Freo's View

FREO’S HERITAGE ART PRECINCT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on February 20, 2015

I had a chat at Chalkys cafe yesterday with the owner of one of the beautiful apartments at Little High Street in the former warehouse so beautifully designed for adaptive re-use by architect Ralph Hoare. Greg asked why BID had not continued with lighting up all of High Street and although electricians worked many days on putting cables underground at his building and the former Tram building opposite, there were still no lights, so maybe someone at BID can explain why the money was spent and people inconvenienced for nothing.

Greg also questioned why the City of Fremantle had spent all that money on lighting up the cliff face of Arthur Head but closed the Whalers Tunnel at 7 pm. Councillors constantly talk about reactivating the area but for some reason the 10 pm closing time of the tunnel has been put forward to 7 pm. Please explain COF!

That brings me to another point about reactivation and the Bathers Beach Art Precint. Homeless people invade the verandas and backyards of the cottages at Captain’s Lane at night because the place is a dark unoccupied ghost town after 5 pm. The gallery at no 11 now only has one single artists left instead of the 4 who started it and Wild Twig is trying very hard but lacks professional appearance. The two galleries open infrequently while the Aboriginal centre is only open on weekdays till 1 pm and not on weekends. That is not activation!

The only professional outfit on top of the hill is the great looking Glen Cowans Photo Gallery but how long can he battle on on his own? The Bathers Beach Art Precinct has been badly handled by COF and Council needs to revisit this and come up with better solutions to activate the area, even more so now that it appears that Sunset Events is in no hurry to start a pub and live music venue at J Shed any time soon.

J Shed artist Jenny Dawson said yesterday that DAADA is fitting in really well next to Greg James in the studio earmarked for Sunset Events. Delighted to hear also that she is involved with artist Sandra Hill in a large artwork around the water feature at Elizabeth Quay. Unfortunately confidentially prevented her from telling me more or showing me what it is going to look like.

Arthur Head is a fantastic heritage area and I am glad to see many more people at Bathers Beach sun baking and swimming. The SCULPTURE@BATHERS  show in March will bring thousands of people to the area for a few weeks so let’s make it one huge beach party to celebrate Fremantle’s and Western Australia’s creative talent and artists’ initiative!

Roel Loopers

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