chris

60 seconds with.... Chris Hearn by Kian West

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MANY MANY MOONS AGO I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO MEET CHRIS BACK WHEN WE WERE BOTH TRYING TO PAVE OUR WAY IN THE WORLD COMPLETING TERTIARY STUDIES AT HUNTER TAFE IN MUSIC MANAGEMENT. BACK THEN (ABOUT A DECADE AGO) WE WERE BOTH REALLY DIFFERENT PEOPLE BUT WE HAD ONE COMMON INTEREST, MUSIC.

 With Chris Hearn

By Kian West

CHRIS-HEARN-copyI might have argued regularly with Chris over different musical topics, back in the day, but I feel it was always out of some odd mutual respect of one another’s alternative perspective and I have always admired the path that Chris has taken to make his place in Newcastle and the world.

If you don’t already know who Chris Hearn is, you might have heard of his venue – The Terrace Bar on Hunter Street in the city CBD. A cool little ‘Hipster bar’ that started a trend in our town for something more than the generic pubs, hotels and clubs that once were all that Novocastrians knew. The Terrace is much more than just a bar though, it is fast becoming an institution for those in the community after somewhere with some substance that is different to everywhere else. A place you can regularly catch great bands, vinyl only DJ nights and Poetry! Yep, it even hosts a monthly poetry night on the first Thursday of every month – Word-Hurl Anti-Slam, a top night for those that like to rhyme

(Or otherwise).

But we aren’t here to talk about his awesome bar, we want to tell you all about the wonderful festival he is helping to curate as part of the This Is Not Art Festival (TiNA) and give people a bit of the low-down to what and why you should ensure that you are in attendance…

As are all small business owners, Chris is a busy man so we only got a few brief moments with him to shot fast these questions.

 

Before we kick off with the gritty questions about The Newcastle Weekender, can you tell us one highlight in your career as an event manager/coordinator/organizer? What is one success that you have everyone should know as proof you know how to throw killer parties Chris?

- Probably the Spring Every Season festival series I ran at the Croatian Club quarterly for a couple years, & especially the first Summer Vibes in 2011. I was really happy with the line-up, we have Thee Oh Sees from the US & tons of my favourite Aussie artists like Total Control & Kirin J Callinan. People came from all over & we packed it out!

 

So The Newcastle Weekender seems to have been made possible through the support of a Pozible campaign where you successfully raised $3840, way more than the $3000 you had aimed for and with 90 supporters. Firstly, well done!

We understand this is no easy feat for anyone and they can be a lot of work to pull off, but now the tough part really begins, coordinating a 3-day festival. What can you tell us about the long weekend plan?

- t's largely a DIY effort & there's not too much to organise, as we're working with bands and artists who are doing things for art not entertainments sake, and community over capital gain. This is a festival about coming together and having a cultural exchange. There will be 14 events over 4 days & two wonderful venues, with a very broad variety of grassroots artists, performers and DJs working across a variety of genres.

 

The Festival is being run by four of you is this correct? Who?

- I'm directing the festival, but I didn't want it to be all my taste, and had a decent amount of money to spread through a few creative communities, so I banded together some others, and I curated just under half of the program. The rest was curated by Mark N (Bloody Fist Records), Mardi Rowe & Ash Campbell (Babes Get Weird), Joe Alexander (Bedroom Suck), Nic Warnock (RIP Society), Evan Hill Porteus (Y202), as well as crossing over events with the solid Word Hurl Anti-Slam, & another festival our mate Edo was putting on. It's about bringing a lot of people together, essentially. That's what our aims should be, firstly, when organising events.

 

Where should people go if they want tickets?

- Tickets are through oztix. Many events are un-ticketed though, so please check out our program in the TINA program

 

Anything else you’d like to tell readers?

-Check out the TINA program!

 

NEWIE's HIDDEN GARDEN OF EDEN - CHRIS BROWN by Kian West

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nm_web_images_10-Minus the naked people, and the religious undertones.When I am asked about community gardens, most people are pleasantly surprised when they learn that there is almost 20 community gardens in the Newcastle area, almost one in every suburb except a few of the snooty ones. Some are as big as a bowling green, some as tiny as a few herbs on the street, but they all share the same ideology, growing food on a very localised scale. The intent behind these green spaces come about from delightfully diverse assortment of political persuasions - from groups who want to exercise practical political acts right through to a single person who just wants some fresh mint for their Saturday afternoon Mojito without thinking anything of it. Nonetheless, they all share the same crux; Stuff the big stupormarket chains! We can grow it ourselves, and we can grow it bloody beautifully. The popularity of Community Gardens has exploded over the last 5 or so years, but the concept of community gardens has been around since the mid 70's. The first was in Melbourne and the idea exploded. The garden I run in Belmont started in 1994 but it wasn't until the early 2000's for the idea to catch on in Newcastle. Since then, some very much loved projects have flourished and continued to evolve according to the community's needs. One of Newy's best which I will share with you in this issue, is Sandhills Community Garden. Hidden behind the train sheds in the foreshore park is one of Newcastle's greatest community assets – an edible forest with winding terraced paths and luscious herb and vegetable beds. There are no fences or gates, and therefore it is incredibly inviting. Cheerful flowers, rich aromas, contrasting foliage and diverse insect and bird life all add to the gardens charm. Established fruit and nut trees are scattered along the hillside, under planted with herbs, veggies and other edibles. The garden's caretaker, Christine and I have talked at length about the concept of foraging for food – taking a little from one plant, and moving on to the next. The focus for seasonal veggies tends to gravitate towards plants which produce quickly, over a long period. Don't expect to walk out of the garden with a kilo of spuds and a watermelon, these things take time to develop and are often quickly snatched up. Veggies and herbs such as asparagus, kale, rocket, peas and beans can be picked daily and are the heroes of this garden. Take a little, leave the rest for others – that's the garden's philosophy. What a meditative and grounding act it is to wander through the garden and collect a handful of greens for a quick stir fry. It's very rewarding to donate a plant to the garden and know that you are helping to provide free, organic, living food to people who really appreciate it. You can find more information about Sandhills Community Garden on their website, or you can pop down and see Christine most afternoons.CHRIS_WEB sandhillscommunitygarden.com Lots of Mulch, Chris Brown

60 Seconds with CHRIS BROWN by Kian West

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60 Seconds with CHRIS BROWN

by KIAN WEST

 

CHRIS BROWN IS A BUSY BOY. PHOTOGRAPHY, RUNNING A COMMUNITY GARDEN IN BELMONT & FERMENTING JUST THINGS TO NAME A FEW. THIS IS THE PART WHERE I TELL YOU, DEAR READER, WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT. WE TALKED ABOUT CHRIS' INTEREST IN PHOTOGRAPHY. BUT SEE FOR YOURSELF.

How would you describe the photography that you take? My work is a mixture of film and digital photographs, largely portraits – which range from informal documentary style right through to heavily styled studio work. I have 29 cameras and tend to have a few different projects running at the same time. Say for example, I might be working on digital studio portraits, recording everyday life, and another film project where I play around with negative layering, double exposures, carefully controlled light leaks and other fun techniques. I like to experiment and have several things going at the one time.

What are you working on at the moment? I am working on a fashion shoot with a few friends of mine, my upcoming exhibition “Everyone I Know, Everything I've Seen”, an artist residency and a series about community gardens.

Where is your next event? 16th May, 2014, at Churchkey Espresso, Hunter St 6:30pm.

When do you like to take Photos? Is it all about timing or are you always on? My camera is connected to my body via umbilical cord. My camera goes everywhere and I feel weird if it's not with me.

Who is your biggest influence/s? Oh, hard to say. I would rather say that moods are my biggest influence. I can be inspired by the mood of a song, a painting or a landscape just as much as a visual artist.  I get inspired by emotions, feelings and the environment. I have always been  interested in 'exhale moments' – moments in life where you just stop and have a deep breath for whatever reason. Where the mind gets even just one or two seconds to have a break and forget about all the stuff happening in the world. It's not a meditation or de-stress thing, it's got to do with my fascination with people who are comfortable in their own skin and in their own head. I think it's about confidence. Confidence is sexy.

If you could shoot anywhere where would it be? Or who would it be? The mountains of Tasmania would be my location of choice... Such a harsh yet magnificent place.