The 7th TWT Creative Precinct Block Party in St Leonards erupted into a carnival of colours and creativity on Friday, October 20th, 2023. This year’s theme was ‘Renew,’ with precinct, local, national and international artists immersing attendees in a fresh look at Sydney’s vibrant art scene.
Attendees flocked to the precinct in droves, each keen to embark on their own art adventure amid a mosaic of innovative, creative expression and lively street festivities.
The annual Block Party is a melting pot of creativity, and this year, it featured a stellar line-up of artists and programs. Well-known TWT Creative Precinct artistssuch as Aly Indermuhle, Debbie Mackinnon, Michaela Gleave, Oliver Watts and Paul McDonald joined the celebrations.
The ‘No Ordinary Block’ Book launch took a trip down memory lane and celebrated the precinct’s creative impact with anecdotal stories highlighting the past 9 years of continuous support to art and community. VIP guests helped make the launch special, including CEO of Urban Taskforce Tom Forrest, who spoke at the event and highlighted how TWT is differenciate from other developers by supporting art industry and giving back to the community. The production team of ‘No Ordinary Block’ TWT Art Initiatives Manager Ariel Zhang, James Winter from BrandX, and TWT Creative Precinct Artist Paul McDonald introduce the book.
This year’s mural was by local artist Helen Proctor, who has an epic reputation in the Sydney street art scene for her stencils, paste-ups and murals. Unveiling the new mural was TWT General Manager Gavin Zhang and distinguished guests North Sydney Council Mayor Zoe Baker,andNorth Sydney Council General Manager Therese Manns. Zoe Baker acknowledged TWT for their ongoing commitment to arts and culture in the precinct. “The TWT Creative Precinct not only celebrates and fosters creativity, but builds social networks and commercial opportunities. This in turn contributes to community cohesion and resilience, innovation, vibrancy and a diverse and robust economy,” said Baker.
Newcomers fresh from Vivid Sydney—Erth Visual & Physical Inc., and local art communities Studio A (a social enterprise supporting artists with intellectual disabilities) and Bradfield Senior College (which brings together a student body with creative potential)—wowed attendees looking for adventure through creativity.
In addition to the exciting programs, a diverse mix of local and international artists also participated in the street party for the culturally curious, including local Iranian artist Bahman Kemeny, artist-in-residence, Cheolyu Kim from Korea, and local Chinese artist Jeff Fan.
A wide range of artistic media, including murals, paintings, installations, performances, and a workshop and studio open day let party-goers explore the fascinating world of arts in the precinct. Tunes with Taste at Cicli Spirito,St Leonards most loved bicycle workshop, treated everyone to analog, 100% vinyl classic tunes played through a hi-fidelity sound system. Erth Visual & Physical Inc. roving performers kept everyone entertained with full-size T-Rex hero dinosaurs and self-illuminated mysterious Deep Sea Divers.
Resident artists held live painting, drawing, calligraphy and music workshops, including Korean artist Cheolyu Kim, fresh from exhibiting at Sydney Contemporary 2023. Kids of all ages experienced the fun of painting functional ceramics at Pinta Crafts’ Paint Your Own Pottery studio.
Among the exhibitors and art installations, Michaela Gleave’s The Sky Continues Beneath Our Feet and Terrella’s larger-than-life live video installation left onlookers speechless, while Aly Indermuhle’s immersive experience,Colour Bathing 2023.
Guests got a fascinating glimpse into how artists develop new work at The Artist Studio exhibition by Working Dog Gallery—and it was a true feast for the eyes and the soul. The exhibition showcased a collection of working sketches and pages from artists’ notebooks and sketchbooks, detailing the concepts, creativity and flights of imagination that go into creating an artwork.
A growing creative hub
Launched in 2014, the TWT Creative Precinct has been a vibrant cornerstone for Sydney artists and creatives.
The TWT Creative Precinct has facilitated over 800 artists and creative businesses from the visual, performing, music and film disciplines. Since opening in 2014, the precinct has provided the local creative community with over 4,000m2 of subsidised space.
“At TWT Property, we see ourselves as more than just developers; we’re patrons of the arts,” says Gavin Zhang, Director of TWT Property Group. “Our annual Block Party is more than spectacle; it reflects our local talent right here in Sydney and brings the best of the world’s most imaginative artists to St Leonards.”