Freo's Street Artwork

Ed

You’ll notice Freo’s urban art as soon as you arrive in the city. Artwork adorns the sides of buildings, pubs, malls and unexpected places.

The phenomena started in the 80’s when Western Australia’s first major community wall mural, Greenpiece was commissioned by PRAXIS, an artist collective based in Pakenham Street. The space hosted artist studios, exhibitions and performances and was one of Fremantle’s earliest warehouse conversions.

It was around this time that local artists were creating colourful chalk paintings on walls of Fremantle’s cafés.

International artists were also moving to Fremantle and new movements such as the Australian Centre for Concrete Art (AC4CA) were born over a coffee. AC4CA transformed uninspiring walls into large abstract paintings, including Queensgate Carpark. 

Jump forward to 2013 and Fremantle was becoming renowned for a large collection of illicit art on warehouses and buildings forming colourful street-scapes. The City of Fremantle made a controversial decision to adjust their anti-graffiti stance to one that distinguishes between graffiti and street art. 

Not only did it preserve existing work that contributes to the culture and vibrancy of the city, it’s resulted in the growth of Fremantle’s collection, with significant works commissioned and completed in public places, car parks, alley ways, fences and private homes. Highlights include the portrait of Dame  Dorothy Tangney etched onto the Norfolk Hotel by Vhils and the explosion of colour created by the FORM 2015 public art program

The Explore Fremantle Street Art trail is a self-guided walking trail that catalogues much of the street art throughout the city.  

NB You might need to hire a bike or jump on the free CAT bus to see them all. Share your favourites with us on Instagram (#Fremantlestory).

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