culture

Meet No-Fi Art Collective | Darby Street Live Art Team by Hannah Stretton

Darby Street Live, the micro-festival that saw the likes of many talented local musicians and artists come together on Darby Street, is well and truly done and dusted for 2018. ūüėĘAlas, fingers are crossed that this event will return again for 2019! 

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PLACES WE LOVE: CENTRAL by Kian West

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CENTRAL3A fresh breeze has certainly blown through the city centre over the last few years and you could say this place is CENTRAL to it all. Conveniently located in the CBD this beautifully restored venue serves some delicious Matilda Bay beverages and glorious food to match. Place: Central Address: 145 King Street, Newcastle NSW Hours:

Tues-Thurs:
11:30-23:00
Fri-Sat:
11:30-00:00

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Why We Love it: #Beer - and also the venue. Plus it adds another layer to the fresh culture of the city. A spectacular space to catch up with friends, a nice walk from other fantastic spaces and we love that it helps to draw people back into the CBD. Nice one Newy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Idea Bombing Newcastle - March 20th, 2015 by Kian West

"What is the value of Print Media?" Below you will find the notes that made up our Idea Bombing presentation from March 20th in The Press Book House on Hunter Street in the heart of Newcastle. If you are unfamiliar, Idea Bombing is an event that invites a series of people to speak about an idea and highlight potential ways that this "Problem" might be solved such as "Newcastle after Dark" or "What is the value of Print Media" as we solved, and so did The Follower Newspaper, 2hrsNorth, and White Magazine. After the four presentations the audience is asked to "Idea Bomb"  a wall with their suggestions of ways the city or idea could evolve or change.

 

Kian West & Ryan Williams (Newcastle Mirage)

(Kian West & Ryan Williams)

 

Where did it all start?

It was some time January 2013, Ryan and I had developed a bit of a habit for catching up weekly on Darby Street for coffee. We had been working on several projects together for a while… One day I highlighted that Reverb, a Newcastle/Central Coast based street-press, had ceased its print version back in September 2012 and it puzzled me as to why… Well, not exactly since it doesn’t take much to work out print is expensive and thus you need to find lots of advertisers to pay for it before you even start on paying salaries.

So I threw the idea at Ryan and we started talking regularly about it…

Months later the idea hadn‚Äôt gone away, but the math just didn‚Äôt add up, there was no way we could find enough advertisers quickly enough that we didn‚Äôt end up with some $500,000 debt‚Ķ It was probably about March where we suddenly changed our framework, what if we made a limited edition print, more like a couple of 1000 rather than 50,000, built loyalty and solid distribution points and scaled up. At the same time operating under a ‚ÄúZine‚ÄĚ style structure we could print at low cost thus low risk. It‚Äôs also about then that our Ethos started to arise

1. All our articles would be positive, since Newcastle is full of this tall-poppy syndrome, negative whinge effect where everyone chips away at one another and no one celebrates the wins of the community.

  1. All articles would be about Newcastle and Novocastrians, because lets face it there is enough awesome going on in our city to not have to write about the latest Nick Cave tour. Funnily enough in the last 2 years the ‚ÄúPeople of New York‚ÄĚ has arrived and in some ways it highlights that it is possible to have an inward focus and yet still capture the attention of a country or the World.

 

What is in a name?

So it‚Äôs about March and the idea was still with us, we had decided to have a crack at this ‚ÄúArt and Culture Zine‚ÄĚ idea and we had a basic plan. But we needed a name. We were starting to think of ourselves as a bit of an oasis for local culture, for Novocastrians to read positive stuff about Newcastle and we were going to be creating a limited production, a bit of a blink and you miss it so one of the ideas that was thrown around was a ‚ÄúMirage‚ÄĚ this image of an Oasis in the distance, but you blink and it is gone. Plus the URL was available and no one had registered the business name so it kind of stuck.

 

 

Why Print?

We should really start by saying for Mirage it isn’t all about print, while our focus is on a print product we create monthly, on time every time, it is all about a bigger picture that ties in with social media, email channels and our website. Because, while we want everyone to read our little magazine, we know we need to connect with a larger audience and drive them to it.

Print is probably only 60% of what we do, but it is the most important. It drives everything else around it, but we spend a lot of time ensuring that other channels are nurtured because you never know what is just around the corner.

That said, we love print, it wouldn’t work in digital because it is so important that tactile moment, that people treasure Mirage for Months or years to come. That our audience comes to understand they have something very limited and potentially of value in years to come. We know this is already happening because people already contact us trying to find copies of editions gone by to complete the set, it’s why we have a subscription option.

 

Why Print isn’t dead?

The more digital comes into play the more we seek that analogue experience. There is a lot of similarity to be drawn from the music industry, while many people are happy to jump on spotify, or buy via iTunes, there are just as many people still using CDs as a primary format and vinyl is totally coming back. For Mirage, we think it is all about the moment, that sense of touch that connects with the smell or the feel that becomes a memory. It’s much more rare to achieve this with digital.

 

 

"What is the value of Print Media?"

To us, everything we have just talked about is the value, it’s the treasure, it’s the memories, it’s what draws us back to it again and again.

Newcastle Coffee Snobs...December by Kian West

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011aa052ddd865c794c7ce6d32788f6ec4ff1e68e2If you take a slight detour off the west end of Hunter Street, just down by the technicolour stairs over the train tracks you'll find Bank Corner Espresso & Bar. It's got a funky Gatsby vibe and it was hard to tell if this particular morning was very busy or it was just that we had come to snob when two new staff is learning the ropes. A fellow snob who is a regular tells me it’s a bit of both. Along with the 1920s feel everything from the menu to staff accents is authentic European.

But the coffee…tre bien! Umami Coffee Roasters via Erskinville is on the machine; my latte had good temperature and very subtle in strength and flavours. Something outside the usual espresso bar sphere is flavoured coffee: Bank Corner has on its menu coconut affogatto; salted caramel coffee and stone cold dirty hippy.

One thing that is also notable is the crowd of regulars most of whom were getting takeaways on their way to somewhere else but this is a place you go out of your way for it and the people were.

 

 

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On this particular Saturday morning they were young eclectic and there was even a pooch darting in and out; there was always something to look at. Curiosity got the better of me and I tried the Stone Cold Dirty Hippy (iced chai latte with honey, double shot espresso on soy). The honey was a great addition; the drink quite a generous serving and yes...it was stone cold which was great as it was a hot day. This was a drink best enjoyed on its own with so much flavour.

Food wise; croissants and indulgent French cheeses populated the themed menu with no food item going without a hit of flavour and maybe a touch of heat.

 

Out the back through a narrow original architecture walkway it opens up to a bustling pocket of air terrace with groups of young people laughing chatting eating drinking. A massive coffee pot overlooks this secret oasis and standing there you feel for a moment that you're somewhere else; Hunter Street is nowhere to be seen and the vibe is good.

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Our final snobbing (where we gather at a Newcastle café to taste and review their coffee) for the year is Saturday 6th December at The Hood Milk Bar; The Junction. Look at our Facebook page for the event and details facebook.com/newcastlecoffeesnobs or Instagram.

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HAPPIE SURF CRAFT by Ryan Williams

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HAPPIE SURF CRAFT IS THE BRAINCHILD OF LOCAL NEWCASTLE SUFRER, DANIEL LOBB. BUT IF YOU HAD READ THIS INTERVIEW, YOU WOULD KNOW THAT ALREADY. YOU WOULD ALSO KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT HE DOES, AND WHAT HE'S PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE. READ THIS INTERVIEW.

With Ryan Williams

 

nm_web_images_13Who is Happie Surf Craft? My Names Dainel Lobb. I’m 23, live in Newcastle and Happie Surf Craft is my label. I make hand planes from recycled surfboards and also a few boards.

Is there a philosophy behind what you do? I just love to make people happy. Recycling old surfboards and transforming them into a totally new surf craft that people can re-­use over and over gives me such a thrill. Seeing how interested and supportive people are of my work is inspiring and I’m always so stoked to hear good feedback from my customers.

Tell us about the handplanes. The hand planes take bodysurfing to a new level, giving you more drive and speed whilst allowing a lot more control on a wave. They’re compact, lightweight and great to keep in the car or throw in a backpack when you stroll down for a swim.

Is that all you do? I design all my logos and make custom fit covers for every hand plane and surfboard. I like to create a whole product and give people something they will love for a lifetime.

What else are you working on at the moment? I’m always designing and trying to think up new ideas and ways to improve my products where possible. I’m shaping a few surfboards at the moment and have a couple of old boards that will become hand planes in the near future.

What have you got coming up? I’ve recently started to sell my products at some local markets. I love the vibe and atmosphere that markets bring. Being able to chat to the people who buy your products and knowing they are walking away just as stoked as I am is great.nm_web_images_8

Where can we get this stuff? You can find me at Olive Tree markets on the 7th June and the Hunt and Gather Markets on the 21st June. You can also get in contact with me on facebook at Happie Surf Craft and on my instagram @lobby1.

Anything else you'd like to add?     I’m having a lot of fun creating and I’m stoked that people are interested. Come and see me at the markets and have a chat. I’m always keen to know what people think and I’m super excited to see what the future might bring.

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 ‚Äď 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 ‚ÄúEveryone I Know, Everything I've Seen‚ÄĚ, 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' ‚Äď 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.