The Quest for Manning’s Folly of Follies.

You might have noticed the intriguing new art work on top of the soon to open Quest Hotel on the corner of Short and Pakenham Streets

Interestingly this is the first artwork to be completed under the City of Fremantle’s for the Percent for Art Policy in which a developer contributes 1% of the development costs towards an artwork the public can appreciated.

In this case the artwork is titled Folly of Follies, by Lorenna Grant.

It is a celebration of the fascinating history of that site opposite Pioneer Park. Manning’s Hall – more often called ”Manning’s Folly” – was a very unique building erected in 1858 at great expense for  Charles Manning, a Chairman of the Fremantle Town Trust (1859-1867).

A passionate astronomer, he lived there until he died in 1869. The building was demolished in 1928 to be replaced by the façade that is still there now.

According to the wonderful

“It received the name “Manning’s Folly” because of the peculiarities of its architecture and the immense amount of money expended upon its erection and exterior embellishments. Its flat roof and glass facades, later replaced by masonry, gave it the appearance of a huge hothouse.”

The artist’s statement includes the following

In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or merely appearing to be so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or the class of building to which it belongs.

The artwork has developed by creating a drawing of the original Manning’s Folly based on historic and archival images. The drawing uses the colours and hallmarks of early architectural ideas recorded as ‘blue prints’ and will be printed to 60 fixed glass panels.

The image is one that falls in and out of construction marking the coming and going of the previous dome on the site. The resulting image while couched in local history speaks of transmigration, ascending entities, the movement through the night sky of stars and sacred geometries and alignments that enthralled Manning. The image is intentionally unfixed as to create different experiences from varied focal points in and adjacent to the area.

As Manning’s Folly once was, I am sure this artwork will also be a landmark for the West End.

manninghall quest

To kick of the Freo Festival, Wardarnji, an Aboriginal cultural celebration

It is going to be a huge Fremantle Festival this year. Great to see the huge write up in today’s West Australia too. I’ll highlight some of the key events throughout the week. There is a lot to see.

Appropriately we are kicking off the 2016 Fremantle Festival with the Aboriginal cultural celebration, Wardarnji. A dynamic and unique celebration of Indigenous Australian culture you won’t experience anywhere else in Perth. Appreciate our place together through Nyoongar song, dance and storytelling as the fires burn into the evening. Bring your picnic rugs and chairs and get a good spot on the South Lawn to celebrate some of the oldest songs, dances and language in the world.

Friday 28th of October

Doors open: 5.30pm

Show starts: 6.30pm

Fremantle Arts Centre – South Lawn

1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle



Garage Sale Trail is Australia’s big day of GOOD STUFF with over 10,000 garage sales happening around the country on Saturday 22 October 2016. Freo as you can see from map below has lots happening.
Now in its sixth year, Garage Sale Trail, is a free, council-powered day of garage sales that attracts over 300 000  bargain-loving shoppers  nationally.  With over 2 million pre-loved treasures expected to be up for sale for many its Australia’s national day of haggling.

The day exists to do more than help people sell  their unwanted stuff and hone the skills of bargain hunters. The simple act of buying and selling at a garage sale does a whole lot of ‘good stuff’ beyond making extra cash and finding treasure. It’s a simple way to bring communities together, reuse and rethink the idea of what waste really is… while having an excuse to get dressed up, bake and barbeque.

The magic happens  with funny sale names, hand-made signs and incentives to lure people to garage sales that would make Richard Branson proud. Not to mention what gets listed for sale…

What started as an idea in one suburb has now grown to a national day. Last year the Garage Sale Trail was adopted by local councils in the UK and the Aussie institution that is the garage sale was embraced by our British cousins. Jolly good show…

Get on to a good thing, put Saturday 22 October 2016 in your calendar and register now, it’s completely FREE with thanks to the councils of Australia who make it happen.

Learn more about the Good Stuff.  Get Involved – Host A Sale or Shop The Trail



Mossgreen announces The America’s Cup Auction featuring The Private Collections of Ben Lexcen and Alan Bond, two of the central figures in Australia’s historic 1983 America’s Cup victory – Lexcen, the designer of the winning yacht, and Bond, the high profile businessman and owner of Australia II.

In an extraordinary coincidence, both collections were independently offered to Mossgreen to sell at the same time. This uncanny twist of fate that reunites their friendship posthumously through their private collections.
The auction will take place at the Western Australian Maritime Museum where the Australia II has been displayed since December 2002.

The America’s Cup Auction: 2pm, Sunday 23 October
The Western Australian Maritime Museum
Victoria Quay, Fremantle WA 6160
Friday 21- Saturday 22 October, 10am – 5pm
Sunday 23 October, 10am – 12.30pm
Victoria Hall, 179 High Street. Fremantle WA 6160


Join the WA Climathon Challenge: “The experience of low emission street lighting in Fremantle”.

Bring an idea or simply come along ready to brainstorm and co-create innovative solutions. The ideas will help to feed into the City of Fremantle’s future Low Carbon Strategies. The winning team will also earn a place in Climate-KiC Australia’s new Launch Pad program – the world’s largest cleantech business competition.

About the Event:

The Climathon is organised by the Climate-KIC and takes place in close to 200 cities around the world. Over the 24 hours of rapid ideation, we’ll be:

  • Identifying problems & co-creating solutions
  • Building teams & collaborating with other entrepreneurs
  • Connecting with teams across Australia & globally
  • Testing & refining ideas with mentors
  • Pitching ideas, ready to take them to the next stage!

You can also expect:

  • Yummy food
  • Lots of caffeine
  • Tonnes of chocolate
  • Fun & creative conversations
  • The possibility of creating your own start-up!
  • * sleep optional

Time & Date: 5.30pm Friday 28th – 5.30pm Saturday 29th Oct.

Please note, this is not a sleep over event! We will have to be out of the venue by 11pm Fri night and doors will open 8am Saturday morning.

Location: Spacecubed, 45 St Georges Tce, Perth

Dinner, Breakfast & Lunch Provided

Be sure to RSVP asap, we only have limited spots available!

This is a free event thanks to our partners: City of Fremantle, Spacecubed, Curtin University, Alumni for Social Impact.

For more information about the Climate-KiC, visit

If you have any questions in the lead up to the event, please contact


Design WA: a key step towards better infill.

It was pleasing to see the long awaited State Government design rules for improving apartment design put out for public comment yesterday.  The new design rules (aka Design WA) have been desperately needed here in the West.

As I have often said WA is in danger of creating a public backlash against urban infill and density if we don’t ensure that new density is done well and creates liveable and sustainable new dwellings with great amenity.

In Fremantle it has been frustrating see the DAP or SAT approve apartments with, for example, bedrooms with no natural light or ventilation.  We can and must do better than this and hopefully these guidelines will be major step in the right direction. I am still to digest it all as the documents are 220 plus pages over five volumes! If you are interested check out:

Also this is the West article on it.

Here is a photo I took of one of my favourite urban infill stories – the Barbican in London.


Freo Network: Local Business in Fremantle. Monday, 6pm, National Hotel.

This Monday at 6pm the Freo Network will be hosting a a discussion on local business in Fremantle.

Featuring Olwyn Williams, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, plus a panel of local business people including Natasha Atkinson (Fremantle Markets), Kate Hulett (MANY 6160 and Kate and Able) and Karl Bullers (The National Hotel).

The discussion will centre on the current challenges and also opportunities for business in Fremantle. And we will ask each of the panelists what their vision for Fremantle is, and how the community can help make it a reality.

For those of you that didn’t know, the Fremantle Network is a community based forum for discussion on Fremantle issues, providing a much needed opportunity for “inclusive networking”.

Through open discussion of issues and constructive community engagement, we believe that creative solutions can be found to improve our lives here in Fremantle. It is about getting us out of our silos and collaborating. A rainbow of views making something beautiful perhaps!

6pm, Monday 24 October – upstairs at the National Hotel.