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The Emporium becomes a significant piece of DJ’s history

24 May 2017 | Posted in: News

Emporium March 2017

The contribution of The Emporium to Newcastle’s redevelopment has been long and fruitful. It’s time now for it to bow gracefully from its role in the city’s revitalisation to make way for new development.

This week Renew Newcastle received notice from the building owners, Iris Capital, to vacate the former David Jones building. As per the Renew Newcastle Property License Agreement, tenants will vacate the building within 30 days.

General Manager, Christopher Saunders said “Renew’s role in property activation has always been as ‘custodians’ bringing life and activity to otherwise empty spaces, until either party wish to exit the agreement”.

The Emporium has been our flagship retail space since 2012 and its participants have created an iconic tourist destination that has been a major player in the cultural change bringing Newcastle to life.”

“Attracting interest in the city from developers is part of our overall renewal plan. The Emporium is a clear example of how Renew Newcastle’s temporary activation increases the potential of a property,” Saunders said.

The Emporium has enabled 39 creative businesses to blossom, 22 of them progressing into ongoing business ventures. Five have taken on commercial leases in the city. Over 40 exhibitions have been held in the gallery spaces. 1000’s of customers have visited creating an enormous amount of goodwill among the community by keeping this building activated.

Renew participants continue to operate in 27 underutilised office and studio spaces in the city. Renew Newcastle now also has a presence in Hamilton at the Clock Tower Studios a temporary home for seven photographers. The participants in Clock Tower studios are welcoming the public to an exciting event on June 2nd showcasing a range of work and introducing themselves to Beaumont Street businesses and Hamilton residents.

“We are constantly looking for additional property owners who see the benefits of housing temporary businesses. In 2015 the Emporium became the only retail space available to us from among our current property partners”, said Christopher.

The creative businesses from within The Emporium have been encouraged to take the opportunities a simultaneous exit offers. Seeking to take on a commercial lease and create a collaborative maker or retail space in a new location is an option they may explore.

Saunders is unaware of the immediate future plans for the former David Jones building, but considers “Renew’s role in the building’s history to have been very significant”.

“We look forward to continuing with this success in other underutilised spaces,” he said.

Final gestures on The Stage

22 May 2017 | Posted in: News

Fran O'Neill - The Stage-1775

By Rayanon Innes

Fran O’Neill’s huge gestures bring her memories to life on canvas and will be the final exhibition in Renew Newcastle’s gallery space in The Emporium.

“I’m always grateful for anyone that would want to show my work. It’s extraordinary that anyone would want to do that.”

Fran O’Neill’s words are extremely humble for the Wangaratta-born artist whose abstract oil paintings continue to floor the American market.

Having recently returned from her ten week trip in the states, Fran is back inside her Renew studio, oiled-glove to canvas, with little time on the side to reflect on the string of successful solo exhibitions and university workshops she led while overseas.

Fran’s tour of the states saw her exhibit in Brooklyn, Jacksonville and Atlanta and she has now found time and works to display as the final exhibitor on The Stage in The Emporium.

Her work is created using huge gestures, layering on paint and then using her body or other material to remove it again. She manipulates oil paints and water colours to recreate moments in life that have impacted her.

“Fran will be one of 40 artists to have exhibited in Renew Newcastle’s affordable gallery space in the former David Jones building, many of whom would not have been able to do so elsewhere,” said Renew General Manager Christopher Saunders.

As a multipurpose space in the heart of The Emporium it has not only been a place for hung works, but has hosted workshops, live painting, public critiques and assessments, music and sound related performances and activities.

Fran already has a number of nationwide exhibitions in the works with dates soon to be announced, but for now you can see her work on The Stage in The Emporium until 17 June.

Getting under the skin of beauty and science

22 May 2017 | Posted in: News

Savant Apothecary - The Emporium-1430By Rayanon Innes

Kylie Myatt takes the term ‘skin smart’ to alluring new heights. With five years of biochemistry studies and almost her whole working life within the beauty industry, Kylie truly embodies her new skincare business Savant Apothecary in every sense of the name.

With appropriate reference to the 14th century definition of a person skilled in the preparing and dispersing of medicines, Kylie’s abundant knowledge within bio-science married with years of experience running her own beauty therapy spa in Western Australia qualifies her as a true modern-day apothercarist. The ‘savant’ aspect shows in the dedication to running her business despite her lack of free time and space as a mother.

“As it’s growing and getting busier, I really need that separate making space. Where at home, I’m sterilising the kitchen table and the cupboards in between school hours”.

Although it will now only be until 17 June, Kylie’s new shopfront in The Emporium will enable her to produce custom-made organic skincare products on-site and to the individual requirements of her customers. Apothecary Savant differentiates themselves from other skincare brands by understanding the science of skin and offering creams, oils, serums, soaks, and scrubs that haven’t had any shortcuts in their creation.

“You turn a box around and read the ingredients and see there’s forty or fifty ingredients in there but really there’s only four or five that really matter…

…I keep looking for those ingredients and try to find out what is working in skincare and why”.

Get in quick to meet Kylie the apothecarist, view and try her skincare products in now pop-up retail space in The Emporium until 17 June.

Creative Industries at summit of regional development

18 May 2017 | Posted in: News

creative copy

With the ever-growing prominence of Newcastle as a hotbed for successful creative enterprise, it is only appropriate that this year’s Building Regional Development Summit be held a stone’s throw north in Nambucca Heads. With the theme of the summit focusing on jobs, growth and prosperity, the invitation for Renew Newcastle’s General Manager, Christopher Saunders, to be invited as keynote speaker is recognition of the role Renew is playing the local economy.

“Renew was born through the innovation and imagination of people willing to make something happen,” said Christopher.

“It is those people who understand that creativity can breed activity bringing opportunities for urban and employment growth to develop,” he said.

As stated in the NSW Regional Development Framework, some regions have a strong need for projects and funding directed at alternative emerging and self-sufficient industries. It indicates that regional towns with an ageing industry can benefit from low-cost, community led initiatives.

Newcastle is advancing through innovative entrepreneurship within the creative and cultural sectors and illustrates the statement well. It is the initiatives of local creatives and small business owners that carved a new identity for Newcastle.

At the conference Christopher presented how the incubation and continued cultivation of the creative industries instigated not only urban growth and renewal within the Newcastle CBD area but across Australia and the globe. The issue concerning Renew now is how to sustain the cultural integrity of this sector following commercial success and gentrification.

The newly established School of Creative Industries at the University of Newcastle recognises the arts is accumulating significant value within the local and wider economy. The graduation of business ready students from this program forecasts an optimistic future for the increasingly burgeoning creative industries of Newcastle.


The Art of Name-dropping

18 May 2017 | Posted in: News

Ryan performing in church 2

Richilieu? Shimauma? After over two decades of writing, acting, composing, and photography, Ryan Burrett is making a name for himself; in much simpler terms.

“I’ve always kind of had creative aliases… I just think it’s time for me to rely on my name”.

Ryan is the eighth Renew participant to join the league of creatives working within Hamilton’s Clock Tower Studios space. Although the majority of particiapants’ work in Clock Tower Studios centre around professional photography and photo-media, Ryan – in addition to his own photography – will be using his space to compose and record audio and visual material for a number of projects he’s currently involved in. These projects will span from co-producing a series of studio albums to developing a sound bank for commercial audio uses including advertising jingles.

Having spent most of his life living both in Melbourne and overseas writing and performing for theatre, Ryan is thrilled to be back in the little coastal town he remembers from his early youth; “It’s easy to forget just how derelict the mall was and to see how far it’s come”. Ryan is especially looking forward to being in a collaborative working space with other artists and small business owners local to Newcastle;

“It’s at that perfect time where there is a lot of people here doing creative things…

It’s a well-kept secret”.

The Clocktower Studios in Hamilton will be holding an open studio night on the 2nd of June. Exclusive film and photography screenings courtesy of the resident artists will be projected out on the Clocktower courtyard for the public to view.