Society starts art collection

Mackenzie Stevenson and society president John Dowson. Photo by Steve Grant.

AN evocative painting of Arthur Head by a 13-year-old Fremantle resident has so tickled the fancy of the Fremantle Society, its decided to start up its own collection.

Society president John Dowson, a former art teacher, said when the image popped up on Facebook, he promptly offered to purchase it, and then commissioned budding artist Mackenzie Stevenson to do another of the old Fremantle Traffic Bridge.

“I’ve seen a lot of paintings of Fremantle and this one sprang out because it grabbed so many things that are the big issues,” Mr Dowson said.

Still smarting over the scaffolding that’s marred the tourist attraction for more than two years, he says the painting evokes the importance of the site for its whaling, maritime, lighthouse, defence, Aboriginal and convict history.

Ms Stevenson said she’s been drawing since she could hold a pencil and recently took to oils because of the textures and effects they could produce.

She says she likes to cover issues in her art; last year she won the principal’s award and year 7 excellence award for a painting of a refugee boat in response to the theme “journey to peace”.

Mr Dowson said he commissioned the bridge painting because it was looming as one of the big issues for Fremantle, with concerns it may be completely demolished to make way for a new structure. He says it’s a great heritage asset and should be preserved.

Last October the society suggested a “joint vision for Arthur Head” it wanted to prepare with Fremantle council, Fremantle port and the WA Museum to lobby state and federal ministers to recognise the historical importance of the area, as well as commit funds for its maintenance, enhancement and promotion.

by STEVE GRANT

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