A GROUP of J-Shed artists who’ve been fighting Sunset Events’ plans for a tavern and concert venue on Arthur Head have got their foot in the door of the promoter’s studio.
Sculptor Greg James, ceramicist Jenny Dawson and photographer Peter Zuvela have been given the green light by Fremantle council to activate the studio with art exhibitions and community events while Sunset regroups. The company’s plans were rejected by Fremantle council and the WA planning commission in September and boss David Chitty says he’s not 100 per cent confident he’ll be able to find a workable alternative before a 25-year lease kicks in next July.
The artists have got the place free until February while the council looks for a temporary tenant to fill the studio until July, but James says he hopes their vision of a community-run venue might just convince the council to ditch Sunset altogether.
He wants to see the venue run by a board with members of the council, Fremantle Ports and the Bathers Beach precinct and other arts organisations.
Zuvela kicks in with a suggestion it’d be the perfect venue for the remnants of Kulcha to converge and perform.
They’ve already knocked an exhibition together and James says they’re kicking around the idea of “palletable art”, meaning exhibited works will be moved in on pallets so they can be moved around to cater for events.
The space would be linked to a scupture park he’s hoping to create out the front. He says the aim is to create a flow between Fishing Boat Harbour and Kidogo Arthouse through to the maritime museum.
The Herald has heard that a second group of artists and a food co-op are also making bids for the temporary space.
James says the space would give opportunities for the artists he’s been hosting at his studio for years.
He’s currently got up-and-coming Korean stone sculptor Jina Lee beavering away in the studio for her first WA exhibition Dreaming Stone.
Lee, who has been chosen for next year’s Sculptures at Bathers and Sculptures by the Sea, has a masters of art and says she was drawn to WA by the opportunity to work with different kinds of stone.
“They’re inspired from nature, so all of my sculpture has an organic shape.”
Lee says the works all have their own personalities and the title refers to the viewer reflecting on their own dreams and aspirations. Dreaming Stone is at the J-Shed from October 29 to November 12.
by STEVE GRANT