The aim of the Lane Art Space is to activate a a key thoroughfare between West Lane and Mitchell Street, via a series of curated exhibitions, featuring poster size prints of local artists displayed on purpose built white walls and screen experimental digital video produced by local artists projected on lane way wall and on video screens inside Deck Bar.
After the NT Government announced the Live Darwin Art funding injection, inviting artists to revive the struggling CBD, local businessman, restaurateur and provocateur Jason Hanna invited me to develop and propose an exhibition concept and program to activate the laneway between West Lane and Mitchell Street and to situate the strategically placed Deck Bar and Café del art as a prime location for contemporary art happenings in the city.
The exhibition concept and program was enthusiastically received, discussed and agreed upon by the relevant stakeholders including NT House and the Paspaley Group of Companies, Jason Hanna from the Milestone Group of Companies and proprietor of the Deck Bar, as well as Luke Hunter at Knight Frank as property Managers of TIO Centre and Maria Simeon proprietor of Café Del Art. At the time, I was working on a short term locum with the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Service in Alice Springs.
Meetings were arranged after hours and on weekends via telephone and Skype. I drafted 9 different versions of the EOI, distributed these to the stakeholders, incorporating inputs, while I secured the support of the artists, the auspicing body and from other important organisations in the Darwin's arts community.
I also developed a proposed budget, itemized for artists fees and secured quotes from various tradesmen/women involved in exhibition making, builders, printers, sign makers, et al.
Whilst we secured 2/3rds of 50% sought through the Live Darwin Arts round, I am still looking at other funding sources, including private and philanthropic donations to secure a budget that reflects the true cost of the exhibitions planned. I am also trying to secure funding for documentation of this historic attempt to enliven Darwin through the arts.
The Lane Art Space proposes to develop an open air “lane way” art gallery and exhibition space for Darwin contemporary artists. The laneway walls be fitted with 2 “exhibition walls” to be used as an open exhibition space showcasing Darwin artists. The walls will be constructed out of marine ply wood, painted white in weather proof paint and sealed, to make them fit for an open exhibition space in the tropics.
Artist's impression of Lane Art Space courtesy of Matthew van Roden, depicting image by Jonathon Saunders.
It is proposed that the Lane Art Spce become an ongoing exhibition venue for local contemporary artists.
The shift walls will feature high end poster, sticker, and stencil creating a contemporary art at street scape level by Darwin’s eclectic visual artists with themes focused on Darwin’s shifting and dynamic urban landscape. It is further proposed that an outdoor projector be installed which will project “digital graffiti” in the evenings, and stimulating experimental digital video art streaming on loop inside through the Deck bar’s AV monitors.
The Deck Bar/Café del Art laneway is strategically placed thoroughfare, linking the diverse audiences (local and visitors alike) between The Esplanade, Mitchell St, Legislative Assembly, NT Supreme Court, NT Library, NT Visitor’s Center on Bennett St, West Lane and the Mall.
The Lane Art Space aims to activate this thoroughfare, with exhibition launch parties, and draw visitors and locals alike to appreciate contemporary art. Lane Art Space aims to provide cutting-edge experiences and foster an appreciation in the heart of the Darwin CBD of Darwin’s diverse contemporary art and culture makers.
The Deck Bar will provide a platform for Darwin’s video artists to show case their digital works using the Deck Bar’s flat screens, monitors and projectors, and take and expand appreciation of local Darwin contemporary art to new audiences. It is hoped, that by opening opportunities, our experimental film makers may find a context within which to thrive and propel them to national and international opportunities.
I want to engage local artists, showcasing their artworks in a program of revolving exhibitions according to my curatorial objective to highlight the depth and vitality of Darwin’s contemporary art scene. As with my seminal exhibition 2014 D.evolution which activated Mayfair Gallery in Harriet Place, I will aim to situate the lane way and Deck Bar as an epicentre for cutting edge contemporary art. Jason Hanna, is committed to supporting our dynamic visual culture, and wants to see whether the Deck Bar can become a leading venue promoting and supporting local visual artists to diverse audiences.
The exhibition hanging will be expertly planned and installed to project an eclectic visual arts experience. It will generate cultural capital for the city, and invest it with the aura of eclectic high end contemporary street and experimental video art.
Artist's impression of Lane Art Space courtesy of Matthew van Roden, depicting images by Franck Gohier.
The opening exhibition FRANCK! will be a tribute to our local international art hero, Franck Gohier. Franck is one of our most successful and beloved homegrown contemporary artist, and we will pay tribute to his dedicated Darwin based art practice with iconic FG Redhand print images pasted on exhibition wall as salon hang in various sizes larger format.
Inside Deckbar: flat screens displaying on loop a selection of cutting edge video art by 7 local artists. Theme: Darwin’s gaps and shadows
Artists will include: Matthew van Roden, Tara McDonald, Nadine Lee, Hannah Skhetch Illingworth, Jonathon Saunders, Emma Masters and Kaye Strange, reflective of Darwin’s eclectic multi-cultural community and hybrid cosmopolitanism.
Bong Ramilo will contribute to the festive atmosphere at the opening of Franck by performing electronic sound graffiti projected onto outside wall by the Darwin Laptop Orchestra.
We will plan a huge opening lane way party, and an event which will long be remembered as iconic, shape shifting and invigorating.
WTS for the subsequent events planned: including Jonathon Saunders and Koulla Roussos in the Return of TaNTrum and David Collin's beloved Wrestler Monthly 1977
The Lane Art Space has been made possible with the generous support of NT House and the Paspaley Group of Companies, Jason Hanna from the Milestone Group of Companies and proprietor of the Deck Bar, as well as Knight Frank as property Managers of TIO Centre and Maria Simeon proprietor of Café Del Art, and of course Chief Minister Michael Gunner, Arts Minister Lauren Moss and the NT Government. I remain grateful to all for this amazing opportunity.
Pic: N Hanigan, L Hunter, J Hanna, K Roussos, M Simeon