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Alien encounter in NewQuay

05 Dec 2013

Alien encounter in NewQuay Image

If you’ve wandered down Doepel Way recently, you might have spotted some interesting creatures lurking in the corners of a once empty shopfront.

After seven years of vacancy, the shopfront has now come to life, with some interesting new tenants, in the form of large-scale puppets, visible through the windows.

Ampersand Studio is the newest Docklands Spaces project, with artists Joe Blanck and Felipe Reynolds moving into the space last month.

The pair have both had extensive careers in film, theatre, television and events in Australia and internationally.

Most recently, while working for Global Creature Technology, they were part of the team that designed and built the animatronic marionette puppet for King Kong: The Musical.

Joe and Felipe’s plan for Ampersand Studio is to create an open studio exhibiting eclectic, local contemporary art and a place where people can meet the artists behind the work.

“The idea is to create a space for artists who think a bit differently and might struggle to be exhibited elsewhere,” Joe said.

According to Joe, the gallery will be a place were people can acquire progressive contemporary art as well has having bespoke pieces commissioned.

The space is already full of interesting artwork, including Phillip Millar’s The Alien Tourist, which can be spotted through the window.

Joe took the large-scale puppet for a wander around Docklands last month, coming across a children’s birthday party, to the kid’s delight.

Joe said he would be keen to continue with similar events as the studio establishes itself in Docklands.

He also said he was keen to collaborate with the other Docklands Spaces projects who have moved into vacant spaces in the area over the past year.

“I’m really excited and proud to be a part of it,” Joe said.

“It’s a great opportunity to be a part of a new arts hub in Melbourne.”

Ampersand Studio is located at Shop 111, 401 Docklands Drive (enter via Doepel Way).

Ampersand Studio’s official opening is on Friday, December 13.

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