Leila Rudge

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013



L: Illustrator Leila Rudge in her home studio. R: Leila’s drawing desk with materials and references at the ready. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


Leila Rudge. What a star. She emailed me a couple of weeks back to introduce herself and because I instantly fell in love with her illustrations (be sure to check out her blog, link at the end of this post) and the lady herself after reading this ‘interview’ I hoped she’d take part in a TNF Q&A. Not only did she turn around the Q&A in a matter of days, she had no qualms with my request to visit her studio to see where the magic happens. Model interviewee!


As you may have noticed I have been trying really hard this year to include original photos for posts on The Novocastrian Files to sit alongside participant’s Q&As. It’s a lot more work, but I think that it’s worth it. Especially on occasions such as when I headed over to Leila’s apartment in Hamilton that she shares with partner Trystan Eeles (who is playing a gig with his band The Buzzard Mix at The Terrace Bar, 529 Hunter St, Newcastle West, this Friday evening).


Here I was thinking I was going to be taking a pic or two of Leila in her home studio. What I hadn’t counted on was the most adorable apartment I had clapped eyes on in a long, long time. From the moment I arrived at the front door, painted entirely in green chalkboard paint with an elaborate door-knocker expertly drawn in chalk for decoration, I knew there was more magic behind that door than I had at first supposed…



L: Who doesn’t love a purpose painted calendar on their office door? R: The cosy reading nook in the studio. Photos – Siobhan Curran.




Condensed CV:

I completed an Illustration degree at Bath Spa University, and then jumped on a plane to Australia. Hello sunshine!


In 2009, I illustrated my first children’s book Duck for a Day, which was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year Award – Younger Reader’s category. No Bears, my second collaboration with Meg McKinlay also popped up on the shortlist in the Picture Book of the Year and Early Childhood categories of the 2012 CBCA awards. The sequel to Duck for a Day, Definitely No Ducks was released in early this year alongside Ted, my first solo project.


What has been your most memorable project?

Definitely Ted. I get a warm and fuzzy feeling seeing him hanging out in bookshops.



L: Studio details R: Leila gets busy on character studies for a new book. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


What would be your dream project?

Something to do with illustration and food. And travel. Perhaps a travelling food journal? Hmmm… Back to the drawing board.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Turning my picture book obsession into an occupation.


What is your most treasured possession?

A big box of support from friends and family…



Leila works on character studies for her next book. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


What does a typical day at work involve for you?

Lots of drawing. And tea. And emails. My studio is freezing so keeping warm is usually high on my agenda. (Ed’s note: I loved that Leila is wearing Ugg’s in her portrait!)


What is your most valuable pearl of wisdom gained since starting your business?

Sometimes it’s best to stop worrying and start working.


Where do you derive creative inspiration?

It seems to pop up in all shapes and sizes. Newspaper clippings, old raffle tickets, overheard conversations and brown paper bags.



Lounge room details. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


Which other designers, artists or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment?

On a recent tour of the bookshops in France, I was blown away by Beatrice AlemagnaIsabelle Arsenault and Anne Herbauts. Picture book perfection.


What are some of your favourite websites or blogs?

My New RootsSeven Impossible Things Before BreakfastLove and LemonsThe Design FilesFine Fine Books, Weekday CarnivalPikalandSF Girl By Bay. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in cyberspace…


Apart from your work, what other interests, passions, hobbies do you have?

Sketching ticks all those boxes but other fun things include morning yoga and afternoon walks. All things foodie. Drinking tea and curling up with Grand Designs



Entry to Leila’s apartment with an alcove that doubles as pantry. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


How long have you been a Novocastrian?

Five years and one month…


Newcastle in a word?

Goldilocks “Just right.”


What do you love and hate about living in Newcastle?

The empty spaces…


How is Newcastle different to anywhere else?

It’s exciting to watch a city take shape… Newcastle has only just begun.



The kitchen has been recently renovated to include cement counter-tops and Ikea cabinets. Photos – Siobhan Curran. 

Where are your favourite places in Newcastle / Hunter to:

 + eat

Subo (551D Hunter St, Newcastle) is super special.


+ drink

Caffestry (143 Pacific St, Newcastle) has an amazing assortment of teas.


+ shop

MacLeans Booksellers (69 Beaumont St, Hamilton) is my happy place.


+ play

Merewether Baths (Henderson Pde, Merewether) are perfect for a dip.


+ relax

Lauren Ozard (165 Darby St, Cooks Hill) is a massage magician.


What is Newcastle / Hunter’s best-kept secret?

This week – A spot in the garden at Goodness Me Organics (617 Glebe Rd, Adamstown). Next week? Who knows…



Leila and Trystan’s bedroom. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


Website: www.leilarudge.com

Blog: leilarudge.blogspot.com.au

Facebook: www.facebook.com/leilarudgeillustration



L: The bright bathroom recently renovated with butcher and pennyroyal tiles. R: An exit with a handcrafted message. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


Lloyd Kellett / One Man’s Trash

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013



Lloyd Kellett’s out-of-work-hours business, One Man’s Trash, now with shopfront at The Emporium. Photos – Siobhan Curran


The latest round of Renew Newcastle projects at The Emporium (the former David Jones) on Hunter Street Mall have turned up some cracking talent for all to see (Thu – Sat). On a recent visit I was particularly taken with the treasures inside One Man’s Trash. Lloyd Kellett not only builds race-winning billy carts but assembles lighting, furniture and homewares pieces using reclaimed timbers and spare parts that are positively Burton-esque.


If necessity if the mother of invention, Lloyd is its father…his industrial inventions are indeed necessary for anyone who appreciates fine craftsmanship.




Condensed CV:

Gyprocker and bricklayer by trade, in building industry for the last 20 years. Working a day job as a sign installer currently. Began building furniture in December 2012 as we needed a desk for a nook in our home, found some materials in the shed and it has evolved from there.


What has been your most memorable project?

Building Tiny Dancer – the second fastest billy cart in all the land.





Top: Billycarts Tiny Dancer (front) and Toe Cutter (back). Photo – Brett Piva. Bottom: Camera shy Lloyd at it in his workshop in Wallsend. Photo – Mel Kellett. 


What would be your dream project?

Turning One Man’s Trash into the day job would be the ultimate goal. Any project that came along with that would be great.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

The fit-out of our storefront on a tight budget and timeframe.


What is your most treasured possession?

My collection of collections.



L: One Man’s Trash desk, office chair with castors, desk lamp and organiser. R: Laboratory aromatherapy oil burner. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


What does a typical day at work involve for you?

Well the day job Monday to Friday involves sign installation and all that comes with that. Once I knock off of an evening I am either to the shed to work on custom orders, projects etc or out to an install. There is also phone calls to return, emails and quotes to do.


What is your most valuable pearl of wisdom gained since starting your business?

Sleep is overrated.


Where do you derive creative inspiration?

From rusty, discarded items. I see the potential and make it up from there in my head.



Locket necklaces available at One Man’s Trash. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


Which other designers, artists or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment?

Not really into art or anything like that so don’t know of any sorry.


What are some of your favourite websites or blogs?

The freebies section of Gumtree is a personal fave.


Apart from your work, what other interests, passions, hobbies do you have?

In my spare time I am into billy carting, music and eating.




The incredible assemblage of Lloyd’s lamps. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


How long have you been a Novocastrian?

Originally from Tamworth and Gunnedah, I moved here about 20 years ago. That makes me a legit Novocastrian, I think.

Newcastle in a word?



What do you love and hate about living in Newcastle?

The people. Everyone knows everyone.


How is Newcastle different to anywhere else?

The variety. The beaches, the history, the suburbs. So much to do for all kinds of people.



L: Another of Lloyd’s lamps – they are very photogenic! R: A little fascination with skulls x homewares throughout the store. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


Where are your favourite places in Newcastle / Hunter to:

+ eat

T&Ps Fire Station Pies (31 Union St, Cooks Hill)


+ drink

I don’t actually drink. My other half loves the coffee and eats from One Penny Black (cnr Hunter & Morgan Sts, Newcastle) though.


+ shop

Auld & Grey (92 Maitland Rd, Islington)


+ play

No time for that!


+ relax

My workshop with a project or seven on the go.


What is Newcastle / Hunter’s best-kept secret?

People will need to come visit our great city to find out!



Bookends perfect for some vintage reads. Photo – Siobhan Curran.


Shop: One Man’s Trash , The Emporium, 185 Hunter St, Newcastle. Thu 10am – 6pm, Fri 10am – 5pm, Sat 10am – 4pm.

Facebook: onemanstrashaustralia


Around Town

Friday, Jul 12, 2013





Welcome to Newcastle with Zookraft.


These are the people in your neighbourhood.


Ride the city = bike hire spots.


Or maybe stationary bikes are more your thing?


Monuments that move you.


Did Jiya the rude cockatiel ever return home?


All signs point to The Regal.


What’s in your glass?


Monster awakenings in Newcastle’s streets.


Artists and their shoes.


Ever wanted to live (or exhibit) at The Lock-Up?


PS The winner of the Style Trader giveaway is Sally Crossman. x

Ali Wanchap / Jude

Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013



L: Knitwear label Jude by Ali Wanchap R: Irresistibly soft Smith jumper. Photos –  James Bennett.


This week I had the pleasure of meeting Ali Wanchap, the bright spark behind Jude, a knitwear label with a distinctly sophisticated down under aesthetic designed in Newcastle (Adamstown specifically!) and produced in Australia.


Ali attributes school holidays at her family’s wool farms in Northern NSW and South-West Queensland as the driver behind the idea to start Jude, “I have been privileged enough to be surrounded by creative, hard working people in my family, feet firmly planted in the dirt of the Australian bush. Out of this heritage my great love for wool has blossomed and has set me on this journey”. Ali’s grandmother has always utilised wool from the family farm to hand-spin and dye yarn to produce one-of-a-kind knitted jumpers and dolls that were always in high demand.


Ali has taken that proud family heritage to a new level with Jude using Australian-grown wool milled and dyed in Italy which is then brought back to Australia for machine-knitting in Melbourne to become the latest designs conceived by Ali in her Adamstown home office. Her family heritage saluted as each design is named after family properties or much-loved horses.


The range of super-fine merino wool pieces includes knitwear for women and baby, plus blankets and cushions that feature modern geometric designs in classic colour-ways. But it’s the handsome sulphur-crested cockatoo and a sweet wattle and gumnut motif of several pieces that add a distinctly Australian edge. Forget any thoughts of itchy wool jumpers you may have endured as a child. After road-testing the soon-to-be-released Kaloola kimono I can attest that wool has come a very long way. It’s like wearing a warm hug!


Not only is Ali a fellow Sydney transplant to Newcastle but she has whole-heartedly embraced her new-found Novocastrian status. Even the latest Jude A/W campaign is 100% local talent and location. Model Bonnie Richardson (those eyebrows!), photographer James Bennett, make-up artist Jes O’Brien and creative director Kelly Sharples, together with Ali, utilised the stunning backdrop of the Watagans for Jude‘s current season location shoot. Stunning work all round.



Jude Avery sulphur-crested cockatoo jumper. Photo – James Bennett.




Condensed CV:

Grew up in Brisbane, finished uni and moved to Sydney shortly after. I started my real working career in Public Relations after a short-lived attempt at acting in Sydney, and stayed in PR for 8 years. Worked a few years out in the big bad world of fashion PR, then 4 years ago started my own consulting business AlphaWhiskeyPR, which is still going today. I moved to Newcastle in 2009 looking for a fresh start, and to take on a new challenge – to get my commercial helicopter pilot license, which I completed in 2011. Amongst this,  I had always dreamed of starting my own knitwear label inspired by my family history of wool farming and production. I started putting Jude into action throughout 2012, and officially launched the label in April this year.


What has been your most memorable project? 

I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing businesses over my PR career, however I must say starting Jude has definitely left a bright, bold exclamation point on my list of projects to date. Flying solo for the first time in the chopper was pretty memorable too – probably because I was so scared.


What would be your dream project?

I am pleased to say that I am doing it now, with Jude.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Having the courage to follow my dreams. And not only just follow them – follow through with them.


What is your most treasured possession?

My puppy dog Bosley.



Soon to be released Jude Kaloola kimono (my pick! So luxurious!). Photo – James Bennett.


What does a typical day at work involve for you?

My days are so varied, but it mainly involves loads of emailing, packing and sending orders, managing my online store, seeking out new opportunities and new products, dealing with manufacturers, printers, suppliers, contractors, going to meetings, cuddling Bosley and watering my pot plants for a bit of zen time. (Is that odd?!)


What is your most valuable pearl of wisdom gained since starting your business?

Don’t cut corners or compromise your standards for the sake of a quick gain or a quick fix, make the smart decisions today so you don’t pay for them tomorrow.


Where do you derive creative inspiration? 

My creative inspiration comes from many places – my dreams, my family, the Australian landscape, and often the tiniest of random details can get a whole idea or concept flowing.



Jude Clarence jumper featuring fine cable knit body. Photo – James Bennett.


Which other designers, artists or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment?

I am inspired by people who put themselves out there and are giving it a go. I have two dear friends that have started their own businesses in the Newcastle/Hunter region recently too – Kelly Sharples of Arnley and Tegan Brideson of Tegan Asha Bridal and they inspire me every day with their passion, hard work and dedication.


What are some of your favourite websites or blogs?

I love the Cool Hunter to marvel at the amazing imagery and design finds. Although a lot of the time it makes me feel very un-cool….And when I need a bit of a high fashion fix I go to The Sartorialist, which is an amazing blog that sparked the craze of ‘street style’ fashion photography.


Apart from your work, what other interests, passions, hobbies do you have?

As mentioned previously I have a bit of a passion for flying, although recently I haven’t had a great deal of time to commit to it. Horse riding is another great passion of mine that I wish I had more time to enjoy. I do however always seem to have time for traveling and exploring new places…. I tend to get itchy feet if I’ve walked the same ground for too long.


How long have you been a Novocastrian?

I have lived in the Newcastle/Hunter region since 2009. I’m not sure if I pass as a true Novocastrian quite yet. I’m told I have another 20 years to go till I’m there.



Clockwise from top left: ‘I love the crimpy goodness of raw merino wool’ says Ali at uncle Brent Finlay’s sheep station in SW Queensland. Autumn/Winter 2013 season planning. Where dreams turn to reality, the manufacturer’s machines in Melbourne. Ali with Gem the mustering dog at the family farm, Cooinda, in SW Queensland. Photos – Ali Wanchap.


Newcastle in a word?



What do you love and hate about living in Newcastle?

I love the relaxed lifestyle, the fact that you can get almost anywhere in 10 minutes, and the beautiful coastline scenery. I don’t really hate anything about Newcastle, I guess I’m frustrated by the stunted progress of the CBD area, but having said that there are some pretty amazing little shops and businesses starting to appear, which is encouraging.


How is Newcastle different to anywhere else?

Newcastle has such a unique mentality and lifestyle. It is in an elite category of cities that can boast they are built seaside, around such a stunning coastline. The passionate patriotism of Novocastrians is quite intoxicating and very unique too.


Where are your favourite places in Newcastle / Hunter to:


+ eat

The Bistro (102 Darby St, Cooks Hill) for its beautifully comforting yet innovative cuisine.

The Burwood Inn (77 Berner St, Merewether) for its gorgeous pub atmosphere

And my house because there is nothing quite like a home-cooked meal.


+ drink

Bar Petite (5/5 King St, Newcastle ) in the east end

Tyrrells Cellar Door (1838 Broke Rd, Pokolbin) the best wines in the Hunter Valley, in my opinion.

Cambridge Hotel (789 Hunter St, Newcastle West) for a beer and a dose of rock and roll.


+ shop

Colosseum Antiques (116 Maitland Rd, Mayfield)

Betty Mim (176 Darby St, Cooks Hill)

And of course the Jude online store


+ play

Burwood Beach on a sunny day


+ relax

The banana lounge parked in the sun in my backyard.


What is Newcastle / Hunter’s best-kept secret?

Its lifestyle. So many people outside of Newcastle have an out-dated perception of what it is and what it has to offer – and I think most Novocastrians are happy with that. Their secret is safe for a little bit longer.


Website: www.judeaustralia.com

Blog: www.judeaustralia.com/jude-files/

Shop: http://www.judeaustralia.com/shop/

Facebook: judeaustralia

Instagram: judeaustralia




Clockwise from top left: Ali Wanchap at home in Adamstown. A sneak-peek of the new season range. Hard at work in the home office. Equine inspiration from a childhood spent on family wool farms. Photos – Siobhan Curran.

Style Trader + Giveaway

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013



Style Trader owner Lisa Preston at Merewether Beach sporting an Emeldo necklace. Photo – Siobhan Curran




Lisa Preston is born and bred Novocastrian. Having lived in London working as the Sales Co-ordinator for Elizabeth Hurley’s swimwear label Hurley Beach and more recently in Brisbane as the International Sales Manager for Easton Pearson, Lisa along with her husband decided to move back to The Hunter to start a family. “We both had such wonderful childhood memories because of where we lived that it just seemed fitting to offer everything Newcastle and The Hunter to our new family.”


After moving back to Newcastle just in time for the birth of their son Oscar, Lisa describes being at a crossroads in her career. “Working at Easton Pearson allowed me to travel, be surrounded by creative and vibrant personalities and meet so many influential people in the fashion industry….plus have access to the most divine clothes and accessories.” The bar was set pretty high in terms of career satisfaction and options for positions in high fashion in Newcastle are limited. Undeterred, Lisa (with a 4 month old Oscar in her lap) decided the time was right to start her own business, Style Trader.



A colourful Turkish kilim from Style Trader.


Style Trader is an online boutique offering a tight edit of fashion and homewares; a reflection of her philosophy of stocking product that’s hard to find. And there’s another common theme amongst the items as Lisa explains, “I have a love for colour! I think furniture and walls in a home and clothes can be plain and basic but you can style up a room or an outfit very easily and relatively inexpensively with a fabulous pop of colour, whether it be an ikat cushion, Mexican sarape blanket, a pom pom necklace or fun tote.”


(( For your chance to win a selection of items from StyleTrader keep reading! ))


Newcastle in a word?


What do you love and not-so-love about living in Newcastle?
I love the beaches, the people, the awesome food and coffee. I not-so-love that people from a certain city down south are starting to work out that Newcastle is the place to be.


How is Newcastle different to anywhere else?
The relaxed and friendly environment and people, also we seriously have the most amazing beaches. There is nothing better than driving down Scenic Drive and on a clear day looking all the way up the coast. Sensational!




Who knew naturally shed deer antlers could look so good wrapped in brightly-coloured thread?


Where are your favourite places in Newcastle / Hunter to:
+ eat
Rustica (2/1 King St, Newcastle)

+ drink
Merewether Surfhouse (5 Henderson Pde, Merewether)

+ shop
Love Darby Street.

+ play
I do spend quite a bit of time in the park with my son Oscar so it not really play for me.

+ relax
The beach

What is Newcastle / Hunter’s best-kept secret?
Hmm if I tell you then it is not a secret…






We’d love to make sure you don’t miss out on TNF posts as they are published. Google Reader will be out of commission as of tomorrow, 1 July and there are a couple of one-click transfer feed options so you don’t miss out on posts from your favourite blogs, such as Feedly or Bloglovin’.


The other thing you can do is sign up to TNF’s e-newsletter to have fresh posts delivered right to your inbox. Style Trader has kindly offered a bright and cheerful gift pack valued at $231 to one lovely reader who signs up to the e-newsletter between now and this Friday 5 July, 5pm. Current e-newsletter subscribers will automatically go in the draw for being so ahead of the pack :)


Simply click HERE to subscribe to the TNF e-newsletter (or on the link at the top of the side bar) to be in the running to win:


Style Trader ‘Moroccan’ cushion in orange with insert – $99
Emeldo ‘Dallas’ necklace in pink – $99
Lumiere Art & Co ‘Moving Moon’ tea-towel in yellow / pink – $33


A winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email on Monday 8 July 2013.


Annemarie Murland

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013



Annemarie Murland’s series ‘Colour as Form’ is available to view and purchase at a pop-up exhibition at her studio at Newcastle Community  Art Centre, this weekend only. Photo – Siobhan Curran.


There was a group show of Newcastle-based artists at The Lock-Up Cultural Centre earlier this year entitled ‘Popped’, expertly pulled together by Gillean Shaw with less than two weeks notice! One of the many talented artists whose work was represented was Annemarie Murland and the two pieces on display really pulled me in.


Not being familiar with her work I was surprised to discover later that these paintings were a departure from her usual style. As we chatted in her studio at Newcastle Community Arts Centre yesterday afternoon I discovered that Annemarie has, up until 2010, been working solidly on a PhD, and therefore submerged in a world of painting inspired by the Aran jumpers and plaid blankets knitted by her Irish ancestors. There are examples of this work hanging in her studio and it’s a gratifying experience to have permission to touch paintings! Those examples are very tactile with woven threads, both real and imagined painted onto canvas.


As Annemarie’s work has turned more recently to lecturing first year painting and drawing students at the University of Newcastle, she has been influenced by the basic principles of painting she is teaching her students. She explains to me that when learning to paint, the first step is to understand that painting is not about the subject, but about the paint itself; colour, shape, texture, space and other factors that my non-artist brain knows very little of. This ‘back to basics’ approach with her students has enabled Annemarie to come full circle with a series of studies that has a wealth of painting experience behind them.


I love them.


Perhaps inspired by the ‘Popped’ pop-up exhibition in combination with a growing sense that people are looking for opportunities to engage with artists beyond admiring their work on a wall, Annemarie Murland is hosting her own pop-up exhibition of paintings and works on paper from her private stockpile in her studio THIS WEEKEND only. Go quickly and soak in the studio atmosphere and the paintings. You will not be disappointed!


Annemarie Murland Studio Pop-Up Sale

Studio 8, Newcastle Community Art Centre

246 Parry St, Newcastle West

Friday 14 June to Sunday 16 June, 10am to 5pm



L: Annemarie Murland in her studio. R: Another piece in the ‘Colour as Form’ series waiting to be framed before the weekend. Photos – Siobhan Curran.




Condensed CV

Born in Glasgow, I migrated to Australia in 1990 with my Australian husband, making Newcastle my permanent home. I commenced studies at the University of Newcastle in 2000, where upon completion of an undergraduate degree, I received the Faculty and University Medal for excellence in Fine Art. I continued my studies, gaining a Doctor of Philosophy, Fine Art degree in 2009. I’m now currently employed as an academic in the discipline of painting and drawing, a postgraduate supervisor and an early career researcher whilst also maintaining a professional art practice.


What has been your most memorable project?

My PhD.


What would be your dream project?

That’s a big one – probably to take my current projects back to Scotland and Ireland where they would take on new narratives.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Apart from raising two great daughters – managing to successfully reshape myself here in Australia.


What is your most treasured possession?

That’s difficult – my memory


What does a typical day at work involve for you?

Teaching, researching, painting, corresponding, washing, cleaning and eating.



L: The framing line-up continues. R: Works hang at the rear of the studio. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


What is your most valuable pearl of wisdom gained since starting your business?

Simple – there is nothing you cannot do if you are passionate enough. And don’t listen to gossip.


Where do you derive creative inspiration?

It’s in everyone you just need to tap into it.


Which other designers, artists or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment?

Locally my mate Pablo Tapia, a fab painter, and Kiera O’Toole who I am collaborating with on a few projects. Also the Fine Art students at the University of Newcastle who keep me on my toes.


What are some of your favourite websites or blogs?

I generally use websites and blogs for research – of which there are plenty but do like to look at the on line shop www.theoutnet.


Apart from your work, what other interests, passions, hobbies do you have? I love to swim with my mate Mary Riley during the summer months and travel OS when possible


How long have you been a Novocastrian?

I have lived here 22 years. Does that qualify me as a Novocastrian? If so, can I see that in print?


Newcastle in a word?



(I am trying to imagine someone with a Scottish accent saying this :) )


What do you love and hate about living in Newcastle?

Love the ease of living here. It is so uncomplicated. And what do I hate?  Well, hate is such a strong word but I don’t like that there is no real city center.


How is Newcastle different to anywhere else?

For me difference lies in that Newcastle is so far removed from my personal experience of being shaped by a big city [Glasgow] that everyday I am reminded of how different Newcastle is.



L: Brushes drying in front of the space heater R: A small work waits to be hung. Photos: Siobhan Curran.


Where are your favourite places in Newcastle / Hunter to:

+ eat

That’s hard as there are great restaurants around but for great coffee and a chat I love 3 Bean Espresso (103 Tudor St, Hamilton).


+ drink

Surfhouse Merewether (5 Henderson Pde, Merewether) and The O’Leary Tapas bar in Curry Street Merewether (my wine o’clock friend’s place!).


+ shop

Around Darby Street.


+ play

Beach walking and I do like to cycle around Honeysuckle with my husband, Jack.


+ relax

For a treat I love a massage and facial at Temple Beauty (42a Patrick St, Merewether)


What is Newcastle / Hunter’s best-kept secret?

All the fab artists who live and work here.


Website: www.annemariemurland.com
Blog: www.marianthread.com




L: Newcastle Community Art Space R: Annemarie locks up the studio before heading off to watch the Lions play! Photos – Siobhan Curran.

Angela Hailey / Studio Melt

Wednesday, May 29, 2013



Just some of the range of gifts and homewares available Anglea Hailey & Suzy Manning’s shop Studio Melt. Photo – Froxy.


I have been a big fan of Renew Newcastle even before I moved to Newcastle in 2011. ‘Citizen activism / creative capital / making things interesting’, which is how I see RN working, is a triumvir that warms the cockles of my heart. So I count my lucky stars to have ended up working with Marni at Renew over the last year or so.


Every person that is involved in Renew projects are a creative force to be reckoned with. None less so than Angela Hailey and Suzy Manning from Studio Melt. Now ‘graduates‘ of the Renew Newcastle scheme (having signed a commercial lease within six months of their retail/workshop foray with RN) for near on one year. Whenever I happen to pass through Hunter Street Mall I always stop by and am guaranteed a tempting curation of homewares, art and jewellery. It’s my go-to shop for gifts. The added bonus is the smiles and conversation that inevitably play out which always makes me late picking up my gözleme for lunch. I mean, you’ve seen how long the gözleme line can get, right?


As friendly as they come, I walk out of Studio Melt wondering if I really did just agree to start surfing lessons at Nobbys with Ange so we can keep up with Suzie’s wave riding talent. These ladies are the real deal. Ange proves so below.



Angela Hailey getting some laughs out of a customer. Photo – Froxy.




Condensed CV:
I’m staring down the barrel of turning 40 at the end of the year, if only I felt that grown up! After finishing school I spent a couple of years traveling before returning home to begin a degree in marketing. With that degree I worked far too many hours a day in my 20s coming up with all manner of ideas for convincing people why they needed everything from a premix can of Jim Beam to removable storage for their computer. But somewhere along the line I started evening art classes, then more art classes and all of a sudden I realised they were the highlight of my week. So – I chucked my job in and went to art school. Never looked back.


What has been your most memorable project?
Definitely opening Studio Melt (a workshop/retail space) through Renew Newcastle. I honestly don’t think I would have attempted a project like this if I had had to take out a commercial rental lease and invest in the stock up front. Opening through Renew Newcastle gave me the opportunity to test out our idea without a huge initial investment and allowed us the time to gradually build up our stable of artists and stock before transitioning to a commercial lease.


What would be your dream project?
I feel so consumed and stimulated by what I’m doing at the moment, it’s hard to imagine a ‘dream project’ being too far from what I’m doing. I would love to get my hands on a one the really iconic old buildings in the city – like the old Victoria Theatre on Perkins St and turning it into a really expansive version of what we are doing now. and converting upstairs into furnished apartments for shorts stays in Newcastle.



Just a small range of jewellery on display by artists that include Angela and Suzy plus Francisca Rendic, Aimee Sutanto, Alison Jackson, Amy Robson, Christine Battochio, Danielle Sweeney, Emma Kidson, Katrina Freene and Thea Fortmann. Photo – Froxy.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think what I am most proud of is my decision (in my late twenties) to walk away from a well-paid corporate job to go to study full-time at art school. I had never thought of myself as particularly creative but slowly I had begun to paint, draw and sculpt and was enjoying it more and more. Eventually, I finally decided that creating things rocked my boat much more than my proper job. Art school was like kindergarten for adults. You got to try everything and it didn’t matter whether what you made was any good – I was hooked. I majored in Jewellery and Object Design and here I am 12 years on.


What is your most treasured possession?
Despite the fact I have a store with some really beautifully crafted things, many of which I am starting to take home – I would have to say that my family. I have a really lovely husband and two lovely rambunctious boys. Everyday I see how different they are from each other and their parents and it’s just fascinating stuff.


What does a typical day at work involve for you?
Begins religiously at One Penny Black with a coffee and a chat to one of the many other regulars trying to gear up for the day. I spend a lot of time managing the artists and stock in the shop, looking for new things to bring in, but I do try and sit at my bench and pick up some tools to make some of my own jewellery for a portion of every working day, because I like to think that’s still why I am here. If I’m honest though, I spend a lot of my day talking to people who come into the shop. I have a LOT of enthusiasm for explaining the stories behind the objects and artists we have in the store, the potential of the Newcastle CBD, the success of Renew Newcastle. Its a wonder I get anything done really.




Studio Melt combines shop and studio. Photo – Froxy.


What is your most valuable pearl of wisdom gained since starting your business?
Oooh goodness, I think running a business is glorified common sense. There are always people and services out there who know what you don’t and it’s just a matter of finding them and picking their brains. I think the most valuable thing I’ve learnt is the hardest step is having the faith to have a go, the rest is solving problems as you go.


Where do you derive creative inspiration?
I remember my first studio project at art school was making something to respond to the concept of space. I thought – ‘What?’ They asked us to come up with ten ideas, refine the best five and then actually make the strongest one. I spent 3 years doing this. Art school nowadays isn’t focused on teaching to skills to make, but instead teaching you how to use anything and everything as a starting point and develop a concept accordingly. Challenging, when you graduate and you can’t make a brooch, but great for your creative thinking. What do I derive creative inspiration from now? Sometimes architecture, sometimes form, repetition, materials and sometimes just playing around with bits and pieces I’ve found.


Which other designers, artists or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment?
One of the most unexpectedly rewarding things I have found in having the retail store are the artists and craftspeople I come across, now that I have applied myself to looking! We have a collage artist called Hollie Chastain from Chattanooga, Tennesee – whose work I find indescribably beautiful. I love the design and quality of the screen-printed cushions and wooden products from Melbourne duo Bonnie and Neil. I love the work of all 24 of the jewellers we have, who use such a variety of skills and materials, it kills me. I’m also a sucker for beautiful furniture and love almost everything at Great Dane and Jardan.



Altered antique plates make a gloriously kooky feature wall. Jewellery by Stampel. Photo – Froxy.


What are some of your favourite websites or blogs?
Absolutely definitely The Design Files. I just love the clean and clear presentation, the photography is awesome and if you scroll back through – you will see I have nabbed a few ideas from products and artists from Lucy’s wonderful recommendations. When Lucy came to visit Newcastle last year we had only just opened. I subscribed then and have been an avid fan ever since.


Apart from your work, what other interests, passions, hobbies do you have?
I’ve told you about my inability to stand up on a surf board. I love to read when I can stay awake and I would like to disappear overseas every year for the rest of my life to explore the world.



Fish wall mount wire sculpture by Sophie Toupein & Jesse Neale. Photo – Froxy.


How long have you been a Novocastrian?
We moved here about 6 years ago from Sydney. Best thing we ever did. More than slightly nervous everyone in Sydney would if they knew how good it is here.


Newcastle in a word?


What do you love and hate about living in Newcastle?
I really love the potential Newcastle has – especially in the city area. There are now some really creative people coming out the woodwork due to great initiatives like Renew Newcastle and taking advantage of the relatively cheap rents in the city to do some fascinating and unique projects. I don’t really hate anything about living in Newcastle, but perhaps sometimes I wish I could push the fast forward button on the city renewal through sheer impatience.


How is Newcastle different to anywhere else?
For me it’s a wonderful life by the beach, with all the vibrancy and opportunities offered by a city but without the ‘rat race’ of a really big city like Sydney. But ssssshhhhhhh!



Photo – Froxy.

Where are your favourite places in Newcastle / Hunter to:

+ eat
One Penny Black (cnr Hunter St Mall & Morgan St, Newcastle) or le petite deux (27 King St, Newcastle) for lunch and subo (551D Hunter St, Newcastle) for dinner, thanks.


+ drink
The Burwood Inn Hotel (77 Berner St, Merewether). Walking distance from home, feels like a very groovy living room, excellent food too. Waiting desperately for a wine bar in the CBD, a few coming and I will be first customer.


+ shop
Hunter Valley Design (149 King St, Newcastle).


+ play
Definitely at the beach, all year round. Am even trying to learn to surf myself – wish I was as flexible as my kids. My ‘pop’ looks like more of a drunken stumble to standing.


+ relax
Relaxing is for the weekends and gotta the perfect relaxation for me is a bike ride to breakfast, swim at the beach and then the afternoon at home pottering about with the family. Lucky nearly the weekend, there goes my work ethic.


What is Newcastle / Hunter’s best-kept secret?
Hmmm, beyond the amazing pool of talented creatives that I have hinted at – I would say the architecture of the buildings in the city is not-so-much a secret but something that until these buildings are restored and activated again, goes largely unnoticed. Bring it on, I say.


Website: www.studiomelt.com.au
Shop: 119 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300
Facebook: www.facebook.com.au/studiomelt



The friendly exterior of  Studio Melt in Hunter Street Mall. Photo – Froxy.

Rachel Elizabeth Duffin

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013



Rachel Elizabeth Duffin in her home studio. Photo – Bree Sanders.


I first chanced up Rachel Elizabeth Duffin (RED) when she provided a pop of colour at the corner of Scott & Watt Sts via a colourfully painted traffic signal box. Urban Smart Projects is the organisation behind this particular street art project (you can check out other examples in Newcastle here). After liking her Facebook page and subsequently discovering her colourful postcards and wooden brooches at Olive Tree Market I noticed RED’s signature hairstyle at in In Conversation event at Newcastle Art Gallery (Del Kathryn Barton – fabulous exhibit!) and made my IRL introduction.




Condensed CV:
Currently studying to become a high school art teacher.
2011: Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Newcastle
2010: Advanced Diploma of Fine Arts, Newcastle Art School


What has been your most memorable project?
In early 2012 I had my first solo exhibition Through These Eyes at Watt Space Gallery. Although put together in incredibly short notice, it was such a validating experience to see my artworks together in the one space (and I had never realised just how colourful my work is until then). It also gave me the chance to do some larger-scale mural pieces which I would love to do more of.


Being involved in the Urban Smart Projects ‘Art Box’ project last year was a really fun experience too and so far I have received lots of positive feedback which is a really nice feeling. Leslie Duffin (my mum) and I are currently in the process of collaborating on another box at Mayfield. There are also some things in the pipeline that might be added to this list in the future.



L: Rachel hard at work. Photo – Bree Sanders. R: The traffic control box at cnr Watt & Scott Sts by RED. Photo – Rachel Elizabeth Duffin.


What would be your dream project?
In the long term, I keep coming back to the dream of opening up art-on-walls/art books/interesting things kind of little shop. I would love to have some work published in something like Frankie or similar too.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The last 5 years of study have been quite full on and I’m proud that I’ve made it to where I am. Life is finally starting to fall into place and I honestly don’t think I have been happier – that feels like an achievement!



 Studio details. Photos – Bree Sanders.


What is your most treasured possession?
If our house was burning down, I think our animals would be the first saved – my cat, Scout, and two ferrets, Alice & Bear – along with photos and my journals.


What does a typical day at work involve for you?
Right now study consumes a large proportion of my time along with part-time work. Unfortunately, my creative pursuits have taken a bit of a back seat but this year I am going to make sure there is plenty of designated creative time.

What is your most valuable pearl of wisdom gained since starting your business?
The phrase ‘work hard and be nice to people’ has always stuck in my mind and I try my best to live by it.



 A portion of product on offer at Rachel’s stall at Olive Tree Market. Photo – Rachel Elizabeth Duffin.


Where do you derive creative inspiration?
I’m drawn to everyday things, inner conflict, outward feelings and I guess I’m inspired by anyone that explores similar ideas in various forms. Making artwork for me is about trying to understand my immediate environment. Sometimes it takes a particular situation or event to spark inspiration and you never know when it is going to happen. I find that getting the ball rolling is often really difficult but once it starts it sort of snowballs.


Which other designers, artists or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment?
To be honest, I feel so lucky to have such creative people in my life whose determination to succeed at their individual endeavors forever reminds me to lift my game. Bree Sanders (photographer) & Brooke Stevens (painter) are a creative power couple
David Kurzydlo (an amazing painter), Ari Mayger (graphic designer), Boatfriends (making beautiful sounds) and so many others that I could be here all day. I’ve always been inspired by the words of ee cummings, Tracey Emin, Del Kathryn Barton, Catherine Campbell and Eva Hesse, too.


What are some of your favourite websites or blogs?
+ Etsy, so many creative people sharing their wares
+ This is Colossal, it really is.
+ Goodnight Little Spoon, always sharing interesting things



 Rachel Elizabeth Duffin, ‘Restless (1)’, 2009.


Apart from your work, what other interests, passions, hobbies do you have?
I guess my free time is used for, but not limited to, reading, lunch/op-shopping dates with my nan, catching up with friends, making it to galleries when I can, writing letters and lately I’m doing my best to live a healthier life.


How long have you been a Novocastrian?
My whole life, although technically I grew up in Lake Macquarie (about a 20 minute drive from town).


Newcastle in a word?


What do you love and hate about living in Newcastle?
I definitely feel like the things that make Newcastle so great are the same things that can make me dislike it a little at times. There’s a great sense of community but at the same time everyone knows each other and it’s often hard to meet new people who don’t link to you somehow. There isn’t too much traffic but at times it would be nice to see more people around. I guess you could find pros and cons of anywhere you go. Newcastle will always be home, regardless of where I end up down the track.



Rachel Elizabeth Duffin, ‘Radial Blame (1)’ (Left) and ‘Radial Blame (2)’ (Right), 2010.


How is Newcastle different to anywhere else?
Nothing is ever very far away. It’s conveniently located at a handy distance from lots of things.


Where are your favourite places in Newcastle / Hunter to:

+ eat
I don’t know that I have a favourite but anywhere along Darby Street or Honeysuckle is usually delicious


+ drink
Bank Corner (2 Bellevue St, Newcastle West)
Rolador (1 Beaumont St, Hamilton)
One Penny Black (cnr Hunter & Morgan Sts, Newcastle)
Suspension Espresso (3 Beaumont St, Islington)

All of these places have great food too.


+ shop
Centenary Antiques Centre (29 Centenary Rd, Newcastle) . So many hidden treasures.
Etsy. Online shopping destroys my bank account.


+ play
The Lass O’Gowrie (14 Railway St, Wickham)
The Terrace Bar (529 Hunter St, Newcastle)


+ relax
Merewether Baths (Frederick St, Merewether) – nothing clears the mind better than the ocean


What is Newcastle / Hunter’s best-kept secret?
I think the Bogey Hole (Shortland Drive, Newcastle) is often forgotten about but it’s a beautiful place to hideaway.


Website: www.rachelelizabethduffin.com.au

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/racheleduffin
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rachelelizabethduffin
Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/blog/rachelelizabethduffin



L: Rachel Elizabeth Duffin, ‘Those From Which I Came (Daughter)’, 2011. R: Rachel Elizabeth Duffin, ‘Those From Which I Came (Father)’, 2011

Michael Newton

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013



L: Michael Newton on the other side of the camera R: The bells and whistles camera he uses. Photos – Siobhan Curran


It’s most likely I discovered Showbag tumblr via the tumblr of all Newcastle tumblrs, The View From King Street. There was never an identity behind the tumblr so I enjoyed the daily postings of photos as anonymously as the author. I sometimes linked to particular photos on TNF posts – ones that document every day scenes in Newcastle with a clever angle or a witty photo title.


Fast forward a year or so later and I was introduced to Michael Newton at a Creative Talks session. ‘Michael’s the guy with the photo blog’, I was told as we were introduced. After prodding for a little more detail (there’s a lot of photo blogs out there!), I made the connection. ‘No way! I love your blog. What sort of camera do you use?’ I asked, thinking Michael carried around a 5D with him at all times but noticing it conspicuously absent at this point. Michael puts his hand in shirt pocket and pulls out battered point and shoot. ‘No way!’ I exclaimed again. Yes way.




Condensed CV:

Graphic Design at The University of Newcastle

Brief stint in Melbourne

Back home and now Art Director at Enigma


What has been your most memorable project?

Production Designer on the award winning feature film Mikey’s Extreme Romance. It was a pretty intense shoot where I worked on everything from costumes, props and set design to titles, animation sequences and posters. Awesome fun, big learning, tiny budget. Australian release very soon, watch this space!


What would be your dream project?

Another feature film, but with a Hollywood budget. And assistants. Or maybe a Novocastrian distillery.



It’s Quite Noisy, 2012, Michael Newton


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Best Director at the 2006 Newcastle Film Festival was pretty cool. I entered a short film we had made for The Shoot Out that year. I didn’t even go to the presentation because there was no way I had a chance. Luckily some of the crew accepted it on my behalf. I miss The Shoot Out.


Also, every day since 1 January 2011, I have uploaded a photo taken that day to my Tumblr site. I initially intended it as a month long personal project, but it has become a valuable habit to actually take notice of where I am and what I am doing and to look at things differently. Subject matter and quality vary wildly, just like a real showbag. With no promotion the site has gained followers with likes, links, comments and reblogs that astound me.



Pop, 2012, Michael Newton


What is your most treasured possession?

The Georgetown Juggernaut.

It’s a ‘bakfiets’ style cargo bike custom built by my uncles and dad. I helped hold stuff and passed beer when required. I put my girls and all their paraphernalia in the front and we ride around to swimming lessons or yoga or the beach or wherever. It gets a lot of looks and comments, but I know of at least three others in town now.


What does a typical day at work involve for you?

Cycle along the water. Think, solve problems, design. Go for a walk at lunch down to the beach or up The Hill, depending on the weather or my mood. More thinking and solving problems and designing. Cycle home.



Broken Windows, 2012, Michael Newton


What is your most valuable pearl of wisdom gained since starting your business?

Never sacrifice style for practicality*

*subject to revision at any time


Where do you derive creative inspiration? 

All over the place – starting showbag has taught me to be more observant. Bookstores, magazines, newspapers, museums, forgotten cupboards are all good places to start. My daughters produce an endless stream of stories and pictures that are nearly always inspiring and/or hilarious (to me anyway). Riding around you also get to see backstreets and hidden places you don’t see in a car, and the slower pace lets you take it all in and gives you time to think and put it all together.



On The Corner, 2012, Michel Newton


Which other designers, artists or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment?

Deus Ex Machina

Pat Grant – Blue. I got this book for Christmas.


What are some of your favourite websites or blogs?

Tumblr. All of it.

Hamilton North

Cycle Space 




Rook Takes Bishop, 2012, Michael Newton


Apart from your work, what other interests, passions, hobbies do you have?

Billycarts and cycling and I’ve just started playing bike polo.


How long have you been a Novocastrian?

Since 1973


Newcastle in a word?




Depends on How You Look at It, 2012, Michael Newton


What do you love and hate about living in Newcastle?

It can be little.


How is Newcastle different to anywhere else?

It has some awesome natural attractions, all quite close together. You can get awesome things done if you can find some like-minded people. It’s brighter here.



The Creek At Night, 2012, Michael Newton


Where are your favourite places in Newcastle / Hunter to:

 + eat

Caffestry (14 Pacific Street, Newcastle). And it also has the best coffee and friendliest staff, bar none.


+ drink

My dad’s shed


+ shop

Coles, Waratah Village. And Kmart is right next door  – open 24 hours!


+ play

Lambton Swimmin Centre (there is no ‘g’) and we nearly always stop at the newly refurbished Islington Park


+ relax

Cycling along Throsby Creek and Honeysuckle. I especially like it in winter when it’s dark and raining because then I get it all to myself.


What is Newcastle / Hunter’s best-kept secret?

ARTCART at Newcastle Art Gallery, weekends 10.30am–12.30pm.



The Dinosaur That Crosses The River, 2012, Michael Newton


Website: showbag.tumblr.com

Mitch Resevsky

Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013

(1 comment)


L: Inside the Newcastle West home of Mitch Resevsky with one of his works on display. R: Mitch rests in front of the backdrop for the in-home mini skate ramp (!) Photos – Siobhan Curran.


Using Instagram to find local creative talent is a bit like panning for gold. You have to sift through a lot of dirt and gravel to find a glimmer. It was over the Christmas break that I found myself checking out the news feed of the people I already followed rather then using a wide-ranging search term (#newcastle = lots of Newcastle Brown Ale cans).


That’s when I chanced upon @mitchrevs. Specifically this pic. That’s when I hit pay dirt.


For someone so new to painting, I sense a pretty bright future.




Condensed CV:

I finished my HSC in 2007 with the intentions of having a gap year and get stuck into Uni the following year. It’s 2013 and I keep telling myself I will study next year. I’ve been doing freelance art/ design work here and there and it seems to be getting me by. In 2011 I moved to Byron Bay and worked for Skullcandy for 12 months.

I recently moved back to Newcastle and started working for Hurley Australia as an artist/ambassador. Life rules.


What has been your most memorable project?

Just recently, one of my friends had a building constructed right in front of his house, blocking his beach view. So we decided to replicate the beach stretch from Dixon Park to the Merewether Ocean Baths on his veranda wall. It was a really cool and fun project. I grew up around that part of town, which made it so much more heart filled and enjoyable.


What would be your dream project?

My dream project isn’t too far away. I’m planning a trip straight through the middle of Australia. I can’t tell you exactly what the idea is going to be, but let’s jut say I am going to give the outback a little more colour.

Also a solo exhibition would be super fun. That’s also very exciting!



L: The bright living space Mitch shares with two friends. R: The exterior of their home will be the next big painting project. Photos – Siobhan Curran.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Moving to Byron Bay was a big step for me, 8 hours away from my family and friends was difficult. I never really spent much time away form home and when I did it was with my family on vacations etc. I met some really cool people along the way and did some really stupid shit. I learnt some good life lessons and think that I’m a better person for it.

2011 was wild!



What is your most treasured possession?

I collect old cameras. I love everything about them, how they operate, how the feel and look, photo quality, absolutely everything. Just recently I bought myself a Mamiya RB67, for those who have no idea what type of camera this is, it’s a medium format camera. It shoots 120 – film and also has a Polaroid back. I haven’t shot a lot of film on this yet but I’m really looking forward to it.


What does a typical day at work involve for you?

My days vary and are usually pretty flexible. I shape surfboards at Redhead out of the 3P Surf Factory, I usually spend my morning out there tucked away in a little room with a face mask on. Most of the time I will grab a coffee and check the waves after work and if there is not much around I will lock myself in the studio.


Where do you derive creative inspiration?

Being a creative person I always have my mind open, waiting for that spark. I get a lot of ideas from reading books. I’m lucky to have such a positive friend circle. All my buddies are super creative and are always bouncing ideas around. I think being around good people has a lot to do with your creative process and motivation.



The second story, where pre-fab kitchens were once assembled, now Mitch’s studio space. Photo – Siobhan Curran.


Which other designers, artists or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment?

Where to begin…..

Jim Phillips – the King of surf/skate graphics. The guy is a guru, he has a pretty radical story too.

Ben Brown – another surf graphic artist. His style is wild!

HeraKut – this couple collaborate street art. They also have a rad story and a book called The Perfect Merge. If you like street art check it out. Really inspirational!

Alex Pardee – freelance artist, apparel designer and comics creator/writer. If you like monsters as much as I do, you will like his work.

Jean Michel Basquiat


What are some of your favourite websites or blogs? 

theselby.com – focuses on artists and profiles.

ffffound.com – the blog of all blogs.

thefancy.com – niche items, similar to eBay, but cool shit!


Apart from your work, what other interests, passions, hobbies do you have?

One thing I love more than anything is understanding an artist’s creative process, not necessarily fine artists, but also designers and musicians. I love watching the transformation of an idea. This is what brought me to start time lapsing my works.


60s, 70s, 80s and 90s surf art!


Music is something I was taught at a young age. My Dad signed me up for piano lessons and that gave me an ear for music. I went on to play drums and learn guitar. Music makes you groovy!



 L: Some of Mitch’s paintings upstairs in the studios, ‘Don’t worry about names for them’, he said. R: More works resting on the grind ledge with a  work in progress on the ground. Photos: Siobhan Curran.


How long have you been a Novocastrian?

I’ve been a Novocastrian since day dot.


Newcastle in a word?



What do you love and hate about living in Newcastle?

Newcastle is such a great place and I feel so lucky to have grown up here. There is so much talent and potential. I love everything about it. Steel City, I love the landscape, where the city meets the sea. We have beautiful beaches. We are surrounded be lovely people. I feel we are in the perfect place on the coastline, not to high and not too low. A balance is what you need to give you drive and motivation.

I would really love to see the train line be removed at the top of town. I understand it might make one’s travel a bit longer, to get to and from work etc, but this would make a big difference to the city. Hunter street/top of town has so much opportunity and it sucks to see nothing happening.


How is Newcastle different to anywhere else?

Newcastle is unique. I wouldn’t call it a big city, but also not too small. Everything is close by which makes it easy living. The only other place I have spent much time is Byron Bay. Byron Bay is a great place to set up although it’s getting super busy. I found it hard to stay grounded in Byron Bay. I think its easy to keep routine here in Newcastle.

We have beautiful beaches and a great community. I can’t pin point what it is, but there is something about the place that makes it really special.



 A piece sits in the studio, hiding in the shade. “It gets too hot up here in summer” says Mitch. Photo – Siobhan Curran


Where are your favourite places in Newcastle / Hunter to:


+ eat

Bank Corner Café (Bellevue St, Newcastle West). It’s 1 minute from my house and has great coffee and food. The staff are lovely and it has a super cool vibe.


+ drink

The Beach Hotel (cnr Frederick & Ridge St, Merewether) is the spot! Right on the water, mixed crowd, you always bump into someone you know, pool and Buckhunter. What more could you ask for?


+ shop

I’m not big on shopping and when I do it’s online. I must admit I do like walking around in those little dollar stores. I always leave with something stupid and it occupies me for a few hours.


+ play

There is lots to do near Bar Beach. The skate park, bat ball courts and the ocean all within meters. Seems to be where all the groms congregate.


+ relax

My girl lives in Sydney, so I spend my weekends down there. It’s good to get away from home, relax in a different environment. My house in Newcastle is my workspace so I constantly feel the need to be doing something.


What is Newcastle / Hunter’s best-kept secret?

Magic Mountain


Website: mitchrevs.com
Instagram: @mitchrevs




Every home needs a mini skate ramp with wall art by Mitch Resevsky. Photo – Siobhan Curran 



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