BY ADDIE MORTON AND GABRIELA SZYMANOWSKA
The annual Inner West Open Studio Trail (IWOST) is opening up local studios for a behind the scenes look for the public. The event encourages the Inner West to explore the art scene near them and to spur interest in art during National Art Month.
Over the span of two weekends, over 100 Inner West studios, galleries and artist run initiatives will host free events, tours, exhibitions and more as part of the Council’s celebration. Opening night is Saturday 10 March at The GreenWay, with the event running from 5-8pm.
Here’s a look into some of the highlights from IWOST’s first weekend.
Wildflower Weaving Workshop
Sun. 11 March 2018
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Nastia Gladushchenko will lead an intimate workshop, giving guests an opportunity to visit her studio and learn the intricacies of basket weaving with materials such as grass and dried wildflowers.
“I hope to blur the boundaries between the human and the plant worlds and to create connections between strangers,” she says.
Gladushchenko is a Sydney-based artist who works with and is inspired by flowers and natural materials, using them to create large-scale installations and murals.
Inner West Council Public Art Officer, Bronwyn Tuohy, says, “[Nastia] is really interested in exploring people’s relationship with the natural environment and showing the ways in which humans connect with and replicate nature.”
Gladushchenko believes showing these connections inspires stronger appreciation of nature in people and a certain happy nostalgia, and “she is keen to engage people of all ages in that experience with the workshop,” Tuohy says.
Darling Street Express
Saturday 10 March,
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Hop on a vintage bus and explore art studios and galleries on the Darling Street Express. The Sydney Bus Museum will host the heritage bus tour of studios in Balmain and Rozelle.
Stops along the way include single art studios, large galleries with up to 50 artists, and jewelry shops. Departure is at 10 a.m.
Canal Road Film Studios Centre Tour
Friday 9 March,
10:00 am, 11:00 am and 1:00 pm
Interested in seeing filming locations for Married at First Sight and The Sapphires? Tour Canal Road Film Centre for a behind the scenes look at the production spaces and technical areas in the feature and documentary film industry.
Canal Road Film Studios Centre offers “dedicated pre-production offices and full production accommodation, workshop space as well as container and truck parking facilities.”
Bronwyn Tuohy said visitors can expect to get “an education of what goes into making films from so many different perspectives and also how important cultural businesses and practices are for the Inner West.”
Visitors can expect to see wig and shoe makers and props stored in aisle after aisle that are all used in different productions.
Saturday 10 March, 11am-3pm
Hand-made hats adorn the cozy, small shop that will host the Millinery High Tea event for the Inner West Open Studio Trail at Embellish Atelier at 128 Victoria Rd, Rozelle.
Catherine Kelly, owner of Embellish, hopes the event encourages participants to understand the time and effort it takes to create each art piece.
“I think it’s just a great opportunity for other little studios and…it’s a collaborative approach and I really like things that are a collaborative approach to getting people to know about other artists and appreciating and respecting, its seeing what goes on,” Kelly said.
The workshop will be serving High tea during the event as participants are shown how to make their own hats.
Boomalli Aboriginal Art
Saturday 10 March and Sunday 11 March,
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Opened in 1987, Boomalli Aboriginal Art promotes the Aboriginal Artists who are located within the NSW boundaries by providing a safe space to represent their artwork to the public.
Boomalli will be hosting their Mardi Gras exhibition, Luscious All Sorts Love One, which showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ artists in an effort to promote love and strength within the community.
“The theme is Love One and it was to play around with the equality, the marriage equality vote that just got voted in last year … and as Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples we’ve got a long way to go to become equal, but I guess this is one step for them to express how they feel, what they wanted to tell with their stories,” Kyra Kum-Sing, curator of the exhibition, said.
The event is an opportunity for the community to get to know their local artists and understand the processes of different creative fields.
The exhibition will be open for the public until 1 April.
Downloadable maps and complete lists of events are available on the Council’s website. (www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/IWOST)