Every day passers-by stop and stare in wonder at the transformation happening at 303 South Terrace, South Fremantle. This is street art on a grand scale; at least, it is art happening on the street – which is not quite the same thing. In fact an enormous mural is taking place. I suggest you click on the photos to appreciate the details.
These huge warehouses have been empty for as long as I’ve been living in South Fremantle (several years)…and who knows how long before that? Recently East West Design, a company which imports furniture and other goodies from our great Asian region, has taken a 10 year lease on the space. You really can’t imagine how big the floor space is until you go in. It takes up the whole block! (You’re allowed to take your dog with you while you peruse the exotic goods within, as long as he or she is house-trained.)
Graeme Miles Richards is the artist working on this massive project. He tricks our eyes with trompe l’oeil: “A still life painting etc designed to give an illusion of reality…literally ‘deceives the eye” – Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary.
Matthew and I have been stopping to chat with Graeme for weeks. It never occurred to us that Graeme might be a fellow Kiwi until he painted the globe (above image) with New Zealand in a rather predominant position. I approve.
Graeme comes from Nelson and studied graphic art in Christchurch. He has lived in Australia about as long as we have which is probably why we couldn’t pick his accent any more than he could pick ours. But now we all know, we can distinguish the Kiwi vowels. He must have one of the best jobs around, transforming dull boring spaces to luscious colourful vistas using the powers of art. Truly it IS the art of happiness. I know because I talk to locals. People love it! His work brings smiles to faces. His attention to details means that one is always finding new bits that one hadn’t noticed before. It is a work in progress so who knows what he will come up with next.
Where are we headed when we stop to talk to Graeme? Almost every day Matt and I take a break from our respective jobs and walk up to Patisserie La Vespa for coffee. When you come to South Fremantle to admire Graeme’s work, you can have coffee here too…and a delicious cake or maybe a pie. It’s our local and our favourite. (247 South Terrace on the corner of Jenkins Street). Closed on Mondays.
If you don’t want to sit down and you’d like to try the BEST BREAD and pastries in Australasia (I swear) then visit Wild Bakery (2/390 South Terrace; enter from Commercial Road) – Closed on Mondays. The lovely lady at the counter is Frida. The knees reflected in the glass are mine…though the second pair of knees behind mine belong to the same person who was cycling through the first photo (Arthur)…scroll back to top of page!
What else do we have in my neighbourhood? When you come down to see how Graeme’s work is progressing (he still has a LOT of wall space to cover) you might like to walk by the sea or even have a swim. I’ll look out for you.
Graeme Miles Richards: www.artfrescodesign.com
Patisserie La Vespa: www.la-vespa.com.au
Wild Bakery: www.wildbakery.weebly.com
East West Design: www.eastwestdesign.com.au
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