Monday, December 1, 2008

Newtown Festival 2008 - Great 30th Birthday!

Newtown Festival started 30 years ago to raise awareness of homelessness and continued the grand tradition by raising funds and awareness for Newtown Neighbourhood Centre projects including Roomies Artspace.

The Roomies Artspace tent was open through the day in the Local Village area, with demonstrations, art classes and a drawing competition.

In 2009, the weather was beautiful and the atmosphere was great. As usual the Festival had a varied and interesting program of events from the Dog Show and Writers Tent to the multiple stages for music and performance.

80,000 people had a fabulous time, with 280 market and food stalls and environmental and art workshops (incl Roomies!)

Some performances weren't on the program but Newtown Festival is a true community event!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Roomies 08 Exhibition Article from the Glebe

the article "Creativity from the Margins" by Lana Lam, featured in this week's Glebe and is reproduced in full below.

Natalie McCarthy from Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, artist Janet Barker and Codfather owner Ross Godfrey are proud of the Roomies art exhibition. Picture: DANNY AARONS PP202869

FINE food, goodwill and art come together this week at a unique exhibition of creative works from people who are either homeless or living in boarding houses.
The show, which features works from residents living in boarding houses in Marrickville, opens Thursday (Oct 16) and will run until this Sunday (Oct 19).
The artists have created their works at the Roomies art space at the Addison Rd Centre.
The community art space, funded by StreetSmart and managed by the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, is for boarding house residents and artists with mental illnesses or disabilities, allowing them to develop their art in a safe and supported environment.
For the past few years, StreetSmart, an organisation which supports grassroots community organisations helping the homeless, has worked with inner-west restaurants to raise money for local projects such as Roomies.
In the lead-up to Christmas, diners at restaurants such as The Codfather, Oscillate Wildly and Perama, are asked to donate a few dollars to StreetSmart projects.
Ross Godfrey, who co-owns The Codfather in Stanmore, said the innovative collaboration filled a void. “We see enough need in the Newtown area,” he said.
“There’s only been one table in two years that’s said no. Coming up to Christmas, some people put in an extra $20.”
Artist Janet Barker has lived in a Marrickville boarding house for about three years.
Her work, titled Solar, features on the marketing material for the show. “It’s a house I dreamt I was in,” she told The Glebe.
Every fortnight, she spends time at Roomies, creating art and learning about new mediums such as print-making.
“I like to draw. It allows me to be creative and it calms me,” she said.
The Sydney Street Choir, another StreetSmart-funded project, will perform at the opening tonight.
Roomies will also run a special workshop on Friday, October 17, from 11am to 2pm.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roomies 08 Exhibition

As part of AntiPoverty Week, Roomies will be having an exhibition at Addison Rd Gallery from Thursday 16th October until Sunday 19th October.

You are invited to the opening on Thursday night from 6-8pm with special guests Sydney Street Choir. Or view the art at Addison Rd Gallery, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville, on Friday, Saturday or Sunday between 10 and 4pm.

Or attend the open workshop on Friday 17th October between 11 and 2 at Roomies Artspace, Hut 43, Addison Rd Centre, 142 Addison Rd Marrickville. We'd love it if you could attend or spread the word.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Art, Mind and Meaning: Event (working title tbc)

I propose that Roomies Artspace hosts a symposium on art, mind and meaning, with a particular focus on mental illness and art. Speakers would be practitioners, which with a play on words would enable us to invite speakers from the medical/health world, as well as the art/aesthetics world as well our artists and other interested artists.

I recently attended the Art, beauty, mind talk at the State Library, which was an Artlink launch. Speakers were Imants Tillers, Professor Ian North and Dr Evian Gordon from Westmead Hospital. Dr Gordon, an artist and neurologist, referenced a 21st century paper on Neurology, the New Philosophy. This really epitomised the evening's topic and talkers which was interestingly selected by guest editor Margot Osborne.

We could approach Accessible Arts for assistance, but I would be inclined to aim for an event somewhere at Addison Rd Centre, inconjunction with the forthcoming prints exhibition, advertized in Artlink, Artshub, Acme, ArtAlmanac, Facebook and others? any thoughts anyone?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Parity Article July 2007

by Leigh Connell,
Co-ordinator Boarding House Project Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.

for Parity's July 2007 issue

"Rooming and Boarding Houses: at the crossroads?"

ROOMIES ARTSPACE was opened in October 2005 by Archibald prize winning artist Cherry Hood. It is a community non-profit artspace where boarding house residents and artists with mental illness or disabilities are able to attend workshops and work individually or with volunteer mentors to develop as individuals and practicing artists.

ROOMIES ARTSPACE is at the Addison Road Centre Marrickville located in Sydneys Inner West and is an area that has a high concentration of licensed and unlicensed boarding houses. For many years the Boarding House Project from Newtown Neighbourhood Centre has run various programs for residents of boarding houses and this includes an art group that has been running for the last 12 years. It became clear that many of the artists from the group wanted more than the fortnight gathering to pursue their art, this is where the art space has evolved from.

For those living in boarding house there is often little opportunity to engage in artistic activities, few opportunities for privacy and almost no funds to purchase art materials. ROOMIES ARTSPACE provides the opportunity to engage in artistic pursuits, a creative environment and a safe place for a coffee and chat. The space provides a physical space and the social and emotional support that is allowing many of the artists to flourish and earn some dollars. The annual exhibitions are now selling out and NSW parliament has recently purchased 2 ROOMIES ARTSPACE works for their private collection. Meanwhile other works have been displayed alongside mainstream artist in events such as “walking the streets” and in several well known galleries around Sydney.

ROOMIES ARTSPACE is funded entirely by donations, client contributions and Newtown Neighbourhood Centre. Donations have been received from National Australia Bank, a boarding house resident’s trust fund, Cutcliffe Gallery and the Marrickville Sketch Club and other local fund raising activities. We are applying for funds through various state and federal programs along with trusts and foundations for coordination of the space, a ramp for access and on going tutoring and materials.

Newtown Neighbourhood Centre has a strong record of innovative cultural and social activism, from running the Newtown Festival to advocating boarding house reform and welcomes the idea of supporting Boarding House residents.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Spirit of Soul Festival

The Spirit of Soul Festival is a community event that has been organized to raise funds and awareness for Mental Illness. From 18th to 20th of January 2008, is a comprehensive ‘live’ soul music festival that will host its main event at The Factory Theatre in Marrickville over the 3 nights.

We will also be integrating other smaller events into the S.O.S. festival by including on the program, ‘Funked Up Films’ @ Soni’s in Newtown, ‘ReSouled’ Vinyl Auction Fundraiser @Newtown RSL, ‘Bowl for Soul’ fundraiser @ Marrickville Bowling Club, ‘What has touched your SOUL?’ photography competition at Mad Gallery in Enmore, raising funds for Roomies Artspace!

During the 3 days, we will sell afro wigs for ‘Every days a FroDay’ to raise awareness for Bipolar and Depression, and encourage everyone at the festival to wear blue wrist bands from Beyond Blue to support those suffering from various levels of depression at our info stall called ‘Beyond the Blues’.