From the top of the Fremantle Roundhouse a new view is taking shape, thanks to internationally renowned Swiss artist Felice Varini.
As part of the 2017 Fremantle Festival, Varini is creating one of his signature “perspective-localised” works down an 800 metre stretch of High Street. Titled Arcs d’Ellipses, it is due to be completed on October 28.
The piece reflects a growing trend of increasing public art across Perth, as various initiatives have pushed for more street culture.
West Australian non-profit organisation FORM held an urban art festival for three years between 2014 and 2016 which saw the installation of more than 100 works by international and domestic artists in Perth and rural WA.
Governments and councils are also recognising the upswing in public art’s popularity. City of Fremantle festivals coordinator Kathryn Taylor says the benefits of this style of event is include a boom for retailers, as well as adding colour to the streets.
The ten-day festival is a celebration of Fremantle and its culture, showcasing a diverse range of free and ticketed talks, performances and exhibits.
In March this year, Fremantle held its annual Street Arts Festival, which attracted upwards of 100, 000 visitors.
“We know for sure that at a minimum, the Street Arts Festival injects at least $7.8 million dollars into our economy.”
Despite the growth in urban art across Perth, one veteran artist paints a different picture of the homegrown scene.
Daek William, who has been working in the industry for 15 years, says that the commercialisation of urban art has had limiting effects.
“Now corporations step in and are deciding who paints what where, and there’s no room for little people.”
William believes while bringing in unique international artists like Felice Varini is great, there is often a lack support for local artists.
He says gaining recognition in Perth has been a long battle. “It’s a pretty fickle world over here. If you look at other Perth street artists, the ones at the top have either left, aren’t from Perth, or have spent majority of their career being in other countries.”
William says despite the struggle, he will continue his art and looks forward to what the next generation of Perth artists come up with.