Preview :: FraserStudios Open Day

July 28th 2011

Image Credit :: Liz Schaffer


Ever wanted to creep into an artist's studio and watch their work unfold, with a sausage sandwich in your hand? Then have a chat to local performing artists about their projects while the BBQ sauce dribbles onto your paper napkin? And check out how a blank room can be transformed into a living, breathing artistic space – while you try and get that pesky bit of onion out of your teeth?

Salivating? You know it. This Sunday you can satisfy all these cravings and more at the FraserStudios Open Day and FREE sausage sizzle in Chippendale. We spoke to one of the organisers, Julia Lenton, about what will be on show for your hungry eyes (and bellies).

FBi: First off, could you tell us a bit about FraserStudios – where is it, who runs it and how does it work?

Julia: FraserStudios is a multi-disciplinary arts space in a converted three-storey warehouse on Kensington Street in Chippendale (just around the corner from The Clare Hotel). The building, which was a rum store and fire station in its different lives, is owned by Frasers Property (they're developing the Old Carlton United Brewery site next door) and run by non-profit arts organisation Queen Street Studio, who once upon a time ran a space in Queen Street proper, hence the branding confusion!

On the ground level we have a meeting and event space, a gallery and photo shoot space, and a rehearsal space; all available for hire at very affordable rates. We also run a residency program, which offers FREE space for both performing artists and visual artists. The visual artists have studios in the top two levels of FraserStudios and the performing artists use our rehearsal space, Studio 14. Performing artists can get up to three weeks of free studio space while most visual arts residencies last for three months, except for our six month residency we offer to emerging artists twice a year. Phew!! We also run professional development programs, script development programs, performing arts residencies for emerging performance makers, and have recently taken over the facilitation of a small grants program…

FBi: On Open Day, there is a chance to have a look at the working artist's studios. That feels a little like sneaking into someone's bedroom – can we expect a similar kind of personalised mess?

Julia: Well the artists are expecting company, so I think a little bit of spit-and-polish will happen before 31 July. But yes, the studios are very much working studios, so there's paint and clay and all sorts of artistic mediums strewn over the floor! Studios are a very personal space and one of the reasons we do an open studio is to give people who aren't artists the chance to peek behind-the-scenes. Is it all red wine, cigarettes and naked muses?* I guess you'll have to come along and find out for yourself.

FBi: Can you give us a run-down of the current exhibitions in Studio 12? Who should we make a bee-line towards?

Julia: It's a total mix bag and since the artists are bringing their works for exhibition to me during the week I don't even know exactly what I'm dealing with! But I do know Team Mess, who are currently our six month residents, will be showing a video piece from their highly acclaimed This Is It, and Sarah Breen Lovett is working on a site-specific project which projects light and images into our heritage listed lift shaft. There are a few more video works, paintings, drawings, sculpture… it's an eclectic showcase of the different artists we've had in residence over the last six months.

FBi: It's not just about vis


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