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August 09 Edition Cover

More space for creativity

02 Jul 2013

More space for creativity Image

The Docklands Spaces project extended into Harbour Town last month.

The project had previously been focused on the Waterfront City Piazza, but last month Harbour Town management agreed to open up two unleased spaces for creative projects.

Docklands Spaces is a Renew Australia initiative and allows creative projects to access unleased spaces rent-free on a month-to-month basis.

This allows landlords to reclaim their properties quickly should they get a commercial offer, while activating the area in the meantime.

One of the Harbour Town sites will become an installation space, to be known as The Front and overseen by artist and curator Deb Bain-King.

Ms Bain-King said the site would focus on large-scale installations, which will be visible to people driving past or travelling on the tram down Docklands Drive.

“What I like about Docklands is that it’s an area that elicits strong feelings from people. They have either a lot of affection for it or a lot of disdain for it. I find that interesting,” Ms Bain-King said.

She said she would curate work from a range of different artists in the space and eventually hoped to create something that would relate to the local community and draw people in.

She said the space was likely to open in mid July.

Harbour Town’s Richard Unsworth said Harbour Town became aware of the Docklands Spaces project through its presence at the Waterfront City Piazza.

“We have some vacant spaces that could benefit from activation, which is exactly what Renew Australia and Docklands Spaces is all about,” Mr Unsworth said.  

Studio Batch and Musk Architecture will also be moving into a Harbour Town space.

Both initiatives had been based in a retail space in the piazza, but it was recently leased to a paying tenant.

Property owner James Giuliano of MDJ Investments has credited Docklands Spaces with helping to secure a tenant for the property.  

“Studio Batch and Musk Architecture have made the property look alive, welcoming and inviting,” Mr Giuliano said.

Docklands Spaces Project Manager Cindy Plowman said the successful leasing of the property demonstrated the value of the Renew Australia model for owners.

“The Giulianos understand that this opportunity if mutually beneficial for everyone,” Ms Plowman said.

“The property is activated, a new business idea gets trialled and more people visit the area,” she said.

While Studio Batch and Musk Architecture are moving out of the piazza, another project has moved in.

D11 @ Docklands is an artist-led exhibition space, which will feature a series of exhibitions from a wide range of artists, creating a vibrant arts hub in the middle of NewQuay.

Michael Carolan is one of the artists involved in setting up the D11 @ Docklands project and said he hoped the project would help to activate the piazza.

“We want to install works in such a way that they have an outward look, so from outside the space viewers can get a feel for what’s going on inside,” Mr Carolan said.

But people will need to venture further inside the space to view work installed in the immersive exhibition room at the back of the property.

Visitors to D11 @ Docklands might come across textile installations covering entire walls, taxidermied animals, video and painting installations and artists painting murals on the walls.

Artists invited to exhibit are also being encouraged to move their studios.

“Visitors will be able to see some of the process as well as the finished product, which will be more interactive,” Mr Carolan said.

And he also hopes that the art inside the space will flow out into the piazza.

Some ideas include staging a wearable art parade in the piazza and setting up easels outside.

The group has launched a Pozible campaign in order to raise the funds required to support the project.

Every person who donates $30 or more will be given the opportunity to show their own work in a special supporters exhibition.

To pledge a donation, visit http://www.pozible.com/project/25893 before July 8.

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