Andrew Hayim De Vries ( 1955-)
Visual Artist Andrew Hayim (aka Hayim De Vries) bought the house at 100 Hubble Street in 1985 and through his visionary approach to recycling- changed the way people related to their streetscapes in East Fremantle. His creative and inclusive approach to inhabiting the space made him a much loved addition to East Fremantle.
Andrew (then 29) was an artist looking to secure a studio. The normally cheap studio spaces used by many artists in the heart of Fremantle had been dramatically impacted by the America’s Cup event in 1983- many landlords had put the rents up expecting a huge influx of visitors. Artists were forced to move out and Andy saw an opportunity to renovate the old house. He bought the place for $40,000, after sourcing four different bank loans and accepting a job as a painting technician at WAIT Art Department ( now Curtin University), the University where he had completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1979.
Andrew’s parents were Dutch Jewish immigrants who, after WWll, where looking for a new life, in Australia. Abraham Baroog Hayim (born Bandung Indonesia, 1913) had served with the Netherlands Indies forces during WWll (reference) and arrived in October 1951 on the MS Maetsuycker (reference). Andrew’s mother Helena Hayim (nee De Vries -who had survived a German concentration camp in Europe with Andy’s sister Ellis, b.1944 and Solomon b.1949 ) and Abraham’s sister Ester Kathleen-, both arrived to join Abraham on the MS Maetsuycker in August 1952. (reference) Andy was born in 1955 in Donnybrook.
For the twenty years Andy owned 100 Hubble St he created a legendary wonderland that used mainly recycled materials. Andy invited children from the street to contribute toys - and with these he created a wall of toys that held local children entranced until their removal in 2019. He arranged for a disused Train Carriage to be craned onto the side of the block. An old Boat Hull was added as a kitchen, and a classic red Telephone Box became an outdoor shower. Many local artists were involved in helping to build the house over the years- and many people stayed there- including Jill Kempson, a local artist who lived with Andy from 1985-1990.
In 1995 a local Building inspector Dirk Akveldt, complained that the house did not comply with over 200 local building codes and put a seven day demolition order on the house. Andy marshalled forces to appeal and fought to save the house- Local East Fremantle councillor Steve Culley publicly supported Andrew as did other Councillors who could see the unique qualities of the house. The Town Planner openly appreciated the recycled washing machines street planters that held Geraniums. Finally the building was added to the Heritage List as a ‘Unique Dwelling’.
Hayim De Vries sold the house in 2005 and went on to build another extraordinary house in Lois Lane, White Gum Valley (Garage Mahal 2005-2013). His commitment to sustainability practices saw him design and develope a unique composting system (Subpod ), which he has been developing in Byron Bay NSW for the last few years. See www.subpod.com or www.compostcentral.com.au