Freo's View


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

Here the media release by the City of Fremantle regarding the yellow art work removal in High Street:

Arc d’Ellipses removal goes to tender

A commitment to taking a ‘building by building’ approach to ensure safe and careful removal of the Arcs d’Ellipses artwork has prompted the City of Fremantle to undertake a formal tender process.

Internationally renowned artist Felice Varini used yellow-painted foil to create a striking optical illusion along High Street, Fremantle, as part of last year’s High Tide festival. After extending the artwork’s tenure on the back of its strong public acclaim, the City is currently working through the process to remove the foil.

Quotes were sought recently from a number of contractors but following review and evaluation the City has determined it will not accept any of these.

Instead, a more structured scope of works will be developed and a dedicated project manager assigned to work with building owners to create bespoke plans that consider the specific needs of each building.

Director Infrastructure and Projects Graham Tattersall said the City was committed to getting the artwork removed and buildings restored to their pre-installation condition in the most effective and sensitive way.

“Our priority is to ensure the foil comes off without impact on the buildings and so it’s important we are able to define and manage the most suitable and appropriate solution that considers each building’s individual characteristics,” he said.

“While the proposals we received in the initial request for quote were helpful in giving us a clearer picture of what is required, we were also concerned about the wide range of approaches, work methodologies and prices submitted – all of which were above the legislated threshold for councils to call for public tenders.

“On reflection, we felt the scope was probably too broad, and posed potential ambiguity and risks for contractors. We believe it’s best we take a ‘building by building’ approach that considers the varying conditions of the various facades, the different surfaces – and ensures the right solution for each situation.

“We appreciate the level of interest in the issue and our primary focus is to do this properly. We thank building owners for their understanding and patience and will work closely with them to ensure we get this right.”

Mr Tattersall said the City would ensure that building owners are kept briefed through the procurement and delivery process.

“We will continue to provide community updates as the project progresses,” he said


Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 7, 2018



The trial attempts to safely remove the yellow foil from heritage buildings in Fremantle’s High Street by all different kind of cleaning and painting companies continued this week, but have not been enormously successful, as these photos show.

On Monday another wall cleaning company tried out hot steam, and that worked partially on certain surfaces, but not on others.

It is interesting to note in this context that High Tide Biennale curator Tom Mueller of PS Art Space has gone into hiding and does not want to know about the problems.

The biennale Mueller created was fantastic and he deserves a lot of credit for it, as he does for making PSAS into a great arts and events space, but mature people take ownership of their successes and failures, so not responding to an email I sent him last Wednesday and crossing the street on Monday afternoon so that he would not have to engage with me and two High Street property owners affected by the Varini artwork removal debacle is unprofessional and silly.

Tom Mueller was very keen to seek my support before the High Tide Biennale, and he was happy to front the media for the Arcs D’Ellipse launch with Minister David Templeman, Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt and fellow Swiss artist Felice Varini, but now he’s gone all silent.

Also missing in action is the Fremantle Herald. While all the main media have reported on the problems of removing the artwork and the damage to the historic buildings, our own local community paper has not published a word about it. Worried about losing advertising revenue from the City of Fremantle, and not caring one bit about what it will cost ratepayers to repair the artwork damage, very tired old Chook?

One thing is for sure, that the removal is going to be problematic and very costly. Traffic management will be required, as might heritage expert advise, cherry pickers will be needed and maybe even road closure of High Street.

What is certain is that building owners will not accept just a patch up job, but will insist on perfection and reinstating what was there before the yellow foil was put up.

Whoever the ‘lucky’ tender winner will be, I wish them good luck. I don’t envy them for the job ahead.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 6, 2018



Tenders for the removal and make good of the Felice Varini yellow artwork in Fremantle’s historic High Street finished last Friday, so we should find out this week what the solution is to remove the foil without damaging the paint and render, and what it will cost the ratepayers.

The City of Fremantle informed me on Friday that the artist was only required to have public liability insurance for the installation of the great artwork, but not for its removal, which seems a bad oversight to me.

While I love the outstanding public artwork Varini created in Fremantle, I believe he should take ownership also of the difficulties in removing it.

The photos above show the effort cleaning and painting companies made last week removing the foil, so they would know what is required before quoting on the big job. One of them said it could be $ 500,000 to do it properly.

Roel Loopers






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.



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



Varini art


After eight months of delighting Fremantle residents and tourists the Felice Varini  Arcs D’Ellipse yellow artwork in the West End is coming down.

Workers started removing the foil from the Townhall this morning and the art along High Street will be peeled off in due course as well.

The public art installation by the Swiss artist was part of the High Tide Biennale and installed in late October last year.

It was not only a delight to see the stunning optical illusion every day, but even more so to see the reaction of visitors. The artwork definitely had the WOW! factor and left many amazed, impressed and with a smile on their face when viewing it from the Roundhouse.

Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration with us Felice Varini!

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, fremantle festival, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on June 9, 2018


Felice Varini art


If you love the yellow Felice Varini artwork along Fremantle’s historic High Street, or if you haven’t seen it yet, this weekend is your last chance to go and look at it as it will be deconstructed next week.

The great Arcs D’Ellipse artwork, which is all about optical illusion, has been one of the most photographed scenes in Fremantle since it was installed in October last year.

Roel Loopers



Felice Varini art


If you have not photographed or seen the stunning Felice Varini artwork along Fremantle’s High Street yet, you have only weeks to do so as it is due to come down in June.

The work is all about optical illusion and has been photographed by tens of thousands of people from all over the world who are very intrigued by it. It was installed in October last year as part of the High Tide biennale and Fremantle Festival.

Roel Loopers



Posted in bikes, city of fremantle, colour, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on May 8, 2018


Freo colours 1


There is always another colourful photo to be taken in Fremantle. ; >)

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, culture, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 3, 2018




Perth artist Rick Vermey, who is a really nice bloke, has been announced as the the artist to design a new public artwork for the Fremantle  LIV Apartments  on Queen Victoria Street

Rick was commissioned to design the permanent installation in LIV’s entrance as part of the City of Fremantle Percent for Art Scheme.

The tunnel-like structure will be visible from the Queen Victoria and Quarry Street entrances and will be illuminated from within, creating a vibrant space for Liv’s residents and the wider Fremantle community to enjoy.

As part of the creative process Rick Vermey partnered with emerging computational design specialist and architect Daniel Giuffre to come up with the winning design.

The after-dark presence created by the wind-animated dynamic lighting will provide a focal point for night-time visitors to the precinct.

There will be 166 apartments at LIV and approximately 1,300m2 of commercial space, as well as landscaped courtyards with edible gardens for the residents, plus cafes and restaurants .

The new permanent public artwork is due to be installed by August 2018, which is also the due date for the completion of the development.

I think the artwork will look great, but I do have a problem with art incorporated in new development.  The percentage for the arts scheme in Fremantle will give us a lot of new public art in Fremantle because of all the new development, but when the buildings are demolished in 50-100 years the art also disappears and that is a real shame for future generations.

Roel Loopers


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