MAYLANDS cultural icon Old Bakery on 8th shuts the doors for good this Sunday.
Four friends started the gallery in the old bakery building 17 years ago to showcase local artists. But Kath Lymon says she, Anne Butorac and Ross and Rosemary Cant “felt that we’d taken it as far as it could go”.
“We just thought it’s time I moved on and retired.”
Ms Lymon says there have been many changes since 1997 with Maylands transforming from a sometimes scary part of town to an upmarket strip with boutique shops and cafes.
“It was quite a different place to be,” she says, recalling days when curious characters would peer in the windows.
The four friends often wondered if they’d chosen the right spot for a gallery: “Now the streets are busy all the time.”
Over the years more than 200 WA artists have exhibited at the Old Bakery: “We were all interested in art, and we decided we’d open up an art gallery that encouraged WA artists,” Ms Lymon says.
She’s clearly proud that many artists told her over the years, “you got me started, you were the first ones to take my work”.
“So that’s really satisfying. If we could live on accolades we’d be rich,” she smiles.
Seven years ago the partners opened up the cafe side of the business and in 2011 the bakery was reactivated, continuing a legacy that dates back to the 1910s.
The Rossbach family used to run a bakery out of the site: the building’s heritage listing entry says between the world wars the German-origin family had to close, the building damaged by protestors. Ms Lymon recalls there were also many locals in favour of the Rossbachs who missed their daily bread when baker Georg and son Werner were imprisoned in an internment camp.
Originally from a farm in Narrikup where she used to take care of orphaned lambs, Ms Lymon plans to move back to the country.
by DAVID BELL