Renew Newcastle – First Fridays

Coinciding with This Is Not Art, Renew Newcastle are launching a monthly series of late night events on the first Friday of each month. We’re planning a monthly night of improvised and experimental music at the ARThive , with an emphasis on collaboration which aims to bring together artists that may not have previously worked together in new and interesting configurations. We will have a bit of a trial run this Friday night between 5 and 8pm featuring sounds by Peter Hollo, Marcus Whale, Mark Groves, Leith Thomas, Grant Hunter, Jenna Gill, and Di Drew. There’s heaps of stuff happening in the other Renew Newcastle spaces as well, and the Lucas Abela installation looks to be loads of fun, so if you’re in Newcastle this weekend you really are spoiled for choice.

 This Friday evening Renew Newcastle will launch its series of twilight events in the City – First Friday. On the First Friday of the month in October, November and December the Renew Newcastle art and creative projects will host a collection of special events in the early evening 5 – 8pm. This month on Friday 02 October there will be 10 free simultaneous events taking place, including gallery exhibition openings from 6pm: international gaming art at Loop Space sound and digital media gallery; a photographic documentary in conjunction with Men’s Health Week at Gallery Raw – Newcastle House of Photography; a new show of works using posca paints on skateboard decks at Upcycling Gallery. Silk House Art Projects are having a night of jaffas and cinema at their Wet Walls exhibition (until 6 Oct); ARThive are offering a live experimental and collaborative music presentation to accompany the TYRANNOSAURUS REX exhibition (until 5 Oct); and Totoro’s Teahouse are offering tea, cakes and a unique forum on “The Philosophy of Disco”, hosted by Triple j’s Craig Schuftan. For the first time ever all of the Renew Newcastle shopfronts will be open for trading at the same time for special late night shopping – Surfhouse Photography is offering a 10% off sale, Art Brasil’s artisan jeweller is showing his first works made using sterling silver and Mad Hatter Millinery are hosting their official shop opening party. A guided tour of all of the spaces in the mall will take place 5-6pm beginning at the Renew Newcastle HQ, 3 Morgan St. The tour introduces a new short-term installation presented in conjunction with Electrofringe for This Is Not Art festival – Lucas Abela’s Vinyl Arcade – An immersive sound instrument putting you in the drivers seat of a tiny remote control car with styli attached as it navigates its way through a landscape of disused vinyl records. This brings the total number of projects that Renew Newcastle has placed to 37, cleaning up and occupying 25 empty shops and offices to date across the CBD. Come along to see how Newcastle’s creative community is making city revitalization their business, and enjoy the city in a new way at twilight on the First Friday of the month, 5-8pm.

Vox Cyclops

Some of our buddies in the Spanish Magic crew have been slowly working away at one of the most eagerly anticipated of the Renew Newcastle projects, a music/art/junk shop called Vox Cyclops. With Yvonne Ruve coming to an end soon, what better way to move on than to start a kickarse record shop in Newcastle, It’s just what this town needs! Other than The Rock Shop, which is just ridiculous(unless you want shoes or bongs), there’s only a bunch of unfriendly chain stores and the odd second hand CD shop with nothing in it. There’s nothing that caters for local artists or obscure tastes, and Newcastle certainly has a market for such a thing. Vox Cyclops plans to initially concentrate on Australian music on vinyl, cassette, CDs and CDRs, zines, books, with a view to eventually expand further abroad.
The stocklist already reads like a who’s who of the Australian underground/DIY community. In addition to stocking the Spanish Magic catalogue, you can pick up reasonably priced treats from Breakdance The Dawn, Pulled Out, We Empty Rooms, Stained Circles, Sweatlung, RIP Society, Shamefile, Tenzenmen and heaps more, plus they’re stocking our Monstera Deliciosa stuff too, which is going to be really great for us.
The shop is having a launch party tomorrow night August 14 from 7pm.

515 Hunter St

More Info

Collecting Honey

There is a great new Artist Run Gallery and Studio hub in Newcastle called ARThive. It has been set up by local artists Simone Sheridan, Angus Crowley, and Grant Hunter, and has been made possible thanks to the Renew Newcastle initiative.
The Gallery and Studio are located at 111 Hunter Street Newcastle, and while a temporary exhibition space is currently operating from the downstairs shopfront, they will soon be relocating the gallery upstairs. A lot of work needs to be done to get the upstairs gallery in shape so this Saturday July 4 the ARThive are hosting a fundraiser party at The Lock Up Museum just up the road. The aim is to raise enough money to renovate the new gallery space by installing necessary lighting and fixtures, as well as aid in the financial stability of the gallery into the future.
Crab Smasher, xNoBBQx, Scissor Lock, and Mart Brennan will be performing in the Lock Up exercise yard and there will also be an art giveaway featuring 10 works donated by the ARThive studio.

5pm The Lock Up
90 Hunter Street
Donation Entry

Feeding Grounds

Hunting grounds is the first of a series of large scale architecture exhibitions at The Room Project in the centre of Newcastle, as a part of the Renew Newcastle initiative.
Conceived by Kim Bridgland, hunting grounds is an installation of ten thousand small lengths of construction timber packed together into an undulating floor to create an immersive and tactile experience of space.

The exciting closing feature of the hunting grounds exhibition, feeding grounds expands the visual and already prevalent aural focus of the architecture environment into a densely sound based interactive experience for its patrons. A unique 90 minute part installation-part performance running on between 6-8pm on Saturday 14 March, Feeding grounds sees 16 contact microphones planted throughout the floor to amplify the sound of movement through a slow progression into an expressive ambient soundscape by four local sound artists and experimental musicians, Kane Ewin, Nicholas French, Chris Hearn and Mark Leacy.

Newcastle based artists Kane Ewin and Mark Leacy are part of the collectively run avant garde CDR, tape and vinyl label Spanish Magic, who also curate experimental music events at their underground Sydney venue. Members of Newcastle improvisiational semi-electronic sextet Castings, who have in recent times released albums on US and UK labels American Tapes and Chocolate Monk Recordings, they are currently recording for a new album release in 2009. As a part of SKM Stompbox, Kane Ewin has experience with wood and sound textures, as a manufacturer of custom made amplified stomp boxes.

Nick French is a member of Crab Smasher, Brassskulls and Rotted Crow, three acts at the forefront of Newcastle experimental music. He also performs solo as Polyfox and the Union of the Most Ghosts, and runs the Sky Hut online blog, documenting Australian avant garde music.

Chris Hearn has taken his sound art to the world, having performed at the Das Klein Field Recordings Festival in Berlin and the Olympia Festival of Experimental Music. He is also an accomplished indie-electronica artist, releasing records under the moniker Alps of New South Wales on multiple labels internationally, and having performed live in 14 countries in the last four years.

Feeding Grounds runs from 6:00pm to 8:00pm Saturday 14 March at The Room Project, 111 Hunter St Mall, Newcastle. It is followed at 8:00pm by an after-party at The View Factory, featuring rare local performances by exhibitors Chris Hearn and Nick French under their Alps and Polyfox pseudonyms, alongside Melbourne shoegazer Popolice.

The room project and the hunting grounds installation is a featured part of the Renew Newcastle initiative. For more information visit