Art bonanza

A TATTOO parlour, a hotel and souvenir shops are planned for Fremantle’s South Mole.

But before hordes of “outraged locals” bombard the Herald, the buildings are temporary structures designed by installation artist Jesse Lee Johns.

The tongue-and-cheek village with South Mole Resort and The Commonwealth of New Bayswater, is part of this year’s Fremantle Biennale Undercurrent.

The event sees contemporary works from more than 40 established and emerging artists spread across the port city over three weeks.

“To reveal and celebrate the cultural, social and historical distinctiveness of the port city,” event curator Tom Muller says.

• Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde will transform the Esplanade into an underwater world with his stunning installation Waterlicht

This weekend (November 1-3), Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde will transform the Esplanade into an underwater world with his stunning installation Waterlicht.

Cascading waves of blue light will simulate a flood, raising awareness of climate change and rising water levels.

It is the first time the installation has been shown in Australia and is set to be one of the Undercurrant highlights.

Over at the Maritime Museum, Kelsey Ashe’s film Pearls and Blackbirds examines WA’s historic pearling industry through the lives of female Aboriginal pearl divers and Japanese migrants who came through Fremantle port. 

And if you fancy stretching your legs after the movies, local architects will conduct tours of Fremantle’s shoreline from Victoria Quay to Fishing Boat Harbour. But where ever you go, watch out for the red clad Behavioural Ecologies, who will be doing interventions, installations and live performance across the city.

The Australian dance project Drinking Water, by Sete Tele and Lisa Hirmer, has audience participation: “It looks at new ways to capture water, and being in charge of generating your own water will make you think more about it,” Mr Muller says.

Lawrence English’s Standing Wave is a disturbing sound work that explores the history of the old submarine behind the Maritime Museum.

Eerie noises swirl around your head as you go fathoms below the sea during World War II. “It’s quite confronting,” Mr Muller says.

Fremantle Biennale Undercurrent runs until November 24.

To see the full list of events go to


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