FailureLab Sydney: The Highs & Lows of the Creative Journey

Please visit my official website ( for details on the first Australian Failure:Lab that I will be hosting as a contributing event to Vivid Ideas on Saturday 28 May 2016.


FailureLab Sydney: The Highs & Lows of the Creative Journey


SAT FEB 20, 1-3pm

Laura Bannister (Editor in Chief of Museum Magazine)
Clare Holland (Managing Director of FBi Radio)
Dr. Natalya Hughes (Artist, Director of Photography & Situated Media, UTS)
Tahjee Moar (Artist and Independent Curator)
Jess Scully (Director of Vivid Ideas, curator of TEDxSydney and Junket, and instigator of Kids Hack Day Sydney)

Five women at different stages of their careers will be answering your questions about how they achieve great things in the arts, what tools have helped them, how they manage imposter syndrome, and the importance of collaboration and mentorship.


‘Women in the Arts’ is an ongoing dialogue addressing endemic issues of gender inequality and exclusionary practices in the arts landscape. The online jobs board (instigated through Facebook) was the inaugural response to a need for accessible communication surrounding women in professional practice. The Facebook group has connected women with opportunities in contract, gallery and government arts roles. Though the group began as a jobs board, it has demonstrated how women in the arts benefit from collaboration and solution-based discussion.


Newcastle Placemaking: Part I

Here are a few shots taken one morning after walking around Newcastle East. These planter boxes were made by some locals (please let me know exactly who and I will update this post. Ripley? And?) to a company the trendy cafe that is Sprocket.

It’s great when a business takes pride, inside and out, in their business. Congratulations are in order for those who are brave to take the risk. What risks? People might steal the plants or damage the plants? They might get vandalised?

Too many great initiatives can get halted by ‘what if’ worries. More trust is needed and we can only learn by sharing that hope.

It might just seem like some outdoor furniture. But this project represents faith, healthy lifestyles and love of your public spaces.

I also threw in some photos local spots like dog beach (a hand built teepee from driftwood included), Newcastle Pacific Park and Newcastle Foreshore to show the natural beauty our city has to offer.








Newcastle Placemaking: Part I

Crochet for a Cause

Melbourne Hamlin

Learn the art of the Granny Square with tuition fees going to fund a fistula operation at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.

The classes are run as part of the Hamlin Fistula Hospital, which many people may have heard of as the “Hospital by the River”.

The classes will run upstairs at Grind on Darby St once a month until November (from 11am to 4pm) and teach you everything you need to know to make your own Granny Square Blanket.

Class dates (please register here to confirm the class numbers)

Sunday 26 May
Sunday 30 June
Sunday 28 July
Sunday 25 August
Sunday 29 September
Sunday 27 October
Sunday 24 November

The fees from each class ($60 per person) pays for an obstetric fistula operation, restoring the dignity of a woman who would otherwise be ostracised by her family and community.  Obstetric fistula is an horrific childbirth injury which leaves these poor girls incontinent and outcast. Because of the generous support of programs like this, patients coming to the hospital in Ethiopia can be treated free of charge!

All you have to bring along is a 4mm crochet hook and a ball of 8ply Acrylic Yarn in a bright bold colour! You can pick these up at Spotlight, Lincraft, or your local craft shop. A pair of small scissors and a good sense of humour can come in pretty handy too.

With your completed blanket, you can keep warm for the up-coming winter months, or like hundreds of amazing hookers from around the country, you can donate your blanket (or granny squares) to be given as a gift to the amazing patients of Hamlin who each receive one upon arrival to the Hospital.

For more info go to the above fb pages or

Crochet for a Cause

Newcastle, Australia visits Motorcity, Michigan

Street Art Walking (SAW) was recently invited to be part of Project for Public Spaces inaugural event ‘Placemaking Leadership Council Meeting’ which is to be held in Detroit, Michigan on 10-12th April, 2013. Yet, with short notice of this great opportunity, our director needed to find extra financial support to attend this great opportunity.
After setting up a Pozible campaign, just over two weeks ago, the project has been supported by forty people raising over $1700. This means the flight to Michigan has been supported by the community that can see the value of Newcastle, Australia being involved in a global placemaking discussion. It has been truly heartwarming to see the support for myself and Street Art Walking from so many people. Thank you to all involved for supporting this initiative and I look forward to sharing all the amazing interactions that I am bound to have in this unique city.
Here are some people SAW will be meeting with:
I will be staying with a young couple in a house that has been getting TLC to be refurbished. It will be great to be staying with locals, whom are passion about the urban renewal of their city, just as I am about our own city, Newcastle.

Newcastle, Australia is in a state of change with many new developments on the horizon. It is vital that placemaking practices are shared with all levels of the community; residents, business owners, council, state government agencies and private developers have an exciting time ahead.As a member of the council, placemaking advocacy will be a large part of SAW’s role. To place Newcastle, Australia on this global platform at such a vital time is a great opportunity for our artists and organisation, but also the community and the clients that we work with.

It is a huge honour to be invited to be a member of this leadership council, as SAW has been striving for a more vibrant Newcastle since we started making murals in Newcastle, turning empty places into creative places.
You can learn more about the Pozible campaign, which is still running for three mroe days by going here. For more info about the Placemaking Leadership Council please click here.
Newcastle, Australia visits Motorcity, Michigan

Let’s get Newcastle on a Global Map

Street Art Walking (SAW) have been invited by Project for Public Spaces (PPS) to go to Detroit, Michigan for an inaugural event ‘Placemaking Leadership Council Meeting’ in April 2013.

But we need your help to get there..

Why help?

  • SAW wants Newcastle to be aligned with the best cities in the world

  • We will be part of a highly valued and respected global community of placemakers

  • Being on the leadership council is a five year commitment to you and your community

  • We will host placemaking events with you about your city

  • Placemaking is an international movement that we must be involved in

Photo taken during our visit to New York at PPS Office, 2012

What is placemaking?
Placemaking is a multifaceted approach to planning, design and management of public spaces. It involves listening to the community and asking questions of the people who like, work and play in an area to discover their needs and aspirations.

We think this conversation is so very relevant for Newcastle and the future of our city. We want to be part of the process in creating good public spaces that promote health, happiness and well being.

It is a huge honour to be invited to be a member of this leadership council, as SAW has been striving for a more vibrant Newcastle since we started making murals in Newcastle, turning empty places into creative places.

We have launched a Pozible campaign to help us get to Detroit (we tried other funding avenues but there is not enough time to go through these avenues) and we are 27% on our way there, with eleven supporters, on even from Boston! We now need the local community to get behind the cause of making Newcastle the best place it can be.

SAW Mural by Stu McDonald