4th December – 6th December

Exhibitions Open, Open Studios and a musical finale at WA’s largest independent artist’s studio

Fremantle’s PS Art Space throws open its doors and invites you to a unique combination of exhibitions, open studios and music over the first weekend in December.

PS Art Space owner Helene Schairer exhibits in her first major exhibition, in Perspectives with friend and fellow studio resident Ursula Kieliger, opening Friday 4 December in the main gallery and running until 18 December. Life Drawings by Gemma Dutheil opens in the upstairs Gallery that evening, with the artists participating in the Open Studios on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 December featuring PS Art Space resident artists. The weekend concludes at 5pm on Sunday 6 December with a classical guitar concert, Hemispheres 21 – New Compositions and Improvisations by Glenn Rogers, the final in the 2020 series of Hemisphere concerts.

The origins of the ‘Perspectives’ exhibition were sown 20 years ago within the gallery’s own walls when Helene Schairer and Ursula Kieliger met in the early 2000’s as resident artists in the building. Their mutual connections also included Ursula’s mentor, painter Helen Forbes.

More than a combined retrospective, ‘Perspectives’ tells us about the inevitable creative synergies formed when artists meet and work together in the same place.

Helene will be showing a retrospective series of life drawing studies having worked with live models in various studios both locally and abroad. Ursula presents a selection of abstract paintings, inspired by her extensive travels in the Australian outback. Emerging from her is a style based on emotional memory of landscape and colour, transformed and shaped by imagination and applied through intuitive design. Over 70 works will be exhibited and available for purchase.

Gemma Dutheil is a new resident artist at PS Art Space. Life Drawings is a collection of oil paintings and drawings focused on representing the beauty of the human form, a passion since she studied life drawing at ‘Brighton Draw’ in the UK.

Gemma’s works depict the grace and movement of the female form; sometimes in detail, sometimes using just a few key brushstrokes, usually in oils and using warmer colours to portray warmth, intimacy and beauty. The collection also includes a series of drawings in conte crayon, sketched directly from life model sessions. All works in the exhibition were created in the last 12 months.

PS Art Space is home to Western Australia’s largest independent artist’s studio community. With a total of 36 spaces housing 35 artists, a diverse and committed pool of contemporary practitioners working across a broad spectrum of creative disciplines. The Open Studios from10-4 pm on 5 and 6 December give a unique opportunity to see the different ways in which artists work, and provide a rare opportunity to talk to them about their inspiration and their practise.

Helene Schairer has been approached many times by developers to sell the 2400 square metre property that was heritage listed in 2012. “I have never been tempted to sell, I have always been willing to sacrifice commercial gain for the sake of art being able to live and develop here in a space dedicated to it in the heart of Fremantle,” Helene said.

Constructed in 1907, the Federation establishment has harboured Fremantle’s most historic industries, as a warehouse for the wool trade, shipping and the arts. Its occupants—Paterson & Co., Elder Smith & Co., Frank Manford Pty Ltd and PS Art Space —have all been local, making the building a stalwart constituent of the commercial and creative endeavour in West-End Fremantle.

PS is a project space for the experience of contemporary art which presents a curated program of exhibitions and events by Australian and international artists. Sensitively restored, the heritage listed building is located in the heart of Fremantle’s historic West End precinct, PS has become one of Perth’s most exciting and experimental platforms to experience contemporary culture.

As Fremantle’s leading centre for artist studio spaces, the organisation has continued to build on its innovative foundations, growing to facilitate the expanding field of contemporary art through a wide variety of exhibition, studio, curatorial and cross-disciplinary programs. With the artist firmly placed at the centre of its activities, PS is positioned at the nexus between the production of contemporary art through its studio programs, and its presentation through its exhibitions and events.

The PS acronym stands for Project Space / Performance Site / Present State / Pakenham Studios / Port Stores and so much more. The root meaning of PS stands for PARIS SCHAIRER, the two original founders of the space in 1997.

Perspectives: Opens 4 December 6.30pm, RSVP essential admin@psas.com.au, Runs Sat 5 December to Fri 18 December Downstairs Gallery (Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 4pm)

Life Drawings: Opens 4 December 6.30pm, RSVP essential admin@psas.com.au, Runs Sat 5 December to Fri 18 December Upstairs Gallery (Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 4pm)

Open Studios: Saturday 5 December & Sunday 6 December 10 am to 4pm, upstairs, please note this is by stair access only

Hemispheres 21 – New Compositions and Improvisations by Glenn Rogers: Sunday 6 December, Doors 4pm, Concert 5pm, Tickets: $22 conc & $32.50 available here

PS Art Space: 22 Pakenham St (cnr Leake St), Fremantle Western Australia, (08) 9430 8145, 0406 170 285 or

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