Big Weekend Coming Up At PS Art Space

We suspect that PS Art Space, at the corner of Packenham and Leake Streets, in the West End of Fremantle, is not as well known as it should be – even if it’s been doing it’s thing for nearly 30 years!

One of its present claims to fame is that it is home to Western Australia’s largest independent artist’s studio community. 35 artists are to be found working across a broad spectrum of creative disciplines.

But it also has great art and performance spaces upstairs and downstairs.

Over the coming weekend, The Artists Studios, The Downstairs Gallery and The Upstairs Gallery will see arts action – the sort of action Freo is famous for. And to finish off a great weekend there will be a guitar concert downstairs.

You’ll want to RSVP to reserve a place for the exhibition openings, and buy your tickets to the concert ASAP to ensure a place in these socially regulated times.

Perspectives. First, there is the Perspectives exhibition opening on 4 December at 6.30pm in the Downstairs Gallery. Helene Schairer, the owner of PS Art Space, will be exhibiting in her first major exhibition, with friend and fellow studio resident Ursula Kieliger RSVP is essential. RSVP here. The exhibition then runs during the day from Saturday 5 December to Friday 18 December.

Life Drawings. A further exhibition, Life Drawings by Gemma Dutheil also opens on 4 December 6.30pm but in the Upstairs Gallery. RSVP essential. RSVP here. It also runs from Saturday 5 December to Friday 18 December.

Open Studios. Then between 10 am and 4 pm on each of Saturday 5 December and Sunday 6 December, the artists’ studios will be open to the public. Not only will you be able to see the different ways in which artists work, but also to chat to them about their inspiration and their practices.

Classical guitar concert. The weekend concludes at 5pm on Sunday 6 December with a classical guitar concert, Hemispheres 21 – New Compositions and Improvisations by Glenn Rogers. Buy your tickets here, or at the door.

Having had a sneak preview of what’s hanging, so to speak, in the exhibitions. You won’t be disappointed!

The building that houses all this activity is itself a wonderful heritage place. Constructed in 1907, it has harboured a warehouse for the wool trade, shipping and the arts. Its occupants – Paterson & Co, Elder Smith & Co, Frank Manford Pty Ltd and PS Art Space – have all been local, making the building a stalwart in the West End of Freo.

By the way, if you’re wondering what the ‘PS’ acronym stands for, the answer is plural! Project Space / Performance Site / Present State / Pakenham Studios / Port Stores and so much more. The root meaning of PS stands for PARIS SCHAIRER, the two original founders of the space in 1997.

Helene Schairer, who acquired the building in 1995 with James Paris, and continues to operate the space, kindly agreed to speak to the Editor of the Shipping News, Michael Barker about what drove the acquisition of the building, what happens there now, and her current vision for PS Art Space, as well as about the forthcoming weekend.

Listen to the podcast interview with Helene here.