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The Woods

Artist run studio & gallery

Property Donor: The GPT Group

about The Woods


Sadly The Woods has closed so Chelsey, Sophia and Elsie can pursue other creative endeavors.

The Woods is a creative space, conceived deep in the minds of Chelsey Johns, Sophia Flegg and Elsie Stuart. Part gallery, part vintage store, with a dash of handicrafts, The Woods aims to invigorate, restore and inspire Newcastle with an eclectic collection of things we like.

Sophia Flegg is the artist of the group and has spent the past few years painting from her lounge room. She is looking forward to not only exhibiting her own works, but helping local artists find loving homes for their creations as well.

Elsie Stuart is an avid collector of vintage clothing and has previously run her own online store. Her hand picked pieces are just some of the items available for purchase at The Woods.

What inspired you to get involved in Renew Newcastle?

Sophia put out a call via Facebook for creative people who would be interested in getting involved in a project. Seeing an opportunity to help rejuvenate Newcastle’s CBD whilst being able to pursue our own creative interests, both Chelsey and Elsie answered the call and many high powered business meetings ensued.

How did you come up with the name?

Coming up with a name is so much harder than you think! Throwing words like “Toast” and “Hat” around wasn’t really cutting it so we had to delve a little deeper. We wanted a place we could escape to, something slightly sinister, wild and majestic. All of these things we found in the name The Woods.

Tell us about the space…

Before becoming a part of Renew Newcastle, the space was occupied by a watchmaker however for the past couple of years it has been used through Renew as a zine shop.

At our first meeting with Renew, we expressed our interest in a space that needed a lot of elbow grease to bring up to scratch and boy did they deliver! Hole-ridden carpet, a leaky roof and a wall covered in glue residue were just some of the challenges we were presented with. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed throwing ourselves into rejuvenating our diamond in the rough and can’t wait to share the end result.

What are you doing in your new space?

We have been presented with a unique and rare opportunity to showcase what we love to the community and we want to share this with as many creative people as possible. Our goal is for The Woods to be a collection of interesting, exciting and quirky pieces from a diverse range of people, not just our own work.

Right now we are renovating: sanding, painting, ripping up carpet and making the space habitable with the help of family and friends. Once completed we’re going to operate as a gallery, vintage and handmade store. We intend on having plenty of events as well, exhibiting works and selling pieces made by local artisans.