We were super impressed by #ideabombingsydney on Wednesday night, held deep underground in a Kings Cross car park, in a spot also known as Alaska Projects. The night was lovingly pieced together by the great John O'Callaghan (@John_OCal) and Melinda Garcia (@madamegarcia) and pulled about 150 people to see the talks.
We're really proud and excited to be part of a flourishing creative community in Sydney. There is so much inspiring work being done and the amount of people getting seriously stuck into improving the city through design, art, events, you name it, seems to be multiplying at the moment.
A bit about what went down in the basement of Kings Cross car park Thursday night...
John O'Callaghan - JOC Consulting
Melinda Garcia is Digital Learning Coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. She has a Master of Arts in e-Learning from UTS. Melinda acts as the Dean of Awesome for the Awesome Foundation Sydney where she works with ten Trustees to award $1000 to the most awesome idea each month. And she's on the board of Alaska Projects. Speaking of..
Alaska Projects is an artist-run gallery in an underground car park in Kings Cross - established in November 2011 with a City of Sydney matching grant - to exhibit contemporary visual art in unused or disused spaces. The space showcases some of Australia’s most exciting young artists, hosts film screenings and musical performances, and was highlighted in Parliament by Clover Moore as one of the “innovative ways in which inner-city space is being used to invigorate Sydney”. Alaska Projects is directed by Sebastian Goldspink.
Jo & Alex - The Youth Food Movement
Wildwon have had the pleasure of working with the Youth Food Movement across their events: the Ride On Lunch, Reel Food Nights, and the Guerrilla Dinners. These girls have been working to re-educate the supermarket generation about where their food comes from and how to grow it, and mending many food-related ills from food (in)security to public health to food illiteracy to our food-desserted cities. With more young people joining this team all the time, there really is a movement going on!
Stephen Moore from Roberts Day
Stephen Moore talked about the creative approach to design for cities practised at Roberts Day. Roberts Day are 'rebirthing infrastructure' in locations all over the world - from Dubai to the Gold Coast. Stephen looked at a local example of Coffs Harbour Council. For this piece of work, Stephen's team proposed an urban regeneration plan for the city which until then - in his words - was based around two priorities: "retail and parking". The council claimed to have no funds to spend on city infrastructure but looking over their planning, Stephen's team discovered that the council had allocated to $8 million over 5 years to new parking. They made a case for diverting these funds into infrastructure conducive to encouraging cycling and the creative arts in Coffs Harbour.
Emilya Colliver - Art Pharmacy
Emilya told us how she studied and worked in fine art and art history in London for 10 years - came back to Australia with a strong desire to make art more affordable - and started Art Pharmacy. She saw a space in the market where she could offer affordable art to the Sydney public and made the most of some physical space around Sydney to exhibit local artists' work.
Emilya also helps burgeoning artists build their profile by showcasing them in pop-up shows like their current exhibition at Under New Management, Oxford Street. Hurrah for a much-needed injection of accessible art in Sydney!
Glen Cassidy - Cake Wines
Anyone who knows whose been out and about in Sydney in the last two years knows Cake Wines. These guys have been prolifically producing cool shit - running pop-up art shows, bringing an old Cleveland St Theatre back to live. They were a major sponsor of Tropfest 2012 and even hosted talks from Wildwon and others at an amazing Tropfest pop-up bar in The Rocks that ran alongside the film festival.
Cake Wines partner with an Adelaide winemaker and package the wine up in labels designed by art created via a Cake Wines exhibition and a whole raft of experiential marketing goodness. Glen shared the story of starting up Cake Wines, an idea sparked while perusing wine in a bottle-O, reminding us they were "two bottles deep at this point".
To date the group has funded a project to develop the world’s smallest patch synthesizer, the Green Bans Art Walk, the Oxford Street Design Store and Exhibition, pop up ping pong in inner Sydney, hula hoop classes and Physique, a weekly 80s themed aerobics night, and of course the Youth Food Movement's Guerrilla Dinner!
While I've been a fan of the Awesome Foundation (thanks to one of its charismatic champions Scott Drummond) for a number of years now it was so great to hear whispers from the crowd all around me saying 'wow.. that is a REALLY good idea!' etc etc.
'How do we make Sydney more creative?'
This was the question put to us on the ideas board at #ideabombingsydney
It appears to us that the question isn't how we make Sydney more creative, but how we highlight and support of all the amazing talent, creativity and brillant ideas that are already going on under our noses!