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Hothouse: a collaborative exhibition, at Northcity4.


As a shared studio workshop, NC4 serves its many artists in residence as an office, a workshop, a refuge (home away from home), a creative space, a storage space, a lunch space, an 80’s inspired aerobics space, a teaching space, learning space, a space of encouragement and venting, and a thinking space. Our hours in-house vary and range across the 24-hour span, 7 days a week. Many of us cross over during the week; some of us take over the studio, unseen, when others have left on the weekends or late at night.

There are a lot of us in here: with 10 permanent spaces and three short-term spaces, the influence of the Northcity4 community is far-reaching. With classes, workshops and seminars, Christmas parties and lunches, even more pass through the space. Connections grow. Friendships grow. Ideas grow. The plants get Seasol, but mainly we are fed on cake (with that many people, there’s a birthday every few weeks), cheese (the toastie press is always on), and tea (because someone else is always making it, so you can’t say no).

Within all the sharing, and all the community of the space, our individual work and practices remain intensely private. Our investigations into what drives us as makers, what excites and motivates our work are personal pursuits. Our experiments, mistakes and successes are often shared and discussed, but they are made up of a unique chemistry of influences before, during and after Northcity4. And so this exhibition has been a different kind of production from the NC4 hive.

Hothouse is a collaborative installation by fourteen current and past residents of NC4 over 2015. Within this space that prides itself on having no walls, we have worked together and strung and woven and knotted a black webbed room, and stuffed it with rescued waste from our urban environment: cycle shops and industry. And inside this we exhibit our many different workings. It is an exhibition of our community, demonstrating our collective difference that makes a whole. We’ve balanced and tugged at each other and at ourselves: to contribute to the planning and execution of the exhibition, and also to contribute the individual works that represent each of us working within this space.

Welcome to the Hothouse. This is what we’ve been up to in here.

Hothouse is presented as part of the Radiant Pavilion Contemporary Jewellery trail and Craft’s Craft Cubed festival.

Text by Anna Gray studio artist and chief technical officer at Northcity4


September 3 – 19. Open 11am – 5pm Thurs, Fri & Sat

At the Northcity4 studio: 61 Weston Street, Brunswick


Welcome to the Hothouse

Welcome to the Hothouse

the webbed wall looking through to the studio spaces

the entrance to the webbed “room” looking through to the studio spaces

Inside the Hothouse

Inside the Hothouse

work by Carolyn Kinnaird

work by Carolyn Kinnaird

work by Katherine Bowman

work by Katherine Bowman

work by Inari Kiuru

work by Inari Kiuru

work by Callie Whelan

work by Callie Whelan

work by Anna Gray

work by Anna Gray

work by Jinah Jo

work by Jinah Jo

work by Toyah Perry

work by Toyah Perry

work by Jana King

work by Jana King

work by Anna Davern

work by Anna Davern

work by Cass Partington

work by Cass Partington

work by Ali Limb

work by Ali Limb

Work by Antonia Field

Work by Antonia Field

Work by Nicky Hepburn

Work by Nicky Hepburn

work by Emma Grace

work by Emma Grace

work by Emma Grace

work by Emma Grace



Northcity4 is proud to be hosting Hothouse, a showcase of contemporary jewellery and objects by the resident artists at Northcity4. Fourteen artists contemplate the influence of a shared studio on their practice.

Please join us to celebrate the opening of the exhibition after the seminar Jewellery Three Ways – Skill on Sunday September 6 from 6.30-8pm
Hothouse is presented as part of Radiant Pavilion and Craft Cubed

The exhibition runs from 3-19 September 2015
11AM-5PM Thu, Fri & Sat
Opening: Sunday September 6 at 6:30-8PM
Northcity4, 61 Weston St, Brunswick 3056


Arts Project Australia Collaboration

arts project home page slide show

Venue: Northcity4 Facade, 61 Weston Street Brunswick
Dates: August 4 – 30
Launch: 2pm Sat August 8th (at Northcity4)
All welcome

Over the past weeks an enthusiastic group of artists at Arts Project Australia have been working towards a window installation on the facade of Northcity4’s studio in Brunswick.
The group visited Northcity4 a few weeks ago to asses the space and get inspiration for their installation which will take place as part of the 2015 Craft Cubed Festival held in August.
After some serious brain storming and collaborative research the group agreed on the theme of creating individual nests to be displayed as a group on the Northcity4 facade.
unknown copy 2
Using recycled materials that can also withstand the wild winter weather, the group have been hard at work making 3 dimensional art works for this exciting project.
Ali & Katherine from Northcity4 payed a return visit to meet with the artists working on their nests in the Arts Project Australia studio.
We are really looking forward to seeing the nests installed at Northcity4 during Craft Cubed.
The work will be on display 24/7 from August 4 -30.
Thank you to all the artists involved in the project and the staff at Arts Project Australia for their enthusiasm and commitment to this project.


Printarts project logo

Northcity4 beginners jewellery course graduate news

beginners jewellery course

Shane, Kat and Tara in their new studio in Collingwood


Kat Abbott, Tara Hall and Shane Hutchinson completed the beginners jewellery course at Northcity4 last year and have now set up a fully equipped studio space in Collingwood’s Cavern Table Studios and have started creating and selling their jewellery. One of our Beginners Jewellery teachers, Anna Davern paid them a visit to check out how it’s all going…

Hi guys, this space is fantastic! Well done. Can you tell me how it all started? You obviously met at the beginners jewellery course at NC4…

TARA: And then we all did the stone setting course after that

KAT: We probably first started talking about it at the start of the stone setting course. Shane and I started talking about it and then Tara came on board.

So who found the space?

SHANE: Kat found it. We looked at heaps of places on line, but in the end it came down to between two places

TARA: The great thing about Cavern Table is that all expenses are included in the rent: electricity, wifi and public liability insurance.

Where did you see it advertised?

KAT: On the Creative Spaces website which is a great place to find work spaces. A lot of places didn’t want people who have noisy practices. I was really upfront about it: “We’re gonna be banging and sawing and drilling”. A lot of the spaces catered to architects and illustrators etc.

beginners jewellery course Melbourne

Very cute old wall paper on the door to the entrance of their studio

beginners jewellery courses melbourne

Shane, Kat and Tara’s bright purple bench still has space for one more…

How much space have you got here and do you mind me asking how much it costs?

SHANE: It’s 12 square metres.

TARA: It’s $140 each per month. We’re looking for a fourth person, which will bring it down again (if you’re looking for studio space contact Kat via her website)

KAT: The other great thing is that the guys who manage the studios also have the shop Cavern Table on Johnston St and I’m selling my jewellery there now.

Talk to me about how you went about setting up your studio

SHANE: you can’t do a lot of stuff unless you’ve got the right tools

TARA: We started out using a butane torch but you can’t get enough heat in the metal so I invested in a better torch

KAT: It’s worth investing in the equipment once you get this far

How much have you invested in equipment

KAT: It’s all been Shane really (laughter)

SHANE: I’ve spent about $4000 I suppose. The rolling mills were the big expense. I went nuts with the Rio Grande catalogue. But even though I purchased the equipment, everyone’s free to use it. All the little hand tools add up too and I bought the more expensive stuff, it’s not worth getting the cheap stuff.

TARA: I spent probably $1500 but we share everything.

KAT: I already had lots of tools but I’ve probably spent a couple of hundred

So you could set up a studio like this between four of you for $4000

SHANE: Easily! You could come in here with $500 each and you’d have a great set up. I use the rolling mills a lot but you can buy metal in the size you need so they’re not essential when you start. One of the things we wanted to do when we moved in here was roller printing and no one’s done any!

KAT: I’ve done lots of roller printing!! (laughter)

How much was the postage from Rio Grande, delivered from the US?

SHANE: Dear! Nearly $700 to get it shipped but it still worked out about the same price as getting it here. It got here in 3 days!

beginners jewellery courses melbourne

Brand spanking new bench shears with Kat’s design work on the wall

beginners jewellery courses melbourne

bench shot

So how often do you all get in here?

TARA: I work casually so I’ve started taking Fridays off work so that I can spend the whole day in here. I was living in Gippsland but I’ve moved up here now so it’s a lot easier to get in.

KAT: I come in at least 2 nights a week because I work in Carlton and live in Abbotsford so it’s on the way home and I come in a lot on the weekend because I live really close.

SHANE: I live in Sunbury but I’m moving closer to where I work so I’ll have more time in the studio this year

KAT & TARA: Yay!

SHANE: We email each other every day to see who’s coming in to work. It’s important for us to have a shared studio. I would’ve stopped making jewellery if I didn’t have it. Even if I’d bought all the same equipment that I’ve bought I would’ve stopped without a shared studio.

KAT: it’s exciting to be in the environment where other people work. Also, we come in here and we can tell each other everything. We’re not really attached to each others’ lives so we can be really honest, and bitch and moan (laughter)

SHANE: Yeah, there are 3 counselors in here – it just depends on who’s having a bad day.

TARA: It’s really cathartic coming here. We’re so used to sitting in front of a screen all day, it’s great to do something with your hands. I now have a better appreciation for the expression “blood, sweat and tears” I’ve literally put that into all of my work. (laughter) After travelling last year I came back looking for something that I could be excited about and something to learn that involved making and that I could use to start my own business. I wanted it to be my product, etc, so I took the class at Northcity4 and kept thinking “don’t think too businessy about it, just go there and enjoy it.” And I LOVED it!

SHANE: I nearly didn’t do the course, because I thought it was a girl thing to do rather than a guy thing. And then when I thought about it, it’s almost more manly because of the tools and equipment, etc.

We get a real mix in our classes. So you all have other jobs?

SHANE: I do estimating for windows

TARA: I work in marketing

KAT: I’m in design. Our diverse backgrounds mean that I can do the logos and artwork for the studio, Tara does the strategizing and motivation and Shane can help out with quotes and business stuff.

SHANE: And I can build all the tables and benches. Everyone brings something

beginners jewellery courses melbourne

Works in progress by Kat

beginners jewellery courses melbourne

Anticlastic (or is it synclastic) raised bangle by Shane

Are you selling your work?

KAT: I get quite a few hits and sales on my website. I post stuff on facebook and that get’s lots of people there. I’m also doing the Makers Market at the Abbotsford Convent this weekend (see below for the flyer)

TARA: I had my first market in January and sold my first piece! It was an arts market in Warragul in Gippsland. I applied and they had a cancellation so I took the audacious step and signed up. I had about 2-3 pieces finished pieces when I applied and only 3 days left to make the rest of the work, so I took a few days off my other job and spent 3 days in here just bashing things out. I had 20 pieces at the end.

SHANE: I give most of my stuff away

You have to stop being so generous!

Thanks so much for your time, it’s great to see what you’re doing here and it’s nice to think that Northcity4 contributed to you setting up this great space.


Eddy Carroll interview – TRADE BEADS

Eddy Carroll interviewed by Ali Limb about her upcoming installation TRADE BEADS.

Trade Beads by Eddy Carroll
On the facade of Northcity4
61 Weston Street, Brunswick
February 7th 2015 – April 5th 2015


What inspired the creation of Trade Beads?

When I was an artist in resident in Istanbul, I collected fishing buoys from the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn (a horn shaped estuary that joins the Bosphorus) and made a giant set of worry beads or ‘tesbih’ as they’re called in Turkish.

Before leaving, I threw the worry beads into the sea, releasing my worries. A fishermen nearby, fished the beads out and then also had a go, soon everyone wanted a throw.

The ‘Tesbih’ ended up back on shore in a private collection 😉 I loved collecting and making that piece, it was contemplative, methodical, it was about walking and exploring my new city, I’m always a flaneur.

eddy carroll worry beads sustainable living festival


Could you explain the materials you have chosen to use and why?

When I was invited to create an installation for Northcity4’s façade I decided I’d love to make a giant necklace being a jewelry workshop and all…

I had just moved to Brunswick and was a newcomer to so many things; this project was a way into my new community.

I began to ask people to save their opaque plastic bottles from shampoo, dishwashing, and cleaning products…

People I asked were like, “oh it takes me for ever to use, I won’t be done by the time you need it.” But I had planted a seed.

Before I knew it I had bottles coming from everywhere, for some people it wasn’t an effort, I’m sure some even de-cantered liquids into glass jars… I bought a small saw and began making ‘beads’.

I came across some great hand spun, saffron dyed, coconut twine, pushed aside my worktable and began to assemble a giant necklace.

eddy carroll trade beads sustainable living festival

Is this a scale you usually work on?

I had fun adjusting my work size to a much larger scale and using materials that can withstand being outdoors.

In my ‘usual’ practice I work with reused, collected plastic sequins and beads as well as textiles. I hand embroider, cross-stitch, I hand sew soft sculptural forms.

I’m not a jeweller but my work relates to the body. Soon enough a giant series of  ‘Trade Beads’ had began to take shape.

While threading bottles together for this project I also worked on a highly detailed soft sculpture made out of tulle and individually hand sewn sequins for the Craft Victoria ‘White Goods’ show.  It’s good for my eyes to mix it up a bit.


Limited edition fine art print archival rag paper 55×35 $260 Collaboration between Eddy Carroll artist, and fine art photographer Lesley Turnbull.


What is the main message you are conveying in this work?

My art practice is inspired and driven by an enquiry into sustaining and adapting cultures. Amongst other things I’m interested in how new materials enter into traditional textile practices.

Fluorescent yarns in weaving from S.E Asia , synthetic replica costumes in Eastern Europe, machine sewing in Guatemalan village embroidery, plastic raffia in South pacific weaving, there are endless adaptations.

I’ve been to some incredible places in the world – plastic is completely every where. Whether it’s burning, floating and chocking up waterways or as disposable goods for ‘hygiene’ or amazing recycled plastic. I find it an interesting juxtaposition of pollution and innovative responses, a direct result of an unjust economic order.

I find something absurd about plastic.

But saying that I have to confess that there is something in me that doesn’t mind aesthetically a bit of plastic; for instance when I was in Turkey in a place called Mardin I bought, for around $1, a plastic jug that was the exact the same shape as traditional ceramic jug used since the Byzantium times… Walking through the town I saw those plastic jugs being used in day-to-day life and I was so moved, in the same way I was by seeing the original artifacts in the antiquities museum.

I also collected plastic donkey jewellery worn by the donkeys that worked with the tradesmen, hauling loads of what seemed like cement mix through the streets … These hardworking beautiful animals wearing headdresses and necklaces like they had forever, just made of bright plastic and synthetic ‘woolen’ pom poms.


The sequins I use now, were once made of celluloid, before that sequins derived from small metal coins used to adorn costume, the beads were once glass, it’s all plastic now. Shiny, shimmery, plasticy stuff. It never stops being produced.

Yep, there’s an absurdity to plastic, it’s made to last forever but it’s so disposable.

What other projects are you working on this year?

Running along side Trade Beads and the Sustainable Living Festival I have work in Craft Victoria White Goods. At the end of February I am involved in a group show of the City of Dandenong Heritage Hill 2014 Artists in Residency, which I had the good fortune of being one.

I’ll also be working with Lisa Hilli at the Australian Tapestry Workshop later in the year, which is very exciting; I’ll keep you posted via Instagram 😉 @glimmerofwildpatience. Heh heh.

Thanks for the opportunity to be apart of Northcity4’s program and The Sustainable Living Festival, I’m always totally inspired by what you all do. I’ve had a really fun time working on Trade Beads.

Special thanks to all the people who collected and handed over their bottles, you’re an integral part of this work. We’re all in it together.

Thanks to you Eddy



Eddy Carroll – Trade Beads

Eddy Carroll Trade Beads Sustainable Living Festival

Once again, Northcity4 is excited to have a project running in the Sustainable Living Festival program. Eddy Carroll will adorn the façade of Northcity4’s warehouse in Brunswick with a giant strand of beads made from reclaimed opaque plastic containers strung onto rope. Eddy’s installation ‘Trade Beads’ inspired by a previous residency in Istanbul, will be on display from February 7th 2015 until early April 2015 and will be viewable 24/7.


Screenshot 2014-11-10 13.17.32


We are very excited to announce that Northcity4 has received the Bank Of Melbourne Local project award of $10,000, to develop an indoor  air purifying forest and we look forward to sharing the resources with you all and the wider community.

Thanks to our wonderful friends, family and supporters this dream is now going to become a reality.

Special thanks to Inari Kiuru who has designed and led this project.

We look forward to sharing the outcomes with you in 2015.


Pop up exhibition at Northcity4 – Jewellist at large Melissa Cameron

Northcity4 is packing up the consultation room and sprucing it up for Melissa Cameron’s pop up exhibition “One Design”.  It will be open for one day only; Saturday 25th October from 10-4pm, 61 Weston St Brunswick.

Melissa will be available all day to chat with keen exhibition goers about her contemporary jewellery, design, materials, process, life in Seattle and the challenges of organising pop up exhibitions via correspondence.




Imagine a workplace filled plants of all sizes and shapes, constantly purifying and renewing the quality of the air.

At Northcity4 Inari Kiuru has designed a living indoor air purifying forest, which will do just that.

Inari has led this amazing project to the finals of the Bank Of Melbourne Local Project awards where we are currently holding 3rd place.

This is a very exciting opportunity and we need to reach first or even second place by Tuesday October 21st for this concept to become a reality.

As first or second place this project will be awarded a $10,000 grant to research and build this indoor forest.

The best bit is that the grant will make it possible to develop and collate all the resources and make this available to the wider community so people can build their own indoor air purifying forests at work or home.

Please help us by placing your vote before 5pm on Tuesday October 21st and ask a friend or three to do so too….

For the hundreds of amazing people who have already voted we thank you.

Screenshot 2014-10-17 10.57.15

Jewellery 3 Ways

jewellery 3 ways seminar

work by (L-R) Manon van Kouswijk, Maree Clarke, Jane Laver

(by Katherine Bowman)

This coming Thursday, 9th October, Northcity4 is hosting our next seminar, Jewellery 3 Ways.

Each of our seminars has a different focus, and the focus this time is on jewellery/adornment. I always feel that it is important to look outside of your field of interest/study for inspiration and knowledge and this thought has informed the creation of this seminar.

Our marketing states:

Jewellery 3 Ways will look at our complex and rich practice from three different perspectives in an attempt to create an alternative way of looking at contemporary jewellery.

I have great respect and admiration for the three speakers we have speaking at the seminar: Manon van KouswijkMaree Clarke and Jane Laver.

I am so looking forward to hearing their individual perspectives on their practices. We hope that you can join us on the evening. More information can be found here.

To celebrate the seminar we have a new window installation going up this week by Marcos Guzman, entitled Future Plants and Flora Project.

On the night, we also will have work on display by the respective artists as well as a selection of artist monographs from Gallery Funaki, which are available for purchase.

Tickets to the seminar are $20 and are available here.

I hope that you can join us – Northcity4, on the evening.