Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Inland View from Reabold Hill

Brilliant autumn weather in Perth today. Could it be that winter is just around the corner. Well the colder nights may tell us Perthites that it's all about to change although at the moment I am not so sure. This pic is taken from the boardwalk at the top of Reabold Hill and gives an idea of the day. Much of the cloud shown here is smoke haze from a fire that seemed to be close to the Darling Ranges that hug the Perth Coastal Plain. 

Reabold Hill is the highest natural point on the Perth metropolitan coastal plain with views to the Indian Ocean and inland to Perth City and the ranges beyond. It's also a great spot for fitness training and is especially attractive to bike riders who relish the challenge of the steep gradient (there were a few huffing and puffing past me tonight as I walked back from the hill summit). The walks through the surrounding bushland are  also enjoyable and especially so as this area is close to the city.

Despite living close by, I have only recently looked into some of the history of the area. Just down from the hill summit is a quarry which, along with a lime burning business, was initially established by Henry Trigg in 1834. In 1847, Walter Padbury purchased the land from Trigg and the holding became known as Limekilns Estate. It was used for livestock as well as abattoirs, stockyards, a tannery and other associated activities. Hard to believe now given the closeness of the location to the capital city.  

According to The Quarry Amphitheatre website at the height of the operations, more than 50 men worked at the site. They had their own brass band and held horse racing and hunt club meetings on the flats near Perry lakes which is just below Reabold Hill.

Private quarrying ceased in 1906. 

After being disused for many decades, in the 1980s the idea to redevelop the quarry as an Amphitheatre was born. During the summer months the quarry is home of many wonderful ballets, plays and concerts. It's a fabulous venue and makes for a delightful evening with a delicious picnic hamper and excellent entertainment under the summer night skies. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

View from Cantonment Hill, Fremantle

Over the weekend, I went exploring in an endeavour to find out what the view would be like from the Old Signal Station that overlooks Fremantle Harbour. I see the Old Signal Station every time I go to Freo and as I pass over the Fremantle Bridge.  

I set out on my journey of discovery with my first find being the Army Museum of Western Australia in Burt Street. I had not ben aware of the existence of this museum. As it was almost the closing time, I left visiting for another day and continued my quest to find the entry to the Signal Station on Cantonment Hill. 

Apparently this land was left to the City of Fremantle in 1892 for the purpose of creating a garden for the public. Later on, it was requisitioned during wartime by the Federal Government before  the undeveloped part - including the Old Signal Station and Tuckfield Oval - was returned to the City of Fremantle in 2010.

So I wonder if the public park is on the city's planning horizon. As you can see the pathway is not that inviting and the Old Signal Station is out of bounds except when special permission is obtained, presumably from the City of Fremantle.

I must admit that with my intention to reach the signal station thwarted by a fence, it was more than a little frustrating to hear voices above me coming from people who obviously knew what to do and had been able to arrange a visit. From what I could see, it looked like a photography group set up to take pics of the harbour as the sun was setting. Jealous? Too right! Being close to the hill summit, I am sure that the view would be worth it. Perhaps next time. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fremantle Doorway

In Fremantle the focus this weekend has been the Heritage Festival and tonight I enjoyed engaging theatre of a different sort when Natural Wings, an Aerial Dance Theatre group, performed John Gavin at the WA Circus School. 

The story goes that in the early hours of Easter Saturday in 1844, John Gavin became the first European to be executed in the Swan River Colony where Perth is now built. The program blurb says that " he was tried, convicted and hanged within three days and buried without ceremony in an unmarked grave in the Fremantle sandhills. He was 15 years old."

It was a superb, attention grabbing performance tonight incorporating physical theatre that utilised the apparatus at the WA Circus School venue.  

Then it was on to a wander through streets near the Roundhouse. Opened in 1831, the Roundhouse is the oldest public building in Western Australia and was built to house any person convicted of a crime in the settlement. In was also where John Gavin would have been spent his final hours.

A quite quarter of the City of Fremantle at night, the above image is of one of the buildings in Cliff Street not far from the Roundhouse.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Autumn at Fremantle Art Centre

I have been enjoying a photographic course on Saturday mornings over the last few weeks in the old Fremantle Art Centre building. Built in 1864 the building has had a fascinating history. It started out as the Convict Establishment Lunatic Asylum and Invalid Depot but has also been a Women's Home, used for World War 2 purposes, a Technical School and most recently as an Art Centre. Fortunately the intervention of the Fremantle Mayor in 1958 meant the planned demolition did not happen and the building was restored for it's current purpose.

Activity spaces, art exhibitions and gallery, artists' studios, cafe and a rather funky shop make it an attractive place to visit or as I was doing today, enjoying relaxing in the grounds after our morning session. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tranquil in Kings Park

 Despite a chilly start to the morning today's sunny weather in Perth has been a delight. 

A wonderful day for catching up with old friends in King's Park at the cafe overlooking the Synergy Playground. A short walk around the tranquil pond in the middle of the park completed a pleasurable  afternoon. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mary on Mary Street

Arriving late, after parking my car I dashed off to meet friends at a Beaufort Street wine bar. It was not until I came out after a rather long and delectable lunch that I spotted this visual tale about Mary on Mary Street in Highgate.

Quite a story although needing to move my car on I barely had time to get a snap let alone details of the artist. Nevertheless Beaufort Street in Highgate is a first rate place to visit - cafes, good food, art and shops with lots of attractive window displays that tempt a purchase- so it won't be long before I'll be back there to discover more about this and other street art works. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reflections on St George's Terrace

New buildings either recently completed or under construction are making a difference to the look of Perth city. With a rapidly changing cityscape I took a short walk along St George's Terrace to have a closer look. And I was not disappointed. The traditional business end of the city, St George's Terrace,  is undergoing some eye catching changes.

Here's a taste of the colourful midday reflections from the Terrace near the corner of King Street. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Larger Than Life

This larger than life statue outside the Fremantle Town hall is of John Curtin, Australia's wartime Prime Minister from 1941 to 1945 and member for Fremantle from 1928 to 1931 and 1934 to 1945. 

Interestingly while clearing out some papers I came across an April 2006 copy of our local community newspaper the Post. Apparently the Curtin statue caused a real stir at the time of its installation. 

According to the Post article the statue divided the people of Fremantle. Some thought the statue was an excellent likeness while others described it as a "shame". In a move to resolve community views the Fremantle Historical Society held a forum. Prior to the forum people were encouraged to meet in St John's Square next to the Town Hall to have a brief look at the statue before going onto the nearby library for discussion and consideration of the questions: How did we get it? What do you think of it? What should we do with it?

The Post also reported that there had been a constant uproar since the statue was unveiled in August the previous year. Originally it had been intended that the statue would be in front of the Fremantle Town Hall, but people objected to "coming out of the building and looking straight up Mr Curtin's backside". 

But that is not the end of the tale. The article went on to say that the huge plinth on which this statue stands was shifted to the side of the Town Hall and placed in just about the same location where the council had planned to the reinstate the early verandah. Plans for this work, which has not gone ahead, had already been commissioned. 

And there was still more to the story. 

Fremantle sculptor Greg James whose enormously popular statue Pietro Porcelli is on the other side of the square had his entry form for the Curtin statue returned unopened because he was five minutes late in submitting his proposal. Joan Walsh Smith and Charles Smith were commissioned to build the sculpture at a cost of $250,000. 

Today the Curtin statue looks very much at home on the plinth at the side of the Fremantle Town Hall.

Next time I visit St John's Square though I will certainly be looking through different eyes at both the John Curtin and Pietro Porcelli installations.  

Monday, May 21, 2012


Lots of character in this old wall behind Gino's popular cafe in Fremantle.

This is my contribution to Monday Mural. Other images can be seen here

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Could He Play Me A Tune?

And he did. 
Not just for the passing parade of pedestrians
Or those seated at nearby benches.
But to enrich my day.
I could choose he said. 
"What would I like to hear? French? Italian?"
Without much hesitation, "French" I said. 
And the music wafted across the sun decked mall.  

Saturday at the Fremantle Town Hall 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fashion Like No Other

Passing Vinnies Op Shop in High Street Fremantle this morning I could not miss the opportunity to stop and have a peek inside to see what bargains could be found. And what an unusual find awaited me. Brightening up a shop corner was an outfit that had such amazing attention to detail - the Ultimate Computer Nerds fashion statement. It had obviously been a labour of love to make by one of it's pre-owners. So here it is blown out as well as in full colour.

By the way, if you are in the market for the Ultimate Computer Nerds outfit it will set you back $40AUD. A bargain price. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What a Difference a Day Makes

Twenty four little hours....well in this case just slightly more. Yesterday while on my way to John's place for dancing shots I could not resist making an ever so short stop at Lake Monger to get this view. Lake Monger is not far from Perth and is a wonderful place to walk, jog or run on the pathway around the lake's perimeter. Yesterday was warm and sunny with no wind. A superb autumn day to be out and about in Perth. 

Today however has been a different story. Driving back though South Perth I was taken by the contrast between yesterday and today and how the city looked against the backdrop of these different waterways. 

The image below was taken from South Perth overlooking the Swan River towards Perth city. While afternoon clouds threatened rain, there was nothing to speak of at least where I was. With darkening clouds this evening tomorrow could tell yet another story.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All a Blur

While friends glided across the floor boards today rehearsing a dance step or two for a performance on Saturday night  I clicked away seeking to capture some blurred motion shots. 

My inspiration for painting comes from photographs I have taken and here's one which seems destined for an abstract painting.  So it's very likely that in the not too distance future this image will reappear in a totally different (and abstract) art form. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Near Rous Head Tonight

I have been wanting to take some early evening shots around Fremantle Ports to practice using different manual settings for night shots without a tripod. So this evening, being earlier than usual to Life Drawing in Freo gave me the window of opportunity to take a detour to Rous Head where the ferry leaves to go to Rottnest Island, a popular holiday spot just off the Perth coastline and click away. 

Although not shown in this shot, it was surprising to see just how many Road Trains were still around taking cargo to and from the port. At night the port also has a mystic that makes for fascinating captures. I'm looking forward to some more night time adventures at Fremantle Ports and next time I definitely will be taking that tripod along.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Browsing in South Terrace

Enjoying a good coffee in the company of wonderful art loving friends I travelled with in Maine last year was also an opportunity to concoct plans for other possible art escapades. I just love exploring possibilities and whilst firm plans are yet to emerge, there was certainly no shortage of ideas. Then it was time for a stroll down South Terrace in South Fremantle where this eclectic window display in a second hand book store caught my attention. 

I love the cooler months and find it comforting to see winter hats, scarves and clothes finally claiming display space to attract the shopper's eye (and purse). And of course, along the way, finding a good book to read in the evenings is a welcomed bonus. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Castaway Sculpture Awards 2012: Press to Exit

It has been a few weeks since I was last able to catch up with sculptor Toby Bell. As a matter of fact it was at our Soiree of the Senses mixing art, sculptor and of course our wonderful wines in the garden of artist Ian de Souza. At the time, Toby was totally immersed in working on his new sculpture for the Castaways Sculpture Awards. And now I know why.

Fortunately Toby's sculpture Press to Exit is able to be dismantled into four parts otherwise it would certainly have been a challenge getting it out through his studio doorway.  

Not being technically minded I cannot recall the details of the complex formwork that underpins this sculpture other than to say it certainly sounded like it was a design challenge.

I must admit that despite Toby's warnings that it would be at my own risk and the obvious work of mice in having chewed through the pipes connecting to the press to exit button, I was very tempted to give the button a test press just to see what would happen! 

Congrats to Toby (left below) with his assistant Josh just after they had completed the installation of Press to Exit

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Castaway Sculpture Awards 2012: Origins

You might be thinking "Now, what is this?" The exciting feature of the City of Rockingham Castaway Sculpture Awards is that it celebrates innovation in art practice through the creative use of recycled materials. Whilst the awards opened officially today I took the opportunity to visit yesterday ahead of the weekend crowds.

The above sculpture titled Origins was entered by Challenger Institute of Technology Sculpture Students. Created from recycled woollen blankets, it was an attention catching form on the waterfront. 

The installations extended from the cafes, across the beach and into the sea and the weather has been just perfect so far for the awards.

I am looking forward to finding out the Castaway Sculpture Award winner which was announced at the official opening this afternoon and will have this information in further posts about the awards.

In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kwinana Industrial

Today I took off to Rockingham to see the Castaways Sculptures Award but was sidetracked by the afternoon light on this industrial area. As I stood snapping way the hissing sound of steam from a nearby section of this industrial plant filled the air.

The Kwinana Industrial area is about 30 mms south of Perth.  It was established in the 1950's and has a diverse range of industry from small processing plants to large, heavy process industries such as alumina, nickel and oil refineries.

Next stop was the sculpture awards; but more on that tomorrow.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tree Cosy

It's been a little chilly (well for Perth that is) as our autumn weather really starts to set in. So while visiting friends in South Fremantle I was fascinated to see the considerable effort that had gone into creating a decorated tree trunk cover made from carefully knitted and pieced together woollen squares. Hearts, flowers and figures to brighten up the day and the streetscape. Autumn street art that anyone could be proud off. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The name by the front door drew my attention to this otherwise ordinary house behind a picket fence in Darling Street, Balmain. Such an old name had me wondering about the history of the house. When was it built? Who had lived there? How did they make a living? How many families had been sheltered by these old walls? Who was Clarinda? A nice mystery. 

Tomorrow, it's back to pics from the wonderful West! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Forgotten Bird Song in Angel Place

No doubt "Sydneyites" know this place well. For me though wandering through Sydney on my weekend there was the first time I had been to Angel Place. Amazing after all these years and long walks when visiting this glorious city.  Goes to show there is always something new to uncover no matter how familiar we become with a place.

As I passed under the Angel Place installation songs of birds that once inhabited this area filtered down from the canopy of cages. What a wonderful contrast it was to the surrounding urban architecture.

Back now in wintry Perth and as always it was wonderful to be away and just as good to return home.

More about the installation Forgotten Bird Song can be found at the City of Sydney - City Art website.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Apple

 Last Sunday when I took this photo the day was a little windy and chilly. Despite the late afternoon weather Apple's store in George Street, Sydney was a thriving hub of activity contrasting with  surrounding businesses and architecture. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Taking the Lift at MCA

The glass and mirror walled lift at MCA creates it's own work of art bringing a new perspective to this well photographed area. What a fascinating way to see the earthworks currently outside the old MCA building. The top pic is from Level 1.

Then oops! Pressed the wrong button and it was down to ground level instead of up to the cafe.

Finally, up....

And up.....

A great ride and a fabulous view. The mirrors on the opposite walls inside the lift reflect off each other creating a work of art as the image continues to reflect into infinity. Photo opportunities for another visit at another time. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

MCA Top View

An different view of the Sydney Opera House from the top level of the MCA's new wing. The sculpture, Fountain, by Hany Armanious is the inaugural work for the MCA Sculpture Series. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Taking Tea at White Rabbit

A refreshing pot at the delightful and tranquil Tea House at the White Rabbit based in Chippendale, Sydney. The White Rabbit gallery houses contemporary Chinese art focussing on works after 2000. If you are in Sydney  and like contemporary art, the gallery is well worth a visit. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Balmain Markets

Mooching is what my friend and I like to do when we go to Sydney and the Saturday markets at St Andrews Congregational Church, Balmain was just the place to go. Freshly baked food led us to the old church hall where our taste buds were tantalised by aromas. Stalls with arts, fashion, jewellery, home items and old wares provided opportunities to shop for gifts or small keepsakes such as the 1920s bracelet I eventually decided I just "had to have". 

And here is my bracelet specially wrapped with lace!

The first of the month is a Theme Day for City Daily Photo. The theme for this month is Bakeries. 
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants