Forging a creative culture in Port Adelaide

Keen photographers at Denis Smith's "Ball of Light" workshop.
Keen photographers at Denis Smith’s “Ball of Light” workshop.

The Forge: Creative Warehouse is an art hub sponsored by Renew Adelaide, Renewal SA and Our Port where creative types can work, create, learn and network.

The space on St Vincent Street Port Adelaide, which opened in December 2013, has two studios, work space and exhibition space.

Forge 1
The Forge has has two studios, work space and exhibition space.

Local artists are welcome to use The Forge via a membership system, which is popular with photographers and film makers, says one of the five managers, artist Steve O’Connor.

“Photographers love this studio. You can do anything you want here because you’ve got the space to do it. I use the dark studio a bit for filming. People pay $95 a month to use the space however they want – they have to just book it in,” he said.

The Forge: Creative Warehouse has played host to workshops and seminars by artists like Denis Smith who attracted a large crowd of photographers last Thursday night to hear him talk about his “Ball of Light” series of photos and then stick around to create their own artworks.

Denis Smith's "Ball of Light" seminar Thursday 3 July, 2014.
Denis Smith’s “Ball of Light” seminar Thursday 3 July, 2014.

As well as allowing local artists the opportunity to display and create their work, O’Connor said The Forge is bringing culture to the developing Port.

“There’s talk that the Port will be like Newcastle or Fremantle. Newcastle had a Renew program where there were rundown buildings and warehouses that weren’t being used. They filled them with artists to add a bit of culture which draws people there. If there are people there, they need food and drink so then business thrives and culture is created.”

“It’s pretty cool down here on weekends. There’s an awesome pancake place, there’s Hart’s Mill Market and the Fisherman’s Wharf Market. It’s kid and dog friendly,” he said.

The Forge’s walls are adorned with art by Adelaide artists such as Fletch, Donovan Christie, Rebecca Prince, SG1, Rebecca Ewer, Kat Koppock, Stitchfase and Steve O’Connor and the volunteers who run the space are talking with the council about programs for local creatives, and new initiatives.

But as well as opening the doors to local artists and hosting workshops, The Forge will be a part of SALA this year hosting “7 Rooms” with other businesses in the street.

The Forge is hosting an exhibition for SALA.
The Forge is hosting an exhibition for SALA.

“It started off as an exhibition I was running, and then I heard someone downstairs was running one on the same night; we checked up and there were a few others in the street doing it so we decided to do it together,” O’Connor said.

“Seven different places along St Vincent Street will have an exhibition. The opening will be like a street party. You can go from one room to the next, and all of those rooms are businesses, they’re not galleries but they’re opening their walls for the month as an exhibition space.”

To become a member of The Forge: Creative Warehouse, check out their website: www.forgewarehouse.com

Find them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ForgeWarehouse

Email: contact@forgewarehouse.com

Phone: (08) 8120 6764

Open Thursday and Friday 2pm-8pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm

And check out SALA’s 7 Rooms from 1st August. More information at http://www.salainc.com.au

Story by Libby Parker

Photos by Steve O’Connor

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