Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Foto Freo 2006 The City of Fremantle Festival of Photography
Fremantle Chocolate Factory

Foto Freo 2006 The City of Fremantle Festival of Photography held from late March to April includes exhibitions, speakers, conferences, seminars, workshops, projections, forums, films, lectures and talks by a range of photographers from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Canada in some of Fremantle's most interesting places like the Fremantle Arts Centre and Museum, The University of Notre Dame, the Film and Television Institution and Kulcha. A diverse and often confronting and disturbing collection images greeted me at every turn. They were on range of subjects that included war, disaster, homelessness, movies stars to the black market trade in animals and chinese orphaned children. The exhibition had it all and I was emotionally exhausted and rewarded after every visit.

Ginos on South Terrace had one of the main exhibitions on Australian suburbian unhappiness. It was early in the morning when I visited and there were plenty of people at Ginos sitting outside on the pavement and inside the cafe, having coffee and something to eat, talking and laughing. I looked for the collection of photographs described on my program. The smell of fresh coffee and the sound of laughter filled the air mostly. A variety of European languages were being spoken as well as English. There were groups of people and people happy being on their own. The images mostly of unhappy men and other marginal people covered the walls. It was an interesting contrast.

But there was a much more interesting exhibition that filled the walls not included in the Foto Freo program. A collection of A4 black and white framed photographs. I wondered when I approached Ginos whether there was a Gino. Yes there was the name Gino above the door way because it sold alcohol. I wondered if the pictures were of Gino and his family and their development and association with Ginos. I love the personal touch of Ginos relating people to the place and to an area. This is lost in franchises where everything is uniform and unpersonal. I orded a latte and sat outside in the warm sun and watched the hussle and bussle of Fremantle pass me by.

I walked across the street and caught the CAT to the Fremantle Chocolate Factory. I walked in the door and there were free samples of the chocolate and fudge made by the local company. A friendly assistant greeted me and asked me if I wanted any help. I politely declined her offer and looked over the extensive display of products. There were the usual range of chocolate products...plain milk, dark and white chocolate with a range of nuts in a variety of blocks, peanut clusters, coconut rough, and rocky road. There were some not so usual such as macadamia clusters and chocolate covered plums. The Fremantle Chocolate Factory also makes a range of biscults and fudge.

I brought the rocky road with white and pink mashmallows, whole roasted peanuts and lolly raspberries (instead of the turkish delight) covered in milk chocolate and cut up into small pieces. Yum and unique because I love the combination of the whole deal. The Macadamia clusters, whole lushious roasted creamy macas covered in milk chocolate is something I don't see too often. Pure heaven.

Before I leave I look through the window into factory. It isn't operating today but on many days the visitor can see the chocolate making process. An extra delight.


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