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.
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