Since 2013 PODspace has operated outside the traditional gallery environment, offering pop up style exhibitions whilst activating both traditional and unconventional places. In 2014 we began offering an education program of artist talks and workshops. In 2015 PODspace will present exhibitions at Newcastle Art Space (NAS) and Four Point Gallery.
You can view our current exhibition and some of our past exhibitions here.
PAST EXHIBITION: IDENTITY
PODspace in association with the Disability Network Hunter presented its first pop up exhibition for 2015 with ‘Identity’ at Newcastle Art Space from 16 April – 3 May.
‘Identity’ explored this universal theme – what defines who you are? What makes you tick? How do you express that?
Each of the artists responded in a uniquely personal way. Some, like Tim Johnston, Jordan Haitsma, Dane Tobias, Maree Hopkin and Nathan Dunne explored what is important to them in their lives and in the world around them.
Dane Tobias stated that “My paintings are based on autobiographical drawings which reflect the past and present suburban environments and intimate spaces of friends and relations”.
Janelle Gardner has experimented with the Van Dyke photography process on an image of herself as a young child to create a positive experience of her childhood memories.
Others like Dom Freestone and Kerri Shying have sought to explore and even confront in a highly revealing way what it means to experience disability or mental illness.
Dom Freestone explores his identity a lot through his art. He feels that “…having a disability has forced me to undergo a rethink of exactly what my identity is”.
Kerri Shying poses three questions in her work: What is your birth identity? What identity are you choosing to display today? What environment do you negotiate your identity in? She believes that “Identity, the art of belonging in our lives, is the basis of all my work. Identity is performative and dependent upon whom we are surrounded. We send signals that we hope our world will decode.”
Melaynie Mills also poses questions for the viewer around perceptions of identity and the inner struggles we all face to work out who we are.
For others, the process of their art making is in direct response to their experience of disability or mental illness.
Black Crow Walking’s work portrays the way she has sought to recreate herself following a work accident, moving through the chaos and the tangled events into a better space.
Similarly, Daniel Oxenbridge is working towards establishing who he is, post major brain surgery. His creation of Native Nut Folk was an important part of his initial rehabilitation that made connections between his passion for being in and preserving the natural environment and fond childhood memories.
Lynette Bridge, in reflecting on her own experience of anxiety and depression, states that the series of work exhibited in Gallery One, “…began to have a life of its own………….I wanted to transport the image through time by photographing it with a slow shutter speed whilst the form would undergo metamorphosis but still keep the essence and purity of form”.
Jay Muldoon explores the idea that in life we go through many cycles that make up who we are. He has represented this with the more dominate geometric shape of the circle while the organic shapes and patterns represent growth inspired from nature.
Robert Higginbottom loves painting and has observed that the colours he uses vary depending on how he is feeling.
Mackenzie Feighan also expresses her feelings through colour and her paintings include her personal world: scary zombies, Mum, Dad, Zoe, dogs, flowers, spiders, cockroaches, shoes, ice-creams and funny babies.
Frazer Berwick is an abstract artist and mark maker whose art reflects his writing. Superheroes inspire him.
We invite you to reflect on your own identity, and how it has been shaped by your life experiences.
A highlight includes an interactive installation where the audience is invited to pose with a woollen beard in front of warped mirrors and take a selfie, then post the photo to the PODspace Facebook page.
The exhibition opening will take place on Friday 17 April from 5-7pm, following Octapod’s Creative Access Network meeting in the Black Box Theatre at the Newcastle Community Arts Centre. This quarterly meeting will include a tour of the Centre as well as a panel discussion involving artists from the ‘identity’ exhibition. Facilitated by Laura Hanlon, Co-director of Critical Animals (a This is Not Art co-presenter), this panel will explore what support artists with disability need to develop their practice.
WHERE: Newcastle Art Space at the Newcastle Community Arts Centre, Parry St, Hamilton.
EXHIBITION DATES: Thursday 16 April – Sunday 3 May 2015.
OPENING: Friday 17 April, 5-7pm. Speeches at 5.30pm. All welcome. Please celebrate with us!
GALLERY HOURS: Thursday – Sunday 12-5pm.
ACCESS: The gallery is wheelchair accessible, with accessible toilets available in the Black Box Theatre.
PARKING: There is some free off street parking available behind the Newcastle Community Art Centre. Otherwise there is free parking outside the venue on Parry St.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The nearest train station is Hamilton. The venue is 15 minutes walk from the station. Buses run along Maitland Road and Parry St.
PAST EXHIBITION: PODZOME
The PODspace exhibition – PODzome – is an ode to the constancy of local creative adaptations, experiments, expansions and contractions. Podzome is a pulse. It is a map. It is a conceptual tuber. In a broader context, Podzome marks change, flux, and mobility in and around our city. Its artists are engaged in urban, creative, and organic rhizomatic networks, which exist ‘in the middle of things’1. Podzome is also a formal ‘hat doffing’ to the alliances and interconnections generated by and between organisations such as Octapod and the University of Newcastle.
The new PODspace, formerly an artist-run gallery, is itinerant. It has become an open structure, not fixed to a format or place. It hosts pop up shows, events and programs in different locations. Over the past two years, it has regenerated and grown horizontally with offshoots popping up throughout Newcastle. Rhizome-like, PODspace has self-propagated and multiplied sideways.
Podzome also heralds the commencement of Octapod’s flagship event – This is Not Art Festival (TiNA) on 2-5 October. As one of the nation’s leading contemporary and emerging arts festivals, TiNA continues to create experimental environments where artists can test and exchange ideas that belong outside of institutions.
PODzome has been curated by Jen Denzin, former PODspace Director, and features the work of Jen Denzin, Penny Dunstan, Maggie Hensel-Brown, Mandy Robinson, Jane Robinson, Bree Sanders, Brooke Stevens, and Alison Smith. It features work ranging from installation, new media, photography, mixed media and drawing.
The exhibition will be preceded by a Curation and Install: Behind the Scenes workshop on Monday 8th August at the University of Newcastle Gallery. Participants will learn key principles of curation and installation from Gillean Shaw, Art Curator at the University of Newcastle Gallery, then hear from Jen Denzin how she curated this exhibition. After a light lunch, it will be time to help install the exhibition under the guidance of the curator and University Gallery staff.
$45/$35 Octapod members. Bookings can be made online via the Octapod shop (www.octapod.org/shop/workshops) or by calling Christina Robberds on 0415 699 227 or emailing her via firstname.lastname@example.org. Suitable for artists or members of the public interested in getting behind the scenes of an art exhibition.
Exhibition dates: 10 – 27 September.
Exhibition opening: Friday 12th September, 6-8pm.
Gallery hours: Wednesday – Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 12-4pm.
1. Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Felix: A Thousand Plateaus, (University of Minnesota Press: 1987), p7.
PAST EXHIBITION: OTHER PLACES
Other Places was a photographic exhibition which focused on the exploration of places outside of Australia and was based on each artist’s travels. This PODspace pop-up exhibition was held at Hunter Design School from Friday 8th – Sunday 24th August 2014.
The focus of the exhibition was to explore the sense of home and the excitement of travel and foreign places that give a sense of adventure to our lives. Each artist has a unique story to their art that is featured in their photographs. Curated by Michaela Swan and Gillean Shaw, this exhibition features the work of Nick Ferguson, Alberto Gallego and Manuel Seoane.
Fourth year medical student, Nick Ferguson, travelled to Papua New Guinea for a placement and visited mainly coastal areas, including Milne Bay on the mainland and Kimbe on the island of New Britain. His work featured the local community and showed the presence of nature as an important part of their lives.
Freelance photographer, Alberto Gallego moved to Australia in 2013 from his homeland Spain. His work showcased the romantic Spanish landscapes and how he sees his homeland through the lens of his camera.
Manuel Seoane currently studies his Phd in Hydrology at the University of Newcastle and has focused his extensive portfolio on his homeland of Bolivia. His work also featured photography from his travels through Europe, Latin America and Asia and reflected his focus on engaging with the local culture.
PAST EXHIBITION: TRANSIT TOWN
Transit Town was the first in a series of exhibitions that will be popping up around Newcastle this year under the PODspace banner.
Transit Town was a photo media exhibition that explored Newcastle’s history and role as a port – a stopping off point for industry, travellers and students.
Curated by Nicole Chaffey and Alison Smith, and featuring work by Chris Byrnes, Liam Madsen, James Murphy, Adam Sandford, Dylan Smyth and Clare Weeks.
Held at the iconic Station Masters Cottage, Nobby’s Lighthouse, Newcastle.
Sundays 13th and 20th July, 10am-4pm.
Opening/Artists in Conversation: Sunday 13th July, 2-3pm.
PAST EXHIBITION: INSERT
March 3rd, 10th, 17th 2014
During May PODspace Gallery presented a series of art events in the laneway next to Caffestry in Newcastle East. This was an experiment not only in presenting events outside of the traditional gallery context, but also in bringing different artists together to explore the creative process.
The first night saw Misha and Luke Greenhalgh improvise a cross-artform collaboration that involved Misha painting a mural on a wall while responding to Luke’s music. Week two provided a real treat as Neil Mansfield projected his film ‘Street Sweeper’ onto the back wall of the laneway, while Fox Control performed live. The final instalment of INSERT saw David Graham facilitate a spoken word event where local poets read original work created for the evening. Music was provided by Grandmaster Monk.
This was PODspace Gallery’s first foray into pop-up art events. Thank you to all involved for helping make the series such a great success!
PAST EXHIBITION: PODSPACE AT THE LIGHTHOUSE
Weekends 6-7 and 13-14 July 2013
Helped along by glorious weather, more than 4000 people visited Nobbys Lighthouse during PODspace Gallery’s exhibition, ‘PODspace at the Lighthouse’.
Featuring local artists Michael Randall, Carolyn McKay, Peter Lankas, Liam Power, Nicole Chaffey and Anna Jaunts, the exhibition comprised works in and around the Signal Master’s Cottage, responsive to and from the site.
Works ranged from photography to plein air paintings and installations. Highlights included a camera obscura room set-up by Michael Randall that saw upside down images of the harbour projected onto the wall, and a TV set up in the bathtub by Carolyn McKay as part of her sound installation. The en plein air workshop facilitated by painter Peter Lankas saw five participants develop their skills while taking in the amazing views over the Newcastle city and harbour.
For previous exhibitions, go to the PODspace blog.