The Art of Happiness

A transformation is underway in South Fremantle.

A Fremantle local cycles past Artist-at-work, Graeme Miles Richards.

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.

It ALL looked like this before Graeme came along.

It ALL looked like this before Graeme came along.

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.)

Difficult to get all this art into one photo as it is such a big area.

Difficult to get all this art into one photo as it is such a big area.

East West Design at the south end of the building.

East West Design at the south end of the building before opening hours. The East West sign is not hanging on heavy material.  It is a board PAINTED to look like material.

Zooming in on one of the areas.  Notice the steps and passageway...all an artist's trick of the eye.

Zooming in on one of the areas. Notice the steps and passageway…they are not there in real life.  They are Graeme’s illusion.

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.

This globe of the world gave me a hint of where Graeme harks from!

This globe of the world gave me a hint to Graeme’s nationality.

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 Miles Richards at work on his mural for East West Design.

Graeme Miles Richards at work on his mural for East West Design.

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.

Our local coffee shop: La Vespa.

Our local coffee shop: Patisserie La Vespa.

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.

Wild Bakery from the outside...

Wild Bakery from the outside…

...and the inside

…and the inside

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.

Dunes at South Fremantle.

Dunes overlooking Indian Ocean at South Fremantle.

The beach as it was last Friday.

The beach as it was last Friday.  (No sharks here.)

Sorry, mate, I took this without your permission.  (I'm talking to the seagull.)

Sorry, Mate, I took this photo without your permission. (I’m talking to the seagull.)

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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About juliepodstolski

I am a realist artist who works in coloured pencils.
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15 Responses to The Art of Happiness

  1. Thanks Julie for taking us for a walk around your neighbourhood, so nice to see. Love the mural, what an amazing transformation. Karen

  2. Chumley says:

    Hi Julie. I love this – the artwork and Freemantle. When I was there in 1991, I loved the place. You’re so lucky!!! Best wishes, Rich.

  3. stefan2009 says:

    I do agree, this is really art of happiness. The walls were so sad before, he created a so vivid and colorful decoration. I hope it will go through years without damages.

  4. Mark Westenra says:

    What a great little blog about your piece of heaven – art, good bread, sharkless beaches and good coffee. Beam me in Scotty!

    On Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 11:23 PM, juliepodstolski wrote:

    > juliepodstolski posted: ” 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 > eno”

  5. elisaruland says:

    I enjoyed the tea and pastry! The mural is amazing and your town, lovely. I envy your proximity to the sea!

  6. That is a wonderful mural! It really looks as though Graeme enjoyed himself – I looked at the enlarged image and there are so many nice little details. This really is a great walk around your patch Julie. Isn’t it wonderful to watch your area change and improve – it is similar here, getting wonderfully cosmopolitan, but no murals yet! The bread shop is so European, the cafe too. It must be a very pleasant place to be!

    • Anna – you might have to be the one, in that case, to START mural-ing in your neighbourhood. You’re right about the bread shop. I’m sure the baguettes are as good as Parisian ones. (In fact 10 minutes ago I was eating one.)

  7. Robyn Varpins says:

    what a joy this is….art produces such an intimate connection….it personalizes the building…it is like blowing kisses to the passer-bys….thankyou eastwest and Graeme

  8. Margie says:

    Dear Julie, Thank you so much for your lovely blog … how it takes me to far away places!! Also to some within reach. I am coming to Fremantle at the very first opportunity. I purchased some garden furniture from East West recently and had no idea what was going on around the corner!!
    Can’t wait to get there and also enjoy a coffee at Vespas too. Thank you again. Margie

    • It’s lovely to hear from you, Margie. Come down to South Fremantle soon…though not THIS afternoon. It is a bit boiling today – though I doubt it is cooler anywhere else in Perth right now. I have just returned from a new cafe called “Roasting Warehouse” (where the chocolate factory used to be). I was happy with the food and coffee – so now I can personally recommend that as well.

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