Even a month's worth of rain in under twenty four hours won't stop this cultural mission! Culture Scouts took an international media group on a cultural walking on Friday 19th May, on behalf of Surry Hills Creative Precinct. Consisting of visitors from across the world, the group were taken around Bourke Street, Crown Street and Devonshire Street in search of the design driven minds that the Sydney cityscape is famous for.

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Smart Design Studio
Culture Scout Guide, Sophia, led guests into Smart Design to meet William Smart - the founder and Creative Director of the studio. Shortlisted to build the Singapore National Museum at the age of twenty-nine, Smart is a passionate architect who throws himself into his projects. He speaks to visitors about how he is currently trying to harness unusual tension between the old and new aspects of a bridge that is  being built. Using 3-D printing, the models they create aim to make the building they create both sculptural and beautiful to their purpose. Interestingly, the studio itself used to be a farmhouse, and was once part of soldier Joseph Foveaux’s farmland in nineteenth century Sydney.

The Pottery Shed
The Pottery Shed is exactly how you’d imagine a seventies California pottery workshop. It’s an oasis of calm in a busy existence (albeit a modernised one). Located on Nickson Street, just off Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, The Pottery Shed has a warm interior, with glowing tea cups, bowls and vases sited carefully on every surface. Joe Darling, the founder of the establishment, comes in halfway through to tell how his classes work. “[Pottery] draws you in,” Darling explains, “restricting other thoughts; pulling together your centred-ness and focus. It would have been the thing that would have kept me out of my possibly troubled youth.”

Read the interview with Joe Darling here

Village Voices
Next the group walked along to performer’s Astra Howard’s public artwork, Village Voices. Created as a work that can be changed often, Village Voices selects texts submitted by the public through a drop box at Surry Hills Library. They are then displayed at the Wiltshire Through Link off Crown Street. Through doing this, Howard hopes to tell both local and global stories to passers-by.

Special Group: Pool Collective
Special Group are an independent creative company, who work with such creative giants as R.M. Williams, King Living, Pet Barn and Qantas. They currently reside in what was the Hughes Gallery (Ray Hughes is a colourful Sydney art character - famous for his dramatic lunches). Boasting a beautiful collection of art, they just finished hosting Pool Grant winner, Alama Holmberg’s photographic collection, Resist Laughter. A series based around the then Turkish Prime Minister’s, Bülent Arinç, comments that women should ‘resist’ laughing in public, Holmberg photographed women’s rights activists. The night of Friday 19th May, The Pool Collective - a group of commercial artists who are resident - are launching their exhibition, Pool IX. We particularly loved Christopher Ireland’s video work, which documents the residents of a building in Kirribilli.

Gascoigne and King
After a sneaky coffee stop at the Artificer Specialty Coffee Bar & Roastery (for the most delicious flat whites Sydney has to offer the international crowd) the group took a final stop at the home of entrepreneurial Bronwyn Gascoigne. Gascoigne created and drives a line of natural and environmentally friendly candle products. A professional nez, she used a series of perfumes to demonstrate how she mixes scents. Known for her woody and mixed variety, her candles made the whole place smell almost delicious as the cupcakes she gave out.

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