foil has been (as specified and tendered) and the owners are funding the rest.

We are also looking to refresh some of the City’s existing assets down High Street (painting of lampposts, tree pruning, relocation of benches to High Street, potted trees). However, this work will be covered by operational, maintenance budgets.”

I walk by the repair works a couple of times a day and am very impressed with the new look High Street, so I hope the work will all get done within budget and on time.

Roel Loopers

HIGH STREET BEAUTIFICATION A DELIGHT

 

 

A lot of people have commented to me on how good Fremantle’s historic High Street is starting to look now that the City of Fremantle is in the process of removing the yellow foil of the Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork and partly or totally paint the facades of the gorgeous buildings.

The building at 10 High Street still does have the yellow foil attached but that is because architect Michael Patroni, who owns the building, wants to take it all the way back to the original tuckpointed facade, and no worries, the City won’t pay for that.

It’s great to see heritage building beautified, but that does not mean I condone the mess  the city administration made out of the fantastic public artwork and not doing their homework about how to safely remove the foil. That should not have happened.

I hear that the City also wants to install more seating along High Street and that no doubt will be welcomed by tourists, locals and Notre Dame university students

Roel Loopers

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FREO.SOCIAL MURAL ART WORK IN PROGRESS

Posted in art, city of fremantle, concerts, entertainment, music, Uncategorized by freoview on February 14, 2019

 

Freo.Social

 

Fremantle is getting another good mural public art work on the new FREO.SOCIAL music venue building at Parry Street. The aerial perspective of the painting is fascinating.

Work is still continuing in and around the former Drillhall, but Sunset Events have scheduled many concerts in, starting with An Intimate Evening With John Butler on April 3.

Roel Loopers

FREO CITY REPLIES TO YELLOW ART CRITICISM

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

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IT IS NOT ALL PAIN OF THE YELLOW ART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 10, 2019

 

yellow

 

The removal of the yellow foil and repainting of 2 High Street has been going very well by the look of it, so it is not all black and bleak reporting about the deconstruction of the Felice Varini artwork in Fremantle.

This is what it looked like around 4pm today.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE ART REMOVAL A MAJOR CHALLENGE

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 10, 2019

 

yellow art

 

This photo of the former St Andrew’s Mariners Chapel in Fremantle’s historic High Street, taken late yesterday afternoon, clearly shows the challenges the contractors face in removing the yellow foil of the Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork from the buildings.

The building to the west if it escaped major damage as they could pull off the foil, but this one looks pretty awful, so it appears that it will need a lot more work before it can be re-painted.

It is quite clear that all the buildings will need individual treatment, as the City of Fremantle has indicated, so I don’t envy those who have to find solutions for the problems they encounter. Good luck!

Roel Loopers

 

FIRST ATTEMPTS AT REMOVING FREO’S YELLOW ART

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

THE FINE ART OF FREMANTLE ART REMOVAL

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

 

FREMANTLE YELLOW ART REMOVAL TO START IN JANUARY

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

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TIME TO CLEAN UP THE WEST END MESS!

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on November 8, 2018

 

 

A group of tourists, on an historic tour of Fremantle yesterday, commented to me that the yellow Felice Varini artwork along historic High Street has started to look like a messy eyesore, and I agree with that.

All the trials to try to remove the yellow foil have left walls looking ugly and damaged, so it is really time for the City of Fremantle to get a move on.

Summer is just around the corner and there is already an increase in cruise ship visitors, backpackers and others, so our city should look at its best. Instead we got the yellow mess saga that appears to continue indefinitely, with some building owners taking legal action, and we also got lots of fences all around Arthur’s Head because of fear of rockfall there.

I know that the wheels of any government turn very slowly, but it is time to clean up the mess in the West End with urgency and priority!

Roel Loopers

 

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