OPEN CALL OUT EXTENDED – Palace Theatre Paste Up Project

We believe this theatre deserves to operate again and this project is your chance to wonder on what it might have been like when it was first launched in 1888, or when operated as a theatre until the 1970’s or what will it look like when it’s renewed from disrepair?

The Pavilion Theatre of Varieties opened in 1888. It was designed by the architectural firm Bucknall & Jennings on a triangular site. The stage end being at the apex, which originally had a circular tower feature. There were two square towers at the other two corners. The exterior is built in brick, with plenty of stone features.

The auditorium is up stairs at first floor level, leaving the ground floor to house shop units and offices. Inside the auditorium there are two balconies, which have open iron balaustrades, the upper balcony still retains its original bench seating. The main orchestra floor is now leveled for use as a dancefloor.

The building was re-named Empire Theatre in 1892, then became the Palace Theatre of Varieties in 1901. At this time stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Lilly Langtry, Marie Lloyd and Dan Leno appeared on stage. By 1908, films were being screened as part of the variety bill and by 1912 it was known as the Swansea Popular Picture Hall and Peoples Palace. By 1923 it had reverted back to live theatre again and took the name Palace Theatre of Varieties for a second time.

The history of 156 High Street is rich with interesting and significant cultural stories. Did you know it was the first place in Wales to show a silent film? The Palace hosted the first ever cinema show in Swansea in 1896.

I found this older image on this wikipedia and Cinema Treasures website.

The above photo was taken three years ago and found here. Today, it is in a very serious state of neglect.

This your chance to draw on the rich cultural history of The Palace and the amazing potential for its future to create your very own poster.

Email your poster to streetartwalking[at]gmail[dot]com before July 2017 to be part of this temporary artwork. Posters may be pasted up and over, depending on the number of submissions received.

Let your imagination run wild to promote your own theatre production. Inspire people to ponder on what might have happened back in the day or what shows might come to the theatre once it reopens.

Timeline

  • Call Out Opens 05 April 2017
  • Posters Due 6 July 2017
  • Festival 13-16 July 2017

Find out more about the Palace by visiting these resources:

Swansea’s Palace Theatre ‘on verge of collapse,’ trust says – BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-24376058

Palace (Swansea) – The Theatres Trust http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/resources/theatres/show/411-palace-swansea

Palace Theatre 156 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NE
http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/22953

Wiki (Palace Theatre, Swansea)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_Theatre,_Swansea

Derelict former Palace Theatre, Swansea

The Palace Theatre Paste Up Project is a cornerstone project of From the Station to the Sea, a collaboration between Volcano Theatre and Coastal Housing Group funded through the Arts Council of Wales’s Ideas : People : Places initiative (more here).

Find out more as we go
Follow our Facebook page and Instagram to learn more about The Palace and this project over the next three months before 6 July.

Design by Craig Frankham

Street Art Walking meets No Longer Empty

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Yesterday I was lucky enough to share some time with Naomi Hersson Ringskog from No Longer Empty (NLE), a New York based organisation with a focus on renewing and revitalising urban space.

Naomi’s background is in urban planning and it was fantastic to tell her about my home city in Newcastle, Australia.

As anyone from Newcastle knows, we have some seriously divine empty buildings, some of which are of a very large scale.

What kind of buildings, you ask?
Well there’s some heritage ones that come to mind which are the Post Office, two old department stores, local icon The Star Hotel and The Victoria Theatre. Oh, and the Ammityville Terrace house near Wickham Station, plus the big green empty terrace house next door to where I live. Oh, and Pigeon Palace, as I call it in Hamilton. These are such grand buildings (or would have been in their hey day), yet slowly slipping away right in front of the community. Here’s some pics for those who may not know Newcastle, Australia.

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Luckily, we have Renew Newcastle supporting the good cause and making use of the spaces that can be matched with an eager creative industry business. This amazing organisation has helped launch over eighty creative businesses in many empty spaces with the heart of the Newcastle CBD.

My work with Street Art Walking has
been looking at the in-between spaces like laneways and blank walls. Or worse yet, grey walls. I’m also particularly interested in how arts intervention into these empty spaces can bolster the communities and businesses together. A good place, filled with art, is so much better than an empty space.

It was great to chat with Naomi about their process of interacting with a site to produce exhibitions or events that not only activate spaces but also engage in important dialogue. The NLE team go through stages of research such as looking at the phstical space, researching the history and interacting with local community groups and organisations to find out what the space means to the people within the area. There is a sensitivity to their process that I feel is perhaps the key thing I will take away from this meeting.

What’s a good place? Well, for me, it could just be a local moment, an event that celebrates the story of an area, it’s people and the history that is important to the identity of an area.

As I’m out and about in the streets doing my research (photographing and measuring up, are usually what I get up to in empty and disused laneways) I always meet someone who is curious about what I’m up to. When I get a chance to speak to them about my vision for what could be in the area, I’m met with such enthusiastic tones and excitement. And there is always a story. Or two. Or three.

One NLE project that resonates with me is Living Walls, The City Speaks which is an annual conference on street art and urbanism in the city of Atlanta.

There’s so many good links, resources and projects coming from NLE that I urge everyone reading this to follow them, if you aren’t already. Email subscribe, Facebook and Twitter follow and if you are feeling generous like I am, why not give a donation. It truly is nice to support a project like this and if I lived in this country I would certainly be heavily engaged with what they do as a punter, volunteer and anything else that I could be involved with. But for now, I shall continue to support this organisation online by clicking through to their articles and sharing with fellow ’empty space’ and arts enthusiasts.

I am inspired to come home and follow the path that I am on in intervening with empty slaves through arts based projects. A term that Naomi used yesterday reminded me of the powerful role we can have as ‘Agents of Change’. I had read the term before but hearing it out loud was validating and confidence boosting.

I realised after sharing my ideas, vision and current processes with Naomi that I am well on track with the revitalisation projects that I am working on. The main areas for me to pursue are now to engage with wider community groups beyond the arts sector such as historical societies, elderly citizens, youth groups and church groups. It’s time to find the mass community and start finding out what stories they have to share, as well as what ideas they might have for Newcastle.

On that note, I am pleased to be a judge for Newcastle2020, a local exhibition ran by young Novacastrians who want to inspire brighter visions for our city, as well as find out what ideas out cities young people have for their place.

I’m confident we (all the various groups and organisations) are well on-track with revitalising Newcastle and look forward to bringing together more people to help lift dreams into realities. We just need to bond and work together a bit stronger. Many hands make light work, as they say.

Thank you to Naomi for her time and feedback on the projects I am involved in back home. I look forward to continue to build on this newfound connection and will happily be a tour guide for NLE, should they find their way to Australia.

Don’t forget to follow Street Art Walking on Facebook www.facebook.com/streetartwalking
and Twitter @streetartwalkin

Local Street Art Walk to Curve Gallery

Yesterday I went for a short walk around my new neighborhood to see what street art is out and about. I was pleasantly surprised to find something everything block.

There was a mix of grafffiti, stencil work and paste ups, including some yarn bombing, which always makes me smile.

I had intentions of walking to Newcastle Beach to reminisce of the legal walls and to perhaps find a remnant from that coloured past.

Instead, I happened to wander into Curve Gallery, which had been on my ‘To Do’ list for a number of weeks. I was more than pleasantly suprised by the content of their current exhibition.

I knew the concept was that directors, Wayne Heaton and Lisa Who, were running two contemporary art spaces that created international dialogue between UK and Australia. What I didn’t l know is how exciting the canon is which Curve Gallery are presenting works through.

Newcastle (finally) has a fresh set of eyes to see our amazing cultural scene, gifting us with an opportunity to say something that converses some of the key themes that make art the amazing career that it is. Works were conceptually strong, visually appealing and the collected works, which paired artists whom have not met, was refreshing.

Anyone who needs to feel inspired (which, really, is all of us – right?) should go in and see their gallery space. The curatorial direction is exciting to have in this unique place that we have and we certainly could gain from strengthening our international ties. Social media helps but there’s something tangible about being able to see works by artists from Ireland (of New York photographs), next to well-established and known local artists, including some local surprises. Surprises have an important place and so to does Curve Gallery.

Find them here:
37 Watt Street (Cnr of King)
Newcastle

Website: http://www.curvegallery.com/
Curve is proudly supported by Renew Newcastle.

I would love to write more about the exhibition itself but it’s more important for you to make the physical visit to the space. You will be pleased to find poignant installations, beautiful photography, interesting sculptures and fantastic site specific works. Its too hard for me to pick a favourite, yet with my canon so focused on my upcoming visit to New York, I must commend the work by Irish artist SCAN for his works based on beautifully graffitied doors in the New York. The works remind us of the important of collaboration, even anonymously in the night.

I was also very interested in work by UK artist, Robyn Woolston, which featured a powerful floor installation, echoing thought-provoking tales of coal trade links between Newcastle UK and our own coal city.

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Time and Place Gallery

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Last night I managed to visit Time and Place Gallery to see an exhibition titled ‘The Line Up’ featuring superstar-style portraits of Newcastle’s top Roller Derby athletes.

Photographer Ange Stephens, or “Dangerass” when it’s time to skate with the team, has captured the spirit and aspirations of these powerful women. The works are beautifully stylised, with each Roller Derby persona captured in a dynamic positions, some even appear to be in mid-flight. The movement captured in these works is fantastic, with a larger than life size print, these local super hero’s demand your full attention.

It was fantastic to hear last night that over $2000.00 was raised, after silent auctions of the works at the opening. It is always great to see local scenes mix and last night saw Renew Newcastle project Time and Place Creatives show their support for what is, a steadily growing, local women’s sport.

I’ve only been to one local bout but I can safely vouch, I’ve never cheered so much for a sports team in my life! The theatrical element to this sport makes it the best spectator sport. Do I have a favourite? Well, Susy Pow, of course!

Want to know more about Newcastle Roller Derby? Go to NRDL for more info.

Oh and last night we saw a friendly local face riding a push-bike cabby outside. This looks like a great way to move around the CBD! If you see them cruising around, give them a holler and be chauffeured in this Eco-friendly mode of transport.

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Street Art Walking’s First Exhibition

We have been invited to host an exhibition in coalition with King Street Hotel in the coming months. We are super excited about the venue, and the event that will be part of this exhibition, which we will release more information about, as it comes!

In the meantime, we want to hear from locals (and others who are keen enough) who want to be part of our first collective exhibition.

There’s no rules or ideas, at this stage, so why not drop us an email with your work?

Share your ideas on what you’d like to exhibit. Maybe you have prints ready? Or you want to make some new work?

We think we want it to be street art inspired and are very open to your ideas. Email us, today!