Seasonal Almanac

Cold dew: Chrysanthemums are tinged yellow (1 of 5)

April 16th, 2009

Cold dew 11 of 15South Fremantle. A gentle east south-easterly changing to a south-westerly with a top of 26 degrees. A picture postcard.

A port city of the Swan River colony that was settled in 1829, both its history and its location are what give Fremantle its charm. On first encounter, most visitors are enchanted by the city. It is so picturesque that when Lonely Planet’s Six Degrees did a feature on Perth, the program used footage of South Terrace extensively when speaking about the capital city.

Last time we visited Fremantle, we were making an online artwork that explores the experience of the city. On a five-day research trip, we caught the train from Perth everyday, ladened down with cameras and a very heavy tripod. We photographed, we videoed, we recorded sounds, but to no avail. We could not summon up an idea of what to do for the project. What is the experience of this city beyond the picturesque tourist shot, the $4 coffees, the eerily quiet port, and endless gift shops?

We called up our friend, Michael McGhie, who was once an active inhabitant of Fremantle (in a sense that he lived in Fremantle, worked out of the port, raised his children there, and sent them to an alternative school on Mouat Street.). He gave us an impromptu and idiosyncratic tour. We had an experience of the city that was informative, entertaining, and not quite as expected.

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