A Whistlestop Trip: Marrickville Open Studio Tour

Two tours for the Inner West Council

All aboard! Culture Scouts led The Cultural Express Tour in partnership with Inner West Open Studio Trail last Saturday (2pm - 4pm). Hopping on the train at Newtown Train Station, we took the group to pull back the curtain on the vibrant inner-west creative scene.

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Saturday: The Cultural Express Tour #1

STOP #1: MLC Gallery
Artist, Miriam Cabello, is also the curator of the MLC Gallery Space - the studio and gallery. As part of Vivid Ideas, Carnival of the Bold collaborated with Miriam to present Cause & Effect: Artists for Social Change. Our lucky walkers attended the critical discussion; part of the two-week MLC exhibition worked on by Miriam and five other artists; Andrea Srisurapon, Mandy Schöne-Salter, Marwa Charmand, Sherine Tan and Tia Kass.

STOP #2: Lennox Street Studios
Lennox Street Studios, one of Sydney’s oldest artist run studios, developed out of a need to meet the demand for traditional artist spaces in Sydney. Recently they have been trying to bring outsiders in through photography and design. Each artist now has their own profile page. Art classes and exhibitions are held all year round, with occasional community events (Saturday was a classic BBQ).

STOP #3: Newsagency Gallery
Newsagency gallery evokes a sense of Aussie nostalgia, with a faded Women's Weekly sign out the front. But in no way is it stuck in the past. Both curating group exhibitions, and hosting solo shows by emerging and established artists, Newsagency likes to shake things up.

Sunday: Delve into Marrickville Tour #2

STOP #1: Fintan Magee & ZAP street art
No trip to Marrickville would be complete without seeing some of the remarkable street art murals that are so numerous you’d almost forget how amazing they are. Fintan ‘the Banksy of Australia’ Magee was showcasing his social realism. He depicts workers, and other people who are assets to the community who don’t usually get seen. The mysterious ZAP artist also made an appearance with his jaunty comic book-esque graphics.

STOP #2: Monster Mouse Studios
The walkers were welcomed off the winding back lanes by Carizza, who took us around the maze of artistic nooks and crannies. Walking in and out of the studios of woodworkers, painters, and sculptors was a highlight - especially when Art Pharmacy painter Claire Nakazawa paused in her work to give us some information about how she worked. Afterwards, tourers admires the exhibition taking place within Monster Mouse.

Claire Nakazawa

Claire Nakazawa

STOP #3: Scratch Studios
The energy was incredible - performance art involving sugar cubes and clay, artists working away on their projects, and all working as smoothly as clockwork. A highlight was photographer’s Grace Costa’s beautiful horse photographs. The images were so soft, you’d be forgiven for thinking some of them were paintings. Carmel, of Scratch, rounded off the visit with a talk about the inner workings of Scratch.

STOP #4: Batch Brewery Company
For thirsty walkers, nothing is more appealing than a beer a cold beer, in an atmospheric brewery on a stunningly beautiful Sunday afternoon. With some delicious kebab wraps to regain stamina, the guys at Batch brewer were friendly and hospitable.

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