ARTIST AND ILLUSTRATOR
Address: Suite 1, 451 Hunter Street, Newcastle
Hours: By appointment
Property Donor: GPT/Urban Growth Group
Launched: 27 October 2014
Who are you?
My name is Lachlan Conn. I grew up in Geelong and before moving up here I lived in Hobart and Melbourne. I’ve worked as a web and print designer in the past and run a couple of art spaces and played in bands but right now I’m usually drawing pictures.
What do you do?
I’m an artist and illustrator. I’m represented by The Jacky Winter Group for commercial illustration and make a modest living mostly doing cartoony drawings for TV commercials, water bottles, shopping bags, collector plates and inflight magazines. I also have a fine art practice. Sometimes this takes the form of prints and comics and objects. Other times, often when I’m collaborating with my friend Michael Prior as Chronox, it takes the form of installations and videos and performances that incorporate light, sound, movement and sculpture.
What inspired you to get involved in Renew Newcastle?
For the past couple of years I’d been working in the front room of a tiny house that I share with my partner. Then we had a baby and somehow our house got even smaller. So space became an issue. We had moved to Blacksmiths from Melbourne two years ago and I felt kind of cut off from Newcastle and its culture. I wanted to work in the middle of town and try to remedy that. I don’t earn enough to rent an office and my needs aren’t really met by co-working spaces.
I also love the Renew project as an idea and want to be a part of it. I was a longtime NYWF/TINA attendee (participating as a speaker, performer, volunteer and exhibitor) so I saw Renew emerge out of that. I’ve run no-profit art spaces and worked for small media orgs, and Renew feels like a natural fit to me.
What are you doing in your new space?
A lot of my work is done at a desk, with a computer and a drawing tablet. Other parts of my day can include printmaking, drawing with natural media, scanning, bookkeeping, photography, endless emailing, audio production and light sculptural work.
Mostly I’m making illustrations for clients. I’ll also be working on other illustrative projects such as prints, books and small objects. The rest of the time I’m working on fine art stuff, usually collaboratively. That can involve video and sound work and object-making. There’ll be some plant watering, music listening and procrastinating going on too.
Tell us about the space – what was its previous use? Anything unique about it? Your response to the space?
The space I’m in now is a former dental surgery. So there’s lots of sinks and storage, and a lovely built-in Muzak sound-system that still works. I’m sharing with a talented bunch of illustrators and artists, there’s Benny Rizzo‘s Risograph setup, and if I feel like a hamburger at 2am I can just go downstairs and get one. It’s pretty sweet.
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