Menu Search


Multi-disciplinary arts practice studio

Property Donor: The GPT Group & UrbanGrowth NSW

Launched: 14 April 2014

Closed: 19 December 2014

about Assembly

Writes Lucas Maddock: ‘My short few months with RN were very valuable, affording me some much needed germination and research time. Having good working spaces and community is an extremely valuable thing. The rental squeeze in Melbourne has meant that I am now working from my one bedroom apartment/studio/office and periodically renting workshop space – I now, more than ever, can appreciate the value RN offers its artists.

During my time with RN, in the office space of the Assembly collective, I completed the research and production-planning phase behind my latest sculpture project New Hypothetical Continents which is currently on exhibition at the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park in Victoria. It was also exhibited at the Mission to Seafarers in Melbourne late last year. The Assembly offices also provided the space to develop and establish our new arts-services business which I co-run with my wife and collaborator Tess Cullity. CM Arts Assist helps artists access grants and other opportunities and also provides an editing and proofreading service to the Arts community and was developed in the Assembly offices with the assistance of New Hunter Business.’

Details on this project can be found at:

Assembly is a new multidisciplinary work environment which brings together three diverse creative practices in a single open-office workspace.

The space hosts visual artist Lucas Maddock, writer Tess Cullity, the collaborative visual ethnography and art of Dr Benjamin Matthews + Victoria Baskin Coffey and dynamic multi-use communal areas.

The open office space is designed to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, creative-community development.

Tess Cullity Tess Cullity is a writer of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and lyric essays. She holds an Honours (1st class) in English Literature from Latrobe University, Melbourne, and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Philosophy and English Literature from The University of Sydney. Some of her short fiction and creative nonfiction work can be found on her blog, Poetics of Care

Lucas Maddock Lucas Maddock is an award-winning contemporary artist working with a cross-disciplinarly approach to sculpture, installation and new-media. His practice has an emphasis on critical dialogue, collaboration, and new forms of presentation. Lucas’ works are concept and project-based and vary greatly in medium and form. This year he is fully-funded to create works in stone, wire-mesh and lighting installation. Previously Lucas has worked in bronze, fibreglass, video and performance. He exhibits in the non-profit sector and gains support from grant-bodies, private trusts, and public museums/galleries – exhibiting in non-commercial spaces such as ARIs and public galleries. Lucas’ work can be viewed at

Dr Benjamin Matthews + Victoria Baskin Coffey Benjamin and Victoria have developed a practice that combines multimedia responses to urban cultures with expository and creative writing. Their work is ethnographic and primarily concerned with tribute phenomena (eg Ghost Bikes) and street art. They are presently constructing films and compiling stills that both narrativise and provide direct sensory accounts of these ethnographic contexts.

Dr Benjamin Matthews is a Cultural Anthropologist with an interest in urban cultures, visuality and emergent network cultures. He holds a PhD, Bachelor of English Honours, and Bachelor of Communication from the University of Newcastle. He is an experienced lecturer, and for 13 years has taught in the disciplines of Communication Studies, Cultural Studies and Sociology. His current work in the creative industries includes: copy writing and editing; media planning and consultancy; creative consultancy; research report preparation and editing; and focus group facilitation.

Victoria Baskin Coffey is an artist and visual anthropologist, and an experienced creative with a diverse skillset. She is a filmmaker, photographer, graphic designer and writer with over eight years experience in the creative industries. She has studied at the master’s level in anthropology at the ANU, holds a Bachelor of Communication from the University of Newcastle and a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment. She graduated from the prestigious Sydney based design institute, Shillington’s College and subsequently worked on a number of major media production projects including the award winning ABC television series Dance Academy, and the feature film Tomorrow When the War Began. She is an academic teacher of five years experience, working as a tutor and participating in curricula development in the discipline of Communication at the University of Newcastle and the Newcastle International College in the areas of digital communication and video production. Alongside her collaborative work with cultural anthropologist, Dr Benjamin Matthews, she is developing her solo artistic work as a part of the series entitled, “The Babe Project”. Elements of this work can be viewed on her website Pablo’s Goats. Here she employs a variety of tools and media to create portraits of female figures in unique states of clarity and distortion: an experiment that comments on the remediation of feminities and myths of beauty in contemporaneity.

What inspired you to get involved in Renew Newcastle?
Having good and conducive space is very important. Renew Newcastle is a fantastic way to get the space we need.

What are you doing in your new space?
The space is being used to support a plethora of projects and is currently being used for writing, meetings, and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Tess and Lucas recently launched their new art-advisory business from this site calld CM Arts Assist which is helping artists to manage their practices and access funding and other opportunities. Lucas has used the space to produce several new-work propositions, applications, and project management such as large-scale sculpture project New Hypothetical Continents which he is currently building in the Artery Coop in Melbourne. The space was launched with an opening event and exhibition in April.