Entries Tagged as '// Culture'

This Is Not Art 2013 – My Schedule

Friday, Sep 27, 2013




For the rookies there’s two things you need to know about This Is Not Art (TiNA).


Firstly, (and mostly to appease the pedant in me) it’s important to understand that TiNA is actually the umbrella name for several Festivals that take place on the same October weekend in Newcastle every year. All of these festivals are dedicated to the development of experimental and emerging arts practice ; arts & media (Critical Animals), cross-disciplinary theatre & performance (Crack Theatre Festival), writers, publishers & performers (National Young Writers’ Festival) and electronic arts (Electrofringe).


Secondly, put aside any notions of what you think the TiNA is and whether it’s relevant to you. Speaking from someone who is falls outside of their target market (I am not a young, emerging artist), there’s still plenty of events that pique my interest each year, enough to book the babysitter and get into town to see some of them.


As for 2012, I have scoured the online program from each sub-festival (bypass TiNA’s online program – it’s a little clunky) for my picks with my usual partiality to National Young Writers’ Festival. My NYWF bias is amplified by schedule conflicts with other Festival events :(


TiNA event ready reckoner [PDF], the print version of which will be distributed between venues from this weekend.


Also, here’s ‘A Novocastrian’s Guide To Newcastle’ I did for NYWF. I’ve received flack in the past for recommendations where the focus is on the CBD and Darby Street. Yes, Newcastle Farmers Market is fantastic as are all the places in Islington and Hamilton and Wickham and….I’m keeping in mind the fact that most visitors are limited by time and by transport options and are usually based in the CBD. Obviously there’s a tonne of hidden gems in other locations. This particular guide is by no means definitive. If you have other suggestions, consider adding them to the comments section of the article.




5pm – 7pm
Renew Newcastle’s Spring City Walk
Start: Make Space, 152 Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle
(off schedule, timed to coincide with TiNA)


6pm – 7.30pm
TiNA Official Launch
Terrace Bar, 529 Hunter St, Newcastle West




8.30am to 10am
Renew Newcastle’s Creative Talks with Ghostpatrol
The Lock-Up Cultural Centre, 90 Hunter St, Newcastle
Bookings required.
(off schedule)


10am to 11.30am
Get Rid of Gina
The Royal Exchange, 34 Bolton Street, Newcastle


1pm to 2.45pm
Creating the City
The Lock-Up Cultural Centre, 90, Hunter Street, Newcastle


2.30pm to 3.30pm
Hey, Good Looking
University House, Auckland Street, Newcastle


Penguin Plays Rough: An Entirely Fabricated History of Fort Scratchley
Fort Scratchley, Nobbys Rd, Newcastle East
Bookings required.




Paper Trail Tour (Newcastle)
Blue Write Disco (The Kensington), 299 Hunter St, Newcastle


11.30am to 12.30pm
Scripts, Scenes & Sluglines
University House Theatre, Auckland St, Newcastle


1pm to 2pm
Salad Days: stories of memorable meals
Blue Write Disco (The Kensington), 299 Hunter St, Newcastle


1pm to 2pm
This One Time… with Dan Ilic
University House Theatre, Auckland St, Newcastle


2.30pm to 3.30pm
How Not To Be A Douche
United Services Club, 55 Watt St, Newcastle


4pm to 5.30pm
90s Literary Trivia
The Clarendon, 347 Hunter St, Newcastle


6pm to 7pm
Recipe for Success
Blue Write Disco at The Kensington, 299 Hunter St, Newcastle


7pm to 8pm
Reading The Trolls
The Royal Exchange, 34 Bolton St, Newcastle





1pm to 2pm
This One Time… with Ellen van Neerven
University House Theatre, Auckland St, Newcastle


2.30pm to 3.30pm
Why Awards?
Watt Street Church, 48 Watt St, Newcastle


Anytime that day. Reading 4pm to 5pm
Watt Space, Auckland St, Newcastle


4pm to 5pm
We Don’t Speak Americano
The Royal Exchange, 34 Bolton St, Newcastle


6pm to 7pm
What the Fuck, Australia…
United Services Club, 55 Watt St, Newcastle


7pm to 9pm
The Royal Exchange, 34 Bolton St, Newcastle

Versus Week at MRAG

Saturday, Apr 7, 2012

An age-old battle of red and blue. Where will you stand? The Roost Creative has teamed up with Maitland Regional Art Gallery who will host Versus, an exhibition to encourage creativity through collaboration and competition. From the MRAG website:
This May some of Australia’s finest illustrators, graphic designers and street artists are hitting the Hunter. MRAGwill be a blaze with the battle of the pigments. Featuring works from Travis Price, Ben Mitchell, Carlo Delos Santos, Georgia Rose Leighton & Binary Creative this is a show you won’t soon forget! With live music and amazing murals on show, along with live designing, this show will bring the house down. So what are you waiting for? Lock it in your calendar. The 5th of May at 7pm, your world about to be turned upside down.
02 4934 9859
Tue to Sun 10am to 5pm

Masters of Hollywood

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012


Greater Union (Tower) Cinemas Newcastle continues to cement its reputation for showcasing independent and foreign films on top of an expanding film festival calendar.

As part of their Masters of Hollywood series, you can enjoy limited screenings of classic movies including The Philadelphia Story and Cinema Paradiso. There are two daily sessions for each screening:

// Matinee: 10am morning tea, 10.30am film
// Evening: 6pm drinks and canapes, 7pm film

Grab a choc top and enjoy the golden days of Hollywood.

For movie session dates and times and to purchase tickets go here.

Reframe Newcastle

Sunday, Oct 9, 2011

Last Monday I had the chance to get along to the Reframe Newcastle exhibit at The Roost Creative Space. It’s a project which has me a little less than super excited.

The project came about when Newcastle City Council put out a tender for updated stock photos that they would use for promoting Newcastle. Rollingball Productions, a local creative agency pitched a concept a little left field that won the tender.

Rollingball’s unconventional and ambitious idea was to commission Stephen Dupont to lead a 7-day masterclass with eight local emerging photographers chosen from a pool of around 50 applicants. This would provide a petri dish of style and experience to reframe Newcastle.

The group got about ticking the 80 post images in the brief but were also give free range to then include images of the City that, in each photographers own style, highlight hidden aspects and the scenes that define its character. Maybe NCC would end up using some of them.

How great is that?

With the benefit of fresh eyes and old stereotypes of a steel city linging in his mind Stephen Dopont admits his surprise at  the cafe and restaurant culture as well as the inner city art culture. “I knew about the surf and beaches but the cafe and art was a real surprise for me. There are things happening in this city.”

Now that the blueprint for a project of the nature is set there is the potential to configure Masterclasses that not only offer emerging talent new and invaluable experience but also benefit local organisations and businesses achieve their promotional goals. Imagine Masterclasses on travel writing, app building, website production, street art, poetry….

  Stephen talks about the Project with some of the emerging photogs to the left.

Stephen takes answers from the floor.

The photos will be exhibited in an upcoming Nobby’s Headland Open Day. I’ll keep you posted on when.

In the meantime I have a small series of Q&As from some of the photographers that were a part of producing the images that will forever reframe Newcastle. I hope you enjoy.


Friday, Sep 9, 2011


It’s been a little quiet over here lately, mainly because I am working on a new project, TEDxNewy.

If you are not familiar with TED, TEDx or the hugely popular TEDTalks (maybe start with the most viewed) you may want to brush up before applying to attend the Newcastle event which will be held at the Playhouse Theatre on November 12.

It’s going to be a pretty rad day.

Look Hear 2011

Monday, Aug 15, 2011


LOOK HEAR 2011 from Chris Stonestreet.

Come hear creative and clever people speaking at the Look Hear events in Newcastle Region Gallery. More details here.

LOVE this video. 

Still Life with Trevor Dickinson

Thursday, Jul 14, 2011

Today was the official opening of Trevor Dicksinson‘s mural in the Newcastle Beach Tunnel.

Pomp and ceremony included cutting of the ribbon and free icecreams.

Well done Trevor & NCC

This Is Not Cool

Friday, Jul 8, 2011


The incredibly diverse and interesting This Is Not Art festival is one of the more positive and influential events for our local economy and identity. The bad news is, TINA has not had their funding of $18,000 pa renewed via Newcastle City Council’s Community Grant scheme.

If you believe that Newcastle is a place which nurtures creativity, innovation and collaboration please pledge your support to help keep TINA remain the draw card it is and head over to Pozible now

The Pigeon Coop, Wickham

Thursday, Jun 9, 2011

(1 comment)
A delightful story by Matt Bevan from ABC1233 of an art space growing at one of the old wool sheds in Wickham called The Pigeon Coop. It’s a rather large pigeon coop.

Potential Town.

Renew Newcastle + Newcastle Morning Photos Exhibition

Monday, Feb 28, 2011

(1 comment)
Wow. What a whirlwind last week was. Not only did I have my regular blogging to attend to, but I was also on the event committee for the Fig Tree Community Garden’s inaugural Trivia Night on Friday night. Plus there was the case of a co-ordinating #newcastlemorningphotos into a fully-fledged photography exhibition within one of the Signalman’s cottages atop Nobby’s Headland (having been closed to the public for over 100 years) by the same Friday.

The ever -inspiring duo of Marcus Westbury and Marni Jackson from Renew Newcastle hatched a plan to exhibit submissions from the newcastlemorningphoto Flickr group as a way of reactivating a property they had been given the responsibility of managing over two weekends, once in February and in March. Hopefully that responsibility will continue with more openings while a permanent solution is found.

It was an absolute hoot and a terrific opportunity that I feel very privileged to have been a part of. Additionally working with Marni Jackson was incredible. The lady is pure professionalism / smarts / style.

The LPMA did A LOT of work ensuring the historic Nobby’s Headland was safe and presentable for the opening to the public. The three Signalman’s cottages have not been inhabited for over 15 years and had become a refuge for pigeons. No doubt the former winged inhabitants have bonded with their neighbours just down the coast from the former Merewether Surf Club, all casing a new joint to call home.

Basically, in a matter of four weeks the lounge room of one of the cottages went from this…..

To this… 

Between some brief publicity about the opening of Nobby’s and the intended exhibition in late January until the closing date for submissions in mid-February (two weeks), the number of members in the newcastlemorningphoto Flickr group grew from 45 to 120. The number of photo submissions to the group went from a couple of hundred to over 600. The day after closing submissions, Marni, Carol Duncan (who is the clever clogs who invented the whole #newcastlemorningphoto hashtag on Twitter) and myself met to make the final selection for the exhibition. I’d worked out while preparing my favourites for the selection process that many of them fitted loose themes: sunrise, baths, beach, valley, river, harbour and urban. Plus many of the original submissions to the group back in August consisted of mostly people’s breakfasts and their morning coffee. In the end these groups became room themes within one of the cottages.

All in all we ended up with 52 images by 37 contributors.

Then it was a matter of contacting all the photographers via Flickr to see if they’d be interested in taking part and having them returning pic files and paperwork. The turnaround on this was three days – everyone was stunning in their response rate and the excitement was palpable.

In the meantime I had sourced sponsorship of printing with ProAm (Adamstown Plaza, 289 Brunker Rd, Adamstown) and mounting with Lion Studio (167 King St, Newcastle). These local businesses should be applauded for their enthusiastic, unwaivering support. Super-tight deadline handled with aplomb.  Did I mention the three day turnaround? Legends.

Marni was busy organising volunteer schedules, promotion, paperwork and lots of other important behind the scenes stuff she’d never let on to, all the while maintaining her unflappable nature.

Lara at Zookraft (a Renew project) did an AMAZING job designing the exhibition pamphlet, banner and name plaques, Oh and they mounted all the names plaques too (phew!). Did I mention the three day turn-around on this?

With the exhibition due to open at 10am on Friday 25 February, Marni and I set about hanging the photos the day before. 

The next day, Nobby’s was open for business. Looking very spiffy with a fresh coat of paint, the extraordinary SES volunteers helping out and lots of eager beaver locals looking for a new vantage point from which to admire their city.

It only occurred to me that morning, while I eavesdropped on visitors viewing the exhibition, just how vibrant, busy and vital the Harbour of Newcastle really is. Coal ships were escorted in and out by bossy tugs, fighter jets from Williamstown RAAF base screamed past the Headland for practice runs, seals played in the water next to kayakers riding waves in along the breakwall. The Westpac Rescue helicopter performed  precarious practice pick-ups in the surf at Nobby’s Beach while kitesurfers and sunbathers looked on. All the while people making the trek up the hill to see the sights from up on high.

 Old fella taking some newcastlemorningphotos of his own.

 The photographers, volunteers, VIPs and their guests at the official opening.

 Looking up to this.

And back to the City of Newcastle.

Nobby’s will be open again on Fri 11, Sat 12 & Sun 13 March from 10am to 4pm. You do need to book a time to view the site. Tickets are free. For more information go here 

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