Fremantle: artist seeks out voices left behind in city


Melbourne artist and human ecologist Asha Bee Abraham. 
Picture: Martin Kennealey �������www.communitypix.com.au   d469864
Melbourne artist and human ecologist Asha Bee Abraham. Picture: Martin Kennealey �������www.communitypix.com.au d469864

FREMANTLE’S buildings and landmarks are full of history.

But while the big, well-known stories are easy to find, it is the more personal ones that really interest Asha Bee-Abraham.

On a recent visit to Fremantle the artist collected 14 quirky stories linked to some of Fremantle’s most iconic areas, from escapee chickens running down Essex Street to children “fishing for tourists” from the Cliff Street rooftops during the America’s Cup, putting them together in a new interactive app for |locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

Ms Bee-Abraham said the Invisible Cities app explored the relationship between Fremantle’s places and the people who visit them, with users able to access a virtual map that would trigger an audio version of the stories.

“I have this image that as we live our lives, we leave this trail of stories behind us, and these stories are held for us by the buildings, the streets, the park benches where they take place,” she said. “I think it’s this collective build-up and layering of all of our stories that gives a place its personality and I wanted to find a way to make some of these stories accessible.

“You can walk to the site to unlock and listen to the stories where they took place and you’ll be able to imagine, say, James floating past the E-Shed Markets with his dad while struggling to get the mast down, or Rae falling through the roof of the old Navy office where she worked as a decoder during World War II, or Hannah at South Mole eating ice cream after school with her biggest crush when she was 13.

“We can get so caught up in our lives and stop paying attention to the people and places around us after living somewhere for a while and I hope that hearing stories like these can help bring the explorer’s sense of wonder and curiosity into the familiar everyday.”

The project is ongoing, with Ms Bee-Abraham continuing to collect and add new stories for the rest of the year. Visit www.invisiblecities.com.au to download the app or to submit memories for future stories.

MORE: Perth meth use declining according to waste water results

MORE: northern suburbs doctor on indecent assault charge

MORE: police raids on shops in Perth and Northbridge uncovers synthetic drugs