Fremantle Stuff > Arts

See also: Artists, Photographers.

Art Collection

There is a Fremantle Art Collection, but very little of it is usually on show, and sometimes none at all, tho there are more than 1400 items. The collection began with the Claude Hotchin bequest in 1958, and had its own home in Pioneer Park 1978-87. Since then the Collection has been under the direction of curator André Lipscombe.

Art Galleries

The City of Fremantle owns no dedicated art gallery. There was one in the Stateships building in Pioneer Park, 1978-87. There is one room in the FAC (Asylum) which is supposed to be dedicated to and therefore show some of the Local Collection (the words are painted on the fanlight over the door of the main gallery room) but there is usually no local art in it. There is also a Kathleen O'Connor Room next door to the north - but does not have any work by C.Y. O'Connor's daughter in it.

The Moores Building in Henry Rd contains a number of gallery spaces.

Joanna Robertson runs a two-room gallery on Bathers Beach called Kidogo Arthouse, from the Kiswahili word for 'small'. The building used to be Joan Campbell's pottery workshop.

Japingka Gallery, 47 High Street, shows Aboriginal artworks in order to sell them.

Artists Studios

There's a large number of artists in Fremantle, some with studios at their own premises, and some with small studios in buildings made available for that purpose.

Building with a number of studios

J Shed has four or five units, all of which are supposed to be used by artists, but the one at the southern end with the glass wall and the best view and the best light was nonsensically let by the City to an entrepreneur/promoter Sunset Events, which has fortunately now vacated, leaving that unit vacant at the time of writing.

Greg James Sculpture has been there since 1992 when the J Shed studios were established, and is centrepiece of the building, at Unit 2.

Jenny Dawson has her Ceramics Studio next to him, at Unit 3.

The Art of Freo Gallery, manager Ellen McCarthy, at Unit 4, is (or was?) at the northern end. Her husband Ross Potter has (had?) his own space in it, while the larger area was used for other exhibitions, such as the photography of Kylie Richardson. She was followed by mixed media artist Rachel Doller. Art of Freo is supported by the City of Fremantle, through its Emerging Artist Support Fund.

PSAS (Pakenham Street Art Space), corner of Pakenham and Short Streets, in the former Shipstores building. The name of the coffeeshop, Studio 37, was chosen because there are 36 artists studios in the building, on two floors.

Customs House, Phillimore Street, opposite Cliff St. Not sure if the artists are still there now that the principal former tenant, WA Circus School, has moved to Princess May Park.

Artists with their own studios/galleries/websites

David Giles has his own gallery in a small shop at 49B High St.

George Haynes and Jane Martin, Spearwood Studios, 27 Sussex St Spearwood (technically not in Fremantle, but in the City of Cockburn).

As does Ben Joel.

Theo Koning has a website.

And Eveline Kotai.

Toby Leek had an exhibition in Febuary and another in October 2018, and photographs of many of his paintings of heritage buildings are distributed through this site, with his permission, on the relevant pages.

Larry Mitchell used to work at home, near Fremantle, and is known for his Rottnest and Abrolhos paintings, and his rendering of water.

Ken Rasmussen has a website and shows works from his studio in East Fremantle.


Joan Campbell was Fremantle's leading potter until her death in 1997. She had her workshop in what is currently the Kidogo art space on Bathers Beach.

Jenny Dawson has a workshop and small gallery in her studio in Unit 3 of J Shed.

Zinongo Gallery, 47 Lefroy Road, shows the work of Zimbabwean potter Njalikwa Zongwe.


Fremantle has no art cinema. There was one in Adelaide Street: Port Cineaste.


The WA Circus School was in the Customs Building on the north side of Phillimore Street, but is now in a tent next to Clancy's Tavern on Princess May Park.


Fremantle has no dance school. There is one just outside its boundary, in Hamilton Hill, in the former Newmarket Hotel.


The Arcs d'Ellipses of Felice Varini was installed in October 2017 but did not begin to be taken down until the end of 2018, causing significant damage to the surfaces of the buildings to which it was attached, damage which is still being repaired, at great cost.


There has been a City of Fremantle Symphony Orchestra since 1911. Its present musical director is David Pye. 'With a regular membership of about 60 amateur musicians we present about 5 concerts each year including a subscription series of concerts at the Fremantle Town Hall and performances in other venues around Perth.'


See the page for photographers.

Glen Cowans has a studio next to the Round House.


Greg James has a small gallery in his studio in Unit 2 of J Shed. Some of his work is in public places in Fremantle.

Tony Jones lives in East Fremantle, tho his studio is in O'Connor, the industrial suburb named after C.Y. O'Connor, one of whose memorials was made by this sculptor. Examples of his work are in public places around Fremantle.

There is an annual exhibition of Sculpture on Bathers Beach (Manjaree), following the idea of 'Sculpture on the Beach' at Cottesloe.


Fremantle now has no theatre - except for the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre in the Stateships building in Pioneer Park.
Harbour Theatre, which used to be resident in the Port Cinema, has moved to Mosman Park.
Deck Chair
Theatre received no financial support and has ceased to exist.


See the page for authors.

References and Links

Lipscombe, André 2008, Fertile Ground: Fifty Years of the Fremantle Art Collection, Fremantle Press.

Fremantle Art Collection

See the many links above.

Garry Gillard | New: 1 December, 2017 | Now: 8 April, 2019