The Freo Street Gallery – Art to Walk By

So, just what is Street Gallery?

Well, pretty much what it suggests – art in Fremantle’s streets.

Street Gallery – or SG for short – is the inspiration of Rosslyn de Souza, a long time Freo resident and curator of all things artistic.

Here’s Ros de Souza curating the empty shop windows clean!

Ros got this idea into her head a while back, that when Freo has an empty shopfront it’s in everyone’s best interests, rather than leave it looking forlorn and empty, to brighten it up, to un-empty it by dressing the windows with interesting art until it is re-occupied. What a great creative idea in a City devoted to the creative arts!

The shop-owner/letting agent benefits, because the prospective tenancy loses a dingy look and becomes more attractive to a prospective tenant.

The provider of the art benefits, because their art gets a wider audience – and perhaps gets sold. Just as this work by Artsource member Helen Majewski was sold to a passer by after being shown in the SG!

And we the Freo public – residents and visitors alike – benefit, because the City streets look loved and we can discover new art and artists as we wander Freo’s streets day or night, weekdays or weekends.

So Fremantle arts project SG #1-8, a creative partnership between the City of Fremantle and Artsource in collaboration with local real estate agents and landlords, was borne.

The aim is to enhance the streetscape of the City while the premises are awaiting occupancy.  Once the shops are leased, the street galleries relocate to other empty spaces further contributing to the city’s reputation as an arts hub and lending support to Fremantle’s unique sense of place.

Artsource is Western Australia’s premium membership-based career artist representative body situated near the Port entrance in Old Custom House on Phillimore Street. The paintings and sculptures displayed in the SG windows are on loan by established, mid-career and emerging artists who are delighted to have their works displayed on street level 24/7.

Easily flat packed and reassembled as required the custom made art partitions provide a neutral backdrop – a blank canvas so to speak – for a range of future activities, such as window street theatre, themed festival displays, puppetry and so on.

All-night illumination is one of the charming features of this street project. It highlights the art work, discourages doorway sleeping and creates an additional interest for pedestrians as they wind their way on foot to their favorite bistro and bar.

Artists’ profiles and details are easily accessed via QR code signage leading to a designated page on the Visit Freo webpage..

SG#01 – #08 is an on-going project designed to expand to other local government areas in due course. In the meantime, Freo is home base.

If you’re a shop-owner or letting agent who’d like to join the SG initiative, contact Ros de Souza on 0438 911 346.

If you’re an artist who’d like to join the program, then email or telephone Stirling on 9335 8366 to find out how!


* Old Cattalini’s Pharmacy, 197 High Street, Fremantle.
* Old Best n Less building William Street, opposite the Town Hall.
* Fremantle Mall, Shop 6

It really is a great idea. There should be more of it!

So, make Freo’s SG your latest walking trail and have fun discovering the streets of Fremantle in the process.

* By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News

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