Rachel Milne View of the Cathedral, 2015, oil on board.
Rachel Milne has undertaken a six-week artist residency within the former Scott’s and, later, David Jones department store, which will culminate in a short-run exhibition in the same building in March.
Renew Newcastle worked with building’s property owners, GPT Group and UrbanGrowth NSW, to allow Milne complete access to all floors of the historic building to develop a collection of oil paintings that depict almost every corner of the once thriving department store.
Milne explains the intrigue of the building, ‘185 Hunter Street seems to mean so much to many Novocastrians. People have told me about their first date in the restaurant, having their hair cut as a child in the salon. To be able to go back in to what was such a bustling space and record what’s left has been a really amazing experience.’
‘The huge floors are beautiful in their own way now they are empty, the ceilings are a tangle of pipes and lights and the pillars throw shadows onto the carpets and walkways. It’s definitely a calm rather than creepy atmosphere and I feel very lucky to be able to record the building as it is now and I hope I can communicate some of the feel of the space through the final exhibition of work.’
Rachel Milne was born in England and moved to Newcastle in 2013. Previously Rachel has worked as a set painter to support her artistic practice. In 2013 Rachel was the winner of the Singleton Portrait Prize and in 2014 was selected as a finalist for Newcastle Art Gallery’s annual Kilgour Prize. Rachel’s works in oil on board, from life, concentrating on interiors and portraiture, with a focus on capturing light. Rachel presented at Renew Newcastle’s Creative Talks in 2014.
A short film by VFA