TOOWOOMBA'S newest art gallery provides a venue for emerging and established artists, experimental or traditional, art collectors and admirers.
made. is the creation of Elysha Gould and Alex Isaacson, business partners who saw a gap in Toowoomba’s vibrant but factional art scene.
“Toowoomba’s art world is growing and expanding,” Ms Isaacson said.
“We hope to provide a space for artists to be extremely experimental and one that is all-inclusive to students and the established, working artist.”
The journey from gallery employee to gallery owner has been exciting, but exhausting for the pair, with a lot of manual labor.
“Just this week, we’ve stripped the floor and painted the walls,” Ms Gould said.
“Once we made the decision to leap in, we found the process to be much bigger than we thought.
“It’s exhausting, but definitely rewarding.”
Ms Gould and Ms Isaacson took a long time to find the right property for made. The space had to be in the right location, but more importantly, affordable.
“The cost of the property was the main concern,” Ms Gould said.
“We didn’t want something too expensive, so we can make exhibitions affordable to artists.”
When they walked into their present Margaret Street location, the pair knew they had found the perfect place to call a gallery.
“The rooms just flow from one to the other; we don’t need to erect more walls,” they agreed.
“A lot of artists have visited and given us a phenomenal response – everyone is happy with it.”
Ms Gould and Ms Isaacson set out to unite the town’s many art centres.
The proactive duo hope made. will break the cycle of talented artists leaving the Darling Downs for bigger cities.
“There are certainly art hubs around Toowoomba; we hope to provide a place for all of them to network and exhibit,” Ms Gould said.
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OPEN PRODUCER Miranda Grant Published this wondrous story on her blog...read below or hit the link to read first hand...
An ocean of yellow has engulfed gallery 3 at the made creative space in Toowoomba. Using otherwise everyday stationery, visitors to the gallery are invited to send messages to Japan expressing support following March's devastating earthquake. Post-It notes are stuck on the gallery walls singing a ballad of recovery.
"I lived in Japan," Elysha Gould explains. Elysha is curator of the exhibition and founder of the made space. "I visited the Shinto Shrines where people buy their fortunes and tie the white pieces of paper to trees and statues. When you visit these places, it's a sea of white. It is just beautiful."
The made gallery has adapted this traditional Japanese practice of Omikuji as a community collaboration project to raise funds for the Red Cross’s Japan and Pacific Disaster Appeal. This art project is a brilliant example of a sword with two sharp edges - cultural awareness and community participation.
Participation is PowerfulRather than the traditional approach of 'putting on a show', participatory projects ask an audience to 'plant a tree' together. The audience is no longer passive, it is an active force of creation.
In her blog post There's a 'U' in Museum, Central Victoria Open Producer Jane Curtis says traditional museums are really trying to adapt their exhibitions to appeal to a wider audience. In terms of media, South West WA Open Producer Ruslan Kulski discusses how you can have an active role in shaping the ABC. Key thinker on the topic of 'audience participation', Nina Simone, believes that the shift toward active audience involvement reflects the ultimate goal of a democratic society.
"Resistance to audience participation," Nina says, "is often expressed as fear of losing control."
Power is CommunityThe made creative space is by its nature a participatory experience. The space was opened in January this year, a brain child of two USQ Art School graduates, Elysha and her business partner Alex Isaacson. The pair gutted what used to be a tattoo parlour, slathered on some white paint and transformed the upstairs space into an innovative gallery to showcase local artists. Every three weeks a new exhibition of local art is unveiled, free to the public. Community projects like the Post-Tsunami fundraiser and the upcoming Project: art journalreflect the ethos of made: a space for creative participation.
ABC Open Southern Queensland is excited to collaborate with the made creative community. We share, after all, the same ethos.
Keen to participate?Ideas and Info Evening @ made TONIGHT 4th May, 2011 6.30pm @ made creative space 174 Margaret St, Toowoomba
Or come along to a free video workshop this Saturday 7th May, 2011 11am - 2pm @ MARS Upstairs at the Metro cafe, Toowoomba
RSVP by emailing email@example.com
Cadavre Exquis curated by myself in the Toowoomba Mail
A Catalogue of media clippings.