Many people ask me, ‘What is it that you do?’
Since late 2008, I have been involved with Renew Newcastle (RN). It has made such a full contribution to my artist career and lifestyle, here in humble, Newcastle.
It still surprises me that some people may not have heard of (or seen) RN. For myself, and the many individuals that have been engaged with RN, it has been a life-changing experience.
My first involvement began when mustering interest with local artists to form an Artist Run Initiative (ARI). ARThive gallery, collective and studios was the result of my independent research and the collective efforts of over seven artists. We made ‘good’ in a building that was left empty, forgotten by the city. We swept, sanded, puttied, drilled and labored away for weeks to create a gallery space for ourselves, and new artists who could see the potential in our DIY space.
The experience of forming our own collective space was very empowering. We went from being Uni students to practising (emerging) artists. We were holding artists talks, curating group shows and ‘living the dream’ in our own ‘place’. This was the stuff we read about at Uni; artists forming their own groups and working towards a bigger goal. Ours was to have a scene worth staying in Newcastle for. Often, graduation meant a time to leave for bigger waters in places like Melbourne.
ARThive has been running since 2009 and continues to be a place for local artists to experiment with their art practices.
Today, there’s no need to flock to the big smoke. Newcastle has its own scene that’s abundant with the best kind of culture; DIY.
You may have heard about the grassroots movement happening in the Newcastle CBD?
Well, it’s kind of a big deal.
This Thursday, 29th March, is your chance to see it for yourself. Come along for some drinks from 5pm at the Renew Newcastle HQ, located at 3 Morgan Street in The Hunter Street Mall.
The evening will include an introduction from RN Founder, Marcus Westbury, followed by a guided walking tour of the latest RN shops and galleries.
All the RN spaces in the Mall area have special opening hours until 7pm so you can buy or browse for unique, local and handcrafted gifts, fashion, homewares, art.
Discover young, independant local fashion designers; contemporary jewellery, a vintage photobooth and lo-fi photography gallery; Roller Derby sticker design; delicate paper illustration; millinery; and fantasy clock sculptures which have to be seen to be believed!
Now is the time to visit your own ‘Hunter Street Mall’ backyard and discover the ‘buzz’ that has a lot to do with this amazing organisation, Renew Newcastle.