Wednesday, February 9, 2011

this is not art

newcastle, NSW is an industrious city. like rust, coal never sleeps. newcastle is a primary producer of solid [black] gold with its gloating high performance harbour promising dark ozone damaging exports, near and far.

but the portside industrial facade offers so much beauty to container worshippers, ship-spotters & meccano lovers alike that it's hard not to be awed by the magnificence of the desolate scapes driving through at pace on the highway which divides the loot from the process.

in recent times newcastle has been gaining infamy as the new creative mecca of the state. once busy peripheral city warehouses stand proud & empty in the wake of receding financial tides as the face of manufacture is sloughed & reshaped as if under an invisible plastic surgeon's scalpel. newcastle has not been immune to the waves of economic downturn. 

slowly these spaces are being filled by an altogether different type of industrious being. artists. wouldn't it be cool if these trucks were filled with art supplies instead of toxic concrete mix? whose to say one can not predispose the other...

that's kind of what is happening. as the face of the hunter changes & commodities begin to dominate the surrounding district, newcastle is becoming a much more cosmopolitan version of its former self. and now the government is getting in on the act with funding opening up to much more diverse areas driven towards the creative tourism market. this makes sense on the door step of australia's most famous wine region.

"renew newcastle" is a programme developed by industry & investment NSW in conjunction with the local city council. if you're any kind of creative from an architect to a graffiti artist you need to be in the loop. which isn't too unlikely with the massive ongoing success of TINA [this is not art - annual independent, emerging & experimental arts festival].

the microscopic kaleidescope is firmly on this far flung hub which is fast becoming an inspiration & source of envy for her larger urban sister, sydney, further down the coast.

we continue to wait patiently in lieu of a grand exodus. when all else fails we create our own destiny. this is ultimately the true nature of industry.

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