Freo's View

BORING NEW F(reo)ART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on May 12, 2017

 

The new public artwork in the Fremantle High Street Mall is rather disappointing in my view.

My fine art photographer mate Brad and I were wondering this morning why the proportions are so wrong. Small colourful arty bits on the tops of colourless huge thick posts.

The dimensions seemed all wrong to us, no matter that the work is supposedly inspired by the Fremantle Doctor seabreeze and that the elements on top of the posts will be turning with the direction of the wind.

Why do the posts have to be so thick and why were they not also made colourful?

The interactive artwork will have some sound with it I was told, but even that won’t make up for the visual disappointment of it.

YEP, I know that there will be people disagreeing with me, and that is totally fine as beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we all have different tastes.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ART AT ELIZABETH QUAY

Posted in aboriginal, art, elizabeth quay, fremantle, western australia by freoview on February 4, 2017

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It is always good to hear that Fremantle artists are involved in major public art projects so I went to Elizabeth Quay in Perth on Friday to have a look at the water playground designed by Aboriginal artist Sandra Hill with the ceramic work done by Freo J Shed artist Jenny Dawson.

They were testing the water again when I was there at 10 am so no kids enjoying the water spouts.

Roel Loopers

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BOLD BEAUTIFUL NEW FREMANTLE ARTWORK

Posted in art, city of fremantle, containers, culture, western australia by freoview on August 12, 2016

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It is bold, brave, beautiful and very Freo and will no doubt have its knockers, but who cares.

Congratulations are due to artist Marcus Canning and the City of Fremantle for creating something so stunning that will be a real entry statement to our port city for many years to come, and maybe even after Fremantle Port is no longer a container port.

This is a very Freo work that connects us to the port and the colourful lifestyle and it will become a huge tourist attraction and a place for weddings and functions, and the location just below the developing Cantonment Hill is perfect.

And be assured this is not the entrance to the new Perth Freight Link tunnel. ; >)

Fremantle has long claimed to be the city of arts without having much daring to show for but that changed today. I love the work and will no doubt take many more photos of it in the future.

Fantastic to see so many people coming to watch the installation. Heaps of tiny kids as well.

Well done all involved. I am delighted!

Roel Loopers

 

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CANNING ART AT CANNING HIGHWAY FREMANTLE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, fremantle, local government, western australia by freoview on August 12, 2016

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Work is well underway at Beach Reserve at Fremantle’s Canning Highway to install the huge Rainbow sea container sculpture created by Marcus Canning.

I am of course going back to take photos of the finished work later this afternoon, but here some impressions of the work in progress.

Roel Loopers

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NEW CONTAINER RAINBOW ARTWORK FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, containers, fremantle, western australia by freoview on August 12, 2016

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Assembly of the huge ‘Rainbow’ sculpture by artist Marcus Canning started this morning at Fremantle Beach Reserve on Canning Highway near East Street and should be completed by late afternoon today.

The sculpture is made up of nine colourful containers and will be nine metres high. It weights 66 tonne.

The $ 145,000 artwork was commissioned by the city of Fremantle and is the biggest and most expensive artwork in Fremantle. In a few weeks time lights will be installed and the artwork will light up with the port cranes in the background. That should be an impressive entry statement to our port city.

Marcus Canning is the director of the Perth Fringe Festival and also created the stunning Ascalon sculpture at St George’s Cathedral in our capital city.

I will post photos of the artwork later today as there was not much to see at 8.30 this morning.

Roel Loopers

HOW DO WE CREATE GREAT CITIES?

Posted in development, fremantle, housing, perth, planning by freoview on June 9, 2015

I love being a photographer but in my next life I would not mind being a city planner as it fascinates me how to cater for such a diverse range of people and needs and blending reality and priority with the big dreams for the future.

Today has been fantastic to create more community debate with a great opinion piece in the West Australian by renowned WA Government Architect Geoff Warn, a blog post on two outer suburbs of the German city of Freiburg by Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt, and CUSP professor Peter Newman stating on ABC that building in backyards creates slums.

Let’s quickly dismiss Newman’s nonsense. Granny flats are great to cater for low income people but also as extra income B&B. Small residential blocks have been successful for centuries in Europe so the notion that we should either have quarter acre blocks or live in highrise along transit corridors, as Newman preaches, should be shrugged off as ideological narrow-mindedness. It also questions the City of Fremantle’s small dwellings policy.

Now to the far more positive and realistic stuff of planning great cities. As Geoff Warn writes in the West “A city is charactarised by the quality of housing and good cities embrace variety, accessibility and vitality.” But he also expresses concerns about bland, low-cost and profit-driven housing on the outer edges of the urban sprawl.

On one of my very rare visits to Perth today I was impressed with the hive of building activity, but also very disappointed with the very unimpressive architectural design quality of most buildings. The only buildings that stands out is the colourful and quirky Perth Arena but the rest is just boring.

What impressed me most in central Perth today was the great mural art. It works extremely well in the narrow laneways and they make a great contrast to the overpowering boredom of the highrises that dwarf them.

Geoff Warn writes “Good architecture and urban design contributes to a well-designed public realm…” That sadly seems to have been forgotten by most of the architects and city planners when it comes to the Perth CBD.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is very excited on his blog about two outer suburban developments in Freiburg, where cars are not parked in garages or carports but in a multi-storey carpark on the edge. Residents can only drop off and pick up and for the rest the streets are narrow to accommodate children playing safely. Brad also writes that public open space takes up to 30% of the developments, in contrast to WA where it is not even 10%.

I believe the message in this for Fremantle is not to try to copy these concepts in the shopping destination CBD but create suburbs like in Freiburg on the outer edges, e.g. Knutsford Street, and if it is not too late even the North Freo McCabe Street development could benefit from emulating some of what Freiburg has done.

To finish off I quote architect Geoff Warn one more time ” This is the time for more pragmatic research, for more in-depth dialogue and critical debate, and a shift in attitudes toward greater diversity, improved quality and sustainability.” Hear, Hear!!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE MORONS UNTAGGED

Posted in art, city of fremantle, vandalism by freoview on June 8, 2015
Photo: friends of Cantonment Hill

Photo: friends of Cantonment Hill

The FRIENDS OF CANTONMENT HILL Facebook page posted this photo of the Naval Stores at Cantonment Hill to show that the City of Fremantle reacted very quickly and removed the ugly tags that were put on the octopus artwork on Friday night.

The unsightly vandalism of the morons has now been untagged. Well done COF!

Roel Loopers

IS ART JUST A PASSING FAD?

Posted in art, fremantle, public2015, symposium, western australia by freoview on May 2, 2015

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I am a bit non-plussed by Colin Nichol’s critique in the Fremantle Herald of the new large mural paintings in Fremantle that were created as part of the PUBLIC2015 symposium.

Colin writes that “the last thing Fremantle needs is more of the same yet here it is.” But the new artworks, like them or not, are all original and not more of the same at all. The stunning work by artist TWOONE on the Myer building is an example of outstanding graffiti art and somehow, if the Kings Square development ever happens, that work should be preserved and not demolished during the planned facelift for the building, because this is a prime example of modern art in 2015.

Nichols argues that by allowing the murals to be painted Fremantle supports the indulgence of a passing fad, but art is always changing and that is precisely why it is so important to show future generations what our culture was all about now. Should Michelangelo not have been allowed to paint his sublime murals in the Sistine Chapel because it was a passing fad? Are Aboriginal rock art paintings irrelevant because they are just part of another passing fad, like piercings and tattoos? Colin Nichol seems to argue that we might as well not do it because it does not last. Yep, why change fashion, the way we design and build houses, or why have modern cars. They are all part of our passing fads because nothing remains the same in life.

The most remarkable statement in the article is that because “these adornments are thought to be necessary implies criticism of the current condition and care of the city centre.” No it does not do that at all Colin! What the artworks do is not criticising the architecture or neglect of a building but enhancing the public realm, and that is the aim and intend of all public art, no matter if it is painted on walls or put on the pavement.

Art is an essential expression of our culture and it shows how we have changed over the centuries. It is great we can juxtapose old and modern architecture and that we can look at an ‘old-fashioned’ bronze sculpture next to a huge modern mural. It opens our eyes to the past and present and inspires us to create a different and hopefully better future.

Roel Loopers

STUNNING NEW ADDITIONS TO FREO’S PUBLIC ART

Posted in art, fremantle, public 2015 by freoview on April 13, 2015

The new murals going up around Fremantle as part of the FORM organised symposium PUBLIC 2015 are stunning new additions to our public art. I love the huge animal face by artist TWOONE above the entry to Many 6160 at Kings Square and on the same building around the corner at Queens Street the tall praying mantis figure by Amok Island.

I like these works so much that I contacted the Housing Department to ask for a delay in their moving to Fremantle, so that the refurbishment of the Myer building by Sirona won’t destroy the artworks too soon. ; >)

There is also a cute artwork in the Westgate Mall, but not of the same class as the two mentioned above, and the Octpus work in progress at the Naval Stores on Cantonment Hill does not do much for me, but that is just personal taste and I am sure others will love it..

I could not find the artworks at Elder Place and the Bathers Beach carpark, so maybe they have not started there yet.

Roel Loopers

GENEROUS GIFTS TO CITY OF ARTS COLLECTION

Posted in art, city of fremantle, local government by freoview on April 8, 2015

Ken Waudrop art gift

Here is a good news story from the City of Fremantle. Well, it is only partly good news, but I’ll explain that further down.

Almost one third of the City of Fremantle’s impressive art collection is the result of over 30 years of generous donations by local art lovers.

The art collection–which is housed in the City-owned and managed Fremantle Arts Centre – has received over 360 donated pieces in its 30 year history, including many significant historical and contemporary artworks.

Such works include the recently acquired HiFi 1980 by Fremantle artist Ken Wadrop, generously donated by local resident Kate Lindsay after 30 years in her private collection.

Ken Wadrop is renowned as one of three ‘High Street Studio Realists’ based in Fremantle in the late 1970s and 80s. His works have been exhibited nationally, with several pieces currently displayed in the City’s collection including Woodblock painting (1977) and A falling sickness (1980).

The City of Fremantle art collection is a unique showcase of historical and contemporary art, with many pieces depicting Fremantle subjects by Fremantle-based artists.

Donations of significant works can be made through the Commonwealth Cultural Gifts Program and are carefully considered for inclusion against the City of Fremantle art collection policy. All cultural donations are eligible for a taxation deduction.

So why do I say this is only partly good news, because it appears that the City of Fremantle does not to have a significant fund to acquire art, unlike for example East Fremantle that again bought artworks from Sculpture@Bathers, as they did last year, while Fremantle City did not buy any, and I did not hear them buying art from the Cottesloe sculptures on the beach show either.

It is disappointing that the ‘City of Arts’ invests so little in purchasing public art works while many other councils make yearly purchases. Maybe we could substitute a few painted green bike lanes with some real art.

Roel Loopers

CORRECTION!! I have just been informed the City of Fremantle purchased the Ships of Stories-ANZAC work by Sue Codee and Tony Pankiw from Sculpture@Bathers

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