Conversations with Artists – A Special Event at J Shed

This is another event in a series organised by the Fremantle Society Incorporated. Each event has been extremely popular. Members and guests are welcome and non members are encouraged to attend and, if they wish, join the Society to help in the movement to preserve Fremantle’s historic character and lifestyle.

J Shed Studios at Arthur Head
J Shed Studios at Arthur Head

The evening will be spent with Greg James, Glen Cowans, Peter Zuvela and Jenny Dawson who will show us around their studio spaces and explain their work.

Greg James is one of Australia’s leading sculptors, Peter Zuvela a photographer well known for his photo art and Jenny Dawson, Peter’s wife, is a prolific ceramicist. Glen Cowans’ Gallery which displays his world class marine photography, is located at the entrance to The Round House, will be the meeting point at 6.15pm

J Shed Studios, looking towards Bathers' Beach
J Shed Studios, looking towards Bathers’ Beach

Get behind the scenes of a 21st century artist’s studio. Explore the process of how art works evolve from a concept into a ‘work of art’.  Discover how these remarkable artists employ their talents to sculpt, photograph, paint, draw and make ceramics in the digital age.

The Fremantle Society invites you to come along and bring a friend to our ‘Conversations with Artists’ special event at the Arthur Head Artists’ Precinct on:

Arthur Head
Arthur Head

Thursday  18th August 2016, 6:30pm – 8:00pm.    Cost: $10.00 

The evening will start at Glen Cowans’ Gallery at 6.15 and then progress down to the studios and galleries of Peter, Jenny and Greg where we can continue to mingle and chat.

Please contact Helen Mcleod if you have any questions and also to RSVP on

We look forward to meeting you there.





The Yagan Memorial is an artwork created for the City of Swan to honour the memory of the Aboriginal Warrior Yagan, the son of Midgigoroo and Moyran. Nyoongar artists who created the art works for the Memorial Site are Sandra Hill and Peter Farmer. The art works for the Yagan Memorial Park were designed by Peter Framer, Kylie Ricks and Sandra Hill. Jenny Dawson of J SHED ART STUDIO (from Fremantle) assisted Sandra with the major story wall works. Working team members are Tracie Pushman, Laurel Nannup and Ellen McFetridge. Roman Antoniuk built the rammed earth walls and Peter Zuvela documented photographically the entire artwork process and participated in the installation all of the artworks on the walls.

The Memorial Park is situated at Lot 39 West Swan Road, Swan Valley, Australia.

Yagan was a very important representative of the Beeliar People which includes Walyalup (modern Fremantle, in some sources referred to as Manjaree – West End of Fremantle, Arthur Head). He was instrumental in trying to forge good working relations with the first white settlers of the Swan River Colony in Western Australia.

Entry Statement to the Site by Sandra Hill

The work has several rammed earth curved walls that were fabricated at the beginning of the pathway leading into the Memorial site. A feature is the visual timeline etched into clay tablets that meander along the full length of the walls. They are reminiscent of the Waugal moving in and out of the land as well as acting as a connecting feature for the Burial Site. The walls, gradually grade down until they disappear back into the earth.

The imagery tells the story of Yagan and his family, their alienation from the white people, the taking and fencing off of their traditional land, the killings and the payback, and the treacherous ambush of Yagan, Heegan and his party by the Keates brothers at the site in 1833. Wall one depicts the story of Yagan and his people from colonisation to his untimely and tragic death.

Sandra Hill is a visual artist and a Yorga of the Nyoongar (Nyungar) people of Australia (South West of Western Australia). She worked on a series of paintings that were taken to New York. She also worked with Jenny Dawson (Ceramic Artist) at the J Shed Art Studio to produce a large scale group of ceramic public artworks to be located at the memorial park that honour the memory of Yagan. The site was opened early in July 2010.

Tracie Pushman on Yagan
“The story of Yagan lives strongly in the hearts of the Nyungar people. Son of Midgigooroo and Moyran, Yagan was a great leader of the Jondarup Ballaruk clan moeities. In the early years of colonisation by the British, the strangers to the area of Beeliar (Fremantle-Perth area) were welcomed by the Indigenous people and seen as Djanga – returning spirits of the dead. As time went on, the increasing domination of the settler colony resulted in restrictions to land access for the custodians of the area, ultimately threatening their cultural wellbeing, and their relationship to country. Aboriginal resistance followed and Yagan will always be remembered for his intelligence, strength, courage and influence during this period of resistance.

As a cultural warrior, Yagan was fearless and highly respected both by his own countrymen and those of the settlement led by Captain James Stirling. Yagan’s ability to bridge the cultural gap allowed the Nyungar people a voice for negotiation and a hope for cultural exchange. However, despite the friendships he had made with several families of importance and the infamy of his character, the Nyungar people continued to be dispossessed of land, marginalized and treated with cruelty. Because of his unusual position within the new society, Yagan was able to stand up for his people, which resulted in there being reward for his capture. Yagan was outlawed and on the 11th of July 1833, was shot dead for a reward of £30 by two young brothers whom he had previously befriended. Yagan’s Head was then cut from his body and sent to England.

The repatriation of Yagan’s remains had been a long and arduous journey, not being recovered until 1997 from a museum in Liverpool. Yagan is now finally able to be put to rest in his own country with the dignity and respect so deserved of this fallen warrior. “

No 7 yagan


The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects once stated: ” The Indigenous artworks at Leighton comprise of seven separate mosaic artworks depicting dreamtime stories and the local history of the Aboriginal people. The mosaics were designed in consultation with indigenous Elders and form part of the site’s transition from a railway marshalling yard and container storage area to a vibrant beachside hub. These artworks record a small but important part of the local Aboriginal heritage for posterity and as such they provide added interest and value to the project. We also hope that they help provide a better understanding of Aboriginal culture in Perth. “

The above is taken from ‘’.The site writes about Fremantle’s Leighton Beach Development Indigenous Mosaic Artworks. All the works were produced at Fremantle’s J Shed Art Studio.
LINK to the article:

Sandra Hill (Nyoongar visual artist) in collaboration with Jenny Dawson (Ceramic Artist-J Shed Art Studio) translated stories passed on by the elders into this beautiful series of pavement mosaics. Amongst them was Ken Colbung. Other Nyoongar artists involved were Esandra Colbung, Sharon Egan, Peter Farmer, Kylie Garlett,Vanessa Corunna and Sharna Mippy. The elders stories were collected by Sandra and stored in the Batty Library collection.

Below is one the one of the seven mosaics from the Fremantle-Leighton Project (photo by Peter Zuvela). ‘The Walyalup (Fremantle) Dreaming’ by J Shed Art Studio. Art Work design by Esandra Colbung. Part of the Fremantle story.IMG_6995vs
The Walyalup Dreaming was first mentioned in writing in the 19th century by F. Armstrong who in 1836 wrote: “They state, as a fact handed down to them from their ancestors, that Garden Island was formerly united to the main, and that the separation was caused, in some preternatural manner, by the Waugal” (F. Armstrong 1836).

The work was completed in 2007. In 2008 the project won the Landscape Architects of Australia award for art in Public Places.

More images from the Public Art Work:IMG_6975vsIMG_6891vsIMG_6915vsIMG_6988vsIMG_7011 SH vs