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New panoramic exhibition explores changing face of Fremantle over 155 years

Updated: Oct 2


South Mole Fremantle 1904

The WA Maritime Museum today opened its doors to Fremantle Then & Now: Historical Panoramas – a new, immersive, and interactive exhibition exploring the changing face of Fremantle from the 1800s to the present day.


Through sweeping historical panoramic photographs, taken at seven vantage points across the port city, the exhibition provides a unique opportunity to explore 155 years of history, using immersive digital projection technologies developed by the Curtin University Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch (HIVE).


The exhibition also explores Fremantle’s or Walyalup’s deep history over millennia, and the dramatic changes that followed the arrival of Europeans. Local photographers and photographic studios are also featured.


Western Australian Museum Chief Executive Officer, Alec Coles said Fremantle Then & Now is a chance for visitors to reflect on the city’s past, present, and future.


“The exhibition highlights the waves of change Fremantle/Walyalup has experienced whilst maintaining its recent strong sense of identity as a cosmopolitan and vibrant, port city,” Mr Coles said.


“As you ‘virtually’ enter the streets and alleyways in the panoramas, you will encounter fascinating stories of the people who have lived and worked in this place.”


The 20 panoramic images celebrating the changes and legacy of Fremantle have been digitally layered through a collaboration between the Curtin HIVE and the State Library of Western Australia.


Curtin University’s HIVE Manager, Associate Professor Andrew Woods said photographic panoramas provide a wonderful way to experience a city.


“We are fortunate that photographers over the years have captured these amazing views of Fremantle – revealing details of the familiar and the unusual.


“By applying modern visualisation technologies to these photographic historical treasures, we are allowing visitors to travel back in time and see Fremantle in a way they may have never seen before,” A/Prof. Woods said.


A program of associated events celebrating the changes and legacy of Fremantle has been developed and includes self-guided tours, walking tours for schools, photography and craft workshops, school holiday activities, lectures, and more.


The exhibition is on display from Friday 23 September 2022 to Sunday 19 February 2023 from 9.30am to 5pm.


Entry to the new exhibition is included with paid entry to the WA Maritime Museum.


Fremantle Then & Now is held in partnership with Curtin HIVE, the City of Fremantle, and the State Library of Western Australia.