Urban Renewal, Exploration and Street Art Walking

So, things have been a little quiet on the Street Art Walking (SAW) homefront, as I have been working as Placemaking Coordinator for a project called Honeysuckle Alive.

Honeysuckle Alive aims involves a series of unique, temporary and permanent, projects that will activate and interact with public spaces in Honeysuckle, Newcastle. The program features elements of  art, creativity,  culture, music, leisure, functionality, fun and play. It has been quiet a contrast to working in other parts of ‘older’ Newcastle and a great experience in learning that even newly developed precinct have their own unique set of challenges.

SAW is still ticking over and has largely become a photographic documentation of all things street art, wherever I visit, featuring work in Sydney, Newcastle, New York and even my hometown, Mudgee.

This week I was asked a series of questions by Top Shelf Magazine on what inspired my interest in street art and where things may be going for SAW. Check out the article titled ‘Turning Around Decades of Decay’ here. Newcastle will always remain a source of inspiration for the work that is done here, as well a local organisation Renew Newcastle, which has made such an impact on the ground level here for our community.

For those that don’t know, I actually founded a gallery (ARThive) as part of my Honours studies at The University of Newcastle, through the Renew Newcastle program. It was the best hands-on experience I have had working in a DIY artist run initiative (ARI) and there is no way my career would have taken the path it has, without the support from this special organisation.

2013 will see some new directions for SAW and myself, after meeting with Brooklyn based Street Art Walk last year. After meeting with our US counterpart we have been ticking over was that we can offer a local guiding experience through Newcastle. Our scene here is far more spread out and there just is not as much graff or street art to show in a small walking tour. Yet, my interest in empty buildings and history could mean that our tours become a more urban exploration style tour, showcasing our eclectic mix of old and new.

I will be visiting Detroit this April and will be going on an urban exploration tour with DetroitUrbex so will surely gain some inspiration from this city and organisation.

Urban Renewal, Exploration and Street Art Walking

Cleaning up the city

This week we have been measuring up, well, lanes of space.

As many of you know, we have been (literally) working in Theatre Lane, pasting up art posters to ‘lift’ the area. The project is going well, considering the torrents of rain we have been having. Today, when we were doing some maintenance, we came across a very newly dead pigeon. We won’t go into detail, just to say, this is not the first time we’ve encountered such matter on the street.

In one area of Hunter Street mall, there are a number of properties sharing lane way space. Often, these areas, become overlooked and uncared for.

Our newest project is bringing together over three property owners, equating to over 500 per square metres of space.

The areas will need serious cleaning and clearing before artists can work in the area. Today we came across many spiders (including one very huge and angry red back), weeds and a broken couch, rotten with water and whatever else.

Soon the area will be transformed from a black hole into a brighter place, filled with artworks.

Expressions of interest from artists will be called very soon. Preparing photos, measurements and maps at the moment.

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Cleaning up the city