Contemporary Art Gallery
Property Donor: Invictus P/L
Launched: 30 June 2014
Closed: 22 December 2014
Who are you?
Winston Mitchell, 33 year old designer originally from Sydney.
Around 8 years ago after a chance encounter with a gallery owner I began a business as an art courier transporting artworks for some of Sydney’s most prestigious galleries, auction houses and collectors. I immediately fell in love with the art scene and less than a year later while still working as an art courier myself and two friends saw an opportunity to convert a vacant warehouse space on Cleveland St, Redfern into an art gallery which we successfully operated from 2007-2009.
For the 3 years it operated I was involved in the day to day logistics of the gallery which included the hanging of works for all the shows. When we finally closed in 09 I used my contacts in the industry and became a full time professional art hanger for many of the collectors and galleries that I had once transported art for. Since then I still hang for select clients and also work at the Art auctions once a month back in Sydney.
In 2010 I made a decision to pursue a life long dream of becoming a furniture designer and began a degree in Industrial Design at Enmore Design Centre which eventually brought me here for my final year at Newcastle University. Last year I studied for a semester at the iconic Bauhaus University in Germany where I designed and built a chair which has since been featured on various design websites. Since then I have focused mainly on chair design and have a hand full of prototypes that I hope to get into production in the near future.
What do you do?
I am currently working as a freelance Designer and also work for an Art Auctioneer back in Sydney once a month.
I collaborate with other designers regularly in Sydney and in Melbourne which sees me doing anything from prop design, furniture design to interiors for bars and residential spaces. I am passionate about furniture design in particular and have quite a unique collection of chairs which you will see displayed at the gallery space. I have also recently had my first solo exhibition as a designer/artist in which I constructed a series of works from LEGO which was a lot of fun.
At the end of the day I feel it is important to not pigeon hole myself creatively. I love being involved in all facets of design and art and the galley space, which will operate day to day as a creative studio as well as an art gallery will always be a place where designers and artist can create and collaborate on exciting projects.
Why inspired you to get involved with Renew Newcastle? When recently moving up here to finish my Degree in Industrial Design at the University of Newcastle I was introduced to the Renew scheme through a friend and thought it would be a great opportunity to establish an art gallery. I had such an amazing experience with my first gallery ‘Black and Blue’ in Sydney in 2007 and have been looking for an opportunity to do a similar project again. I have always been involved in the arts and a big supporter of young, up and coming artists. I feel that there is a huge amount of talent, opportunity and support here in Newcastle and I’m definitely excited to be given the opportunity to be a part of the future of Newcastle’s arts scene.
Tell us what you will be doing in your new space?
Primarily The Endz will be operating as a contemporary art gallery. Shows will run for between two and four weeks. I will be featuring both artists from Newcastle and Sydney.
As I really want there to be a general buzz of activity all the time in the space I also plan to host a number of different events, such as weekly life drawing classes, poetry nights, performance art and screenings.
I am also currently working as a freelance Industrial Designer so the space will also double as a daily studio for myself were I can create, work on projects and collaborate with other designers and artists.
Previously the space was a retail outlet I believe and had been vacant for some time. There has been a huge amount of work to do to get it to a presentable and usable space but it has definitely been worth while as you will see in the finished product.