As the Lower North Shore turned out in force for TWT Creative Precinct’s fourth annual Block Party in St Leonards on 24 March, TWT’s General Manager announced a three year continuation of the innovative initiative, which has seen the conversion of commercial buildings between Atchison St and Chandos St in St Leonards into large-scale creative spaces for local artists. Originally envisaged as a three year project, an extension of the hugely successful precinct is made possible through the generous financial support of Bridging Hope Charity Foundation.
Established in 2014, TWT Creative Precinct is an entirely artist run initiative providing workspaces for more than 70 artists and creative businesses drawn from visual, performing, music and film disciplines – making it one of the largest creative workspace precincts in the country. Addressing one of the most critical issues facing artists in Sydney – space – the precinct now incorporates 16 different artist studios, galleries and rehearsal rooms over 11 buildings on Atchison and Chandos Streets.
Bridging Hope Charity Foundation Founder Tina Tian said: “Bridging Hope Charity Foundation’s vision is to re-energise local communities like St Leonards by injecting life, vitality and a sense of connectedness. By making creative endeavour part of the ecology of the area, our hope is to facilitate engagement between the arts community and local residents.”
TWT has partnered with Brand X, a not-for-profit initiative that sources space for artists by re-purposing under-utilised properties in Sydney. 4,500sqm of space within has been made available to artists and entrepreneurs in creative fields from the local community at a heavily subsidised rate.
It signifies an ongoing commitment by property developer TWT Property Group and Bridging Hope Charity Foundation to provide opportunities for artists to create and showcase their work within communities in which TWT operates. The TWT Creative Precinct strives to reinvigorate the cultural identity of the Lower North Shore and is a major turning point in the cultural landscape of St Leonards.
Brand X Director James Winter said: “The spaces that make up the TWT Creative Precinct have transformed St Leonards into a corridor for celebration, collaboration and belonging. We acknowledge the generous support of Bridging Hope Charity Foundation in supporting the next, exciting phase of the Precinct.”
The TWT Creative Precinct includes four distinct gallery spaces – ME Gallery, Cre8tive Studios, Platform72 and Contact Sheet; facilities for local visual artists and photographers to work and exhibit their creations (these galleries also profile national and internationally recognised artists alongside local practitioners). Local fashion label “Lonely Kids Club” creates tailor-made casual fashion for men and women (made in their studio in front of your eyes). New work for Australian audiences is created at music, dance and theatre rehearsal spaces and two visual art studios.
Cicli Spirito is a much loved bike artisan in the community, operating a unique one man bicycle workshop specializing in custom bike builds, hand-built wheels, restorations and bespoke bicycle frames.
TWT Creative Precinct has also commissioned large-scale murals in Atchison Lane by artists including Beastman, Jodee Knowles, Captain Pipe and Fintan McGee.