Arcs 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.

Really Useful Recycler’s Purposeful PaperArt exhibition

The Really Useful Recycler’s Purposeful PaperArt exhibition is now showing at Bitches Brew. I had the pleasure of opening it on Friday night

It is a wonderful combination of sustainability and community have been instrumental in the evolution of the Really Useful Recycler journey since it began 5 years ago.

Put simply it is an exhibition of the work of two young guys, Josh and Courtney, with autism who create stunning art out of recycled and unused newspapers collected in the community

The artist’s  parents have worked hard for their sons to have a meaningful life when they finished school which brought them together to grow the Really Useful Recycler enterprise.

Inspired by two of Josh and Courtney’s greatest passions, Disney Pixar’s Wall-E (Wally), the Recycling Robot and Thomas the Tank Engine, who is “really useful,” the RUR enterprise is designed to cater to the guys’ individual strengths, talents and range of skills.

Nurturing relationships with community has added an invaluable richness to Josh and Courtney’s everyday lives.

From the Men’s Shed, to the local Youth Centre, local businesses, and the wonderful Bitches Brew Crew – the Really Useful Recycler vision is a wonderful example of “community”.

The Really Useful Recyclers has transformed the lives of Josh and Courtney in such a positive way by giving them a real sense of purpose and pride in knowing that they do good ‘work,’ doing what they enjoy.

Five years ago, RUR began with 6 little positive words ‘From a seed a vision grows’… and grow it has, all the way here to the wonderful Bitches Brew Artspace this evening with this vibrant display of Recycled PaperArt by the Really Useful Recycler Team!

It is very timely to have the exhibit during Plastic Free July too

Get down and check out Josh and Courtney’s Recycled PaperArt creativity all this week at Bitches Brew’s new arts space at 62 High Street Fremantle.


Bush Women: 25 Years on @ FAC

Opening this Friday 20 Jul at 6:30pm, 25 years after the original exhibition, FAC restages the ground-breaking show Bush Women: Fresh Art from Remote WA. Bush Women was the first exhibition to combine key Aboriginal artists from WA’s Kimberley region and the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of the Western Desert. The exhibition presented paintings by Paji Honeychild Yankkarr, Daisy Andrews, Queenie McKenzie (Gara-Gara), Tjapartji Kanytjuri Bates, Tjingapa Davies and Pantjiti Mary McLean.

Living in diverse remote communities in WA these artists painted their culture and the narratives of their lives with authority and vigour, in strikingly individual styles. At the time of the original exhibition in 1994, the work of Aboriginal women from WA was in the nascent stages of its critical recognition, and the work of these six artists had never before been shown together. The exhibition helped to generate broader appreciation of these fine artists.

25 years on, their work is held in public and private collections across the country and is appreciated as a testament to the strength and diversity of Aboriginal women’s artistic practice in WA. Bush Women reassembles the original paintings from around Australia to restage this extraordinary exhibition.

Bush Women is curated by FAC’s Erin Coates and the exhibition’s original curator John Kean.

To be opened by John Kean, Curator of Bush Women: Fresh Art From Remote WA

Exhibition runs Sat 21 Jul – Sat 8 Sep

Why I love Hidden Treasures – Fremantle’s Winter Music Series


It is not just because you get to see a bunch of great, local original music in some quirky, often hidden away venues in in the heart of winter.

It is also because it is just so wonderfully diverse. Not just the genres of music across the West End but also the range of people on stage and in the audience.

As I was watching the very punk and very fun Debbie Downers at the Buffalo Club last Thursday I couldn’t help but notice an audience that really went from 18 to 68 and I couldn’t think of to many other events that attract such diversity – let alone in the middle of winter.

See you down there every Thursday night in July no matter what you age or musical tastes!

Purposeful PaperArt Exhibition:  by Really Useful Recyclers

Pop this exhibition in your diary. The ‘Purposeful PaperArt’, will take place during Plastic Free July, from Saturday 21st to Saturday 28th July at Bitches Brew Artspace in Fremantle

Courtney and Josh, two young guys with autism create stunning art out of recycled and unused newspapers collected in the community.

With a vision for a meaningful, productive life when their high school years ended, Deb Flintoff and Del Smith created a small business enterprise for their now young adult autistic sons Joshua (21) and Courtney (22).

Inspired by Josh and Courtney’s two big passions, Disney Pixar’s Wall-e the Recycling Robot and Thomas the Tank Engine who is really useful, the Really Useful Recycler enterprise continues to provide them with an invaluable sense of purpose, as well as valued roles in their local and wider community, by catering to their specific abilities, interests and range of skills.

Each week Josh Courtney collect unsold and used newspapers from local business and recycle them into an array of beautiful and ever evolving range of sustainable Paper Art products, including WallArt, jewellery and decorative mirrors.  Vintage comics and lifestyle magazines are now also being recycled as the range of products diversifies.

“Recycling in the community 1 newspaper at a time”, has enabled Josh and Courtney to live the productive, useful, environmentally conscious and meaningful lives, their parents always envisioned.

With the help of Josh and Courtney’s very dedicated support teams, Deb and Del plan, create, co-ordinate, facilitate and manage every aspect of the enterprise in order to ensure it continues to evolve, remains sustainable and most importantly allows Josh and Courtney to continue doing what they enjoy…recycling and being useful.



Mayor’s bike tour of the unbuilt and the historical saves

This year as part of the Fremantle Heritage Festival I am once again running a free alternative history bike tour called “Demolished and Unbuilt”. It was lots of fun last year but I know many of you missed out as it was fully subscribed. It is almost full again but there are a couple of spots left for Saturday afternoon’s ride.

The bike tour explores what could’ve been – the stories of the unbuilt and the historical saves. Be it the casino proposed for Victoria Quay in the 80s or the demolition of half of the West End’s High Street for a highway in the 70s, join the ride to muse, lament and celebrate Fremantle’s historical planning decisions. Meet under RAINBOW at 2pm, bring your bike. The tour ends in the Fremantle CBD. Numbers strictly limited, bookings essential.


Live and Local. 30 Years of Clancy’s Supporting Live Music in Freo

Last week the head of West Australian Music, Mike Harris declared that Freo was the music capital of Australia. I think Mike is right and one of the foundations for this is the solid, ongoing support for live music by Clancy’s Fish Pub.

This year Clancy’s celebrates its 30th birthday with a series of events, headed by Live and Local, a blockbuster mini-festival on Saturday May 26th featuring a supergroup of Clancy’s stalwarts – and we are incorporating it into the Fremantle Heritage Festival

Joining forces are two-time Grammy award-winner Lucky Oceans, ex-Cold Chisel saxophonist Bill Rogers, and Fremantle bluegrass pioneer Jim Fisher (Sensitive New Age Cow Persons) – along with their musically talented offspring – to make up The Family Band. These local legends have been a part of the Clancy’s fabric for decades, with Fisher the brother to Clancy’s co-founders, and Oceans’ and Rogers’ band The Zydecats playing a weekly residency for 20+ years.

Co-presented by the Fremantle Heritage Festival, Live and Local will also feature Fisher’s band The Hamilton Hillbillies, Celtic powerhouse band Fling, and up-and-comers Fraeya and Jack Davies and the Bush Chooks.

This is a truly wonderful part of Freo’s heritage and it future. Well done Clancy’s