Now only a few blocks away from the busy Albany Highway in Kenwick, it's difficult to envision that in the late nineteenth century LIddelow Homestead was situated at the heart of one of the area's earliest farming properties. While acres of pasture and market gardens once surrounded the historic homestead, suburban streets and small businesses now encircle it, and apart from its close proximity to the Canning River Regional Park, not many traces of its pastoral origins remain visible. However, Liddelow Homestead's heyday is far from over, and for almost forty years it's been the home-base of one of Perth's most flourishing arts and crafts centres.
At the time Liddelow Homestead Arts and Crafts Club was formed in 1977, the homestead was in poor condition and under the threat of demolition. However, its historical significance was recognised by the City of Gosnells and the West Australian Museum Board, and it was rescued just in time, with extensive renovations transforming it into the gracious yet practical structure we see today.
Liddelow homestead, today
These days, the Liddelow Homestead Arts and Crafts Group is a flourishing hive of activity where classes and social groups, encompassing a wide range of creative genre, are held six days a week. The homestead's original rooms have been converted into offices, classrooms and a small shop, while a new annex has provided additional studio and exhibition space. At any one time several groups can be busy here, and classes are held at various times in the morning, afternoon and evenings, making them accessible for all.
When I visited on a Tuesday morning, three groups were actively engaged in their work. In a room at the front of the homestead a group of women from a textile arts social group were spinning, knitting and crocheting. While social groups such as these aren't formal classes, they're great places for newcomers to pick up tips from artisans who've been working in these media for years. The mood was great, and the women were more than happy to have a chat, telling me all about the centre and the work they do. If you've always wanted to learn the gentle arts of knitting and crochet, but haven't known where to go, this group is a great spot to begin.
Textile artists at work
The other two groups that were busy at work during my visit were pottery and patchwork social groups. Once again, the mood was friendly, informal and very inviting. While these social groups focus on relaxed social interaction as the members work together on independent projects, there are also many tutored classes held at the homestead. These include workshops in woodturning, pottery, mosaics, painting, drawing, sewing, embroidery and much more, taught by some of Perth's foremost artisans.
One of Liddelow Homestead's pottery and ceramics social groups
One of Liddelow Homestead's patchwork groups
If you love quality arts and crafts, Liddelow Homestead also has a small gift-shop on the premises where beautiful handcrafted wares are displayed and available for purchase. Located in three rooms in the old homestead building, there are lovely hand-knits and other textile arts, exquisite pottery, woodwork created from our magnificent West Australian hardwoods and much, much more. The shop is generally open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9.30am until 12 noon.
Liddelw Homestead's gift-shop is a great place to purchase beautiful locally-made handicrafts
For families with creative kids, every Saturday morning from 9.00am until 12 noon Liddelow Homestead also holds special children's pottery classes.
To participate in all the wonderful activities that Liddelow provides, as of May 2014, there's an annual membership fee of $60.00 for adults, $30.00 for pensioner concession holders, $65.00 for a family (adult with one child; $20.00 for each additional child) and $35.00 for a child, or student under 18 years old (Two children from the same family are $30.00 each, and three are $25.00 each). In addition, each class requires a small payment to cover expenses. In comparison to other classes held around Perth these prices are an absolute bargain.
In a nutshell, if you've been hankering to unearth your inner artist but haven't known where to begin, a visit to this unique and dynamic arts centre is a good place to begin. With a diverse community of talented, experienced artisans leading workshops and social groups, the Liddelow Homestead Arts and Crafts Club would have to be one of the best places in Perth to embark on your own creative journey.
To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 08 9459 7228 (office hours are 9.30am to 12 noon on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) or take a look at the Liddelow Homestead Arts and Crafts Club website
. Better still, why not jump in the car and pay a visit? Members of the public and visiting tourists are always welcome to pop in and watch the groups at work.
Liddelow Homestead is situated at 5 Cooper Avenue in Kenwick. .