New studio venture for Gateshead
The region has a seemingly insatiable appetite for affordable workspaces for artists and designers. Alastair Gilmour reports on the latest developments.
Communal rooms bring the artists together
THE Mushroom Works and The Brick Works are two separate collections of studios based above the Ouseburn Valley in Newcastle, providing artists’ studios and workspaces in a range of sizes.
A gallery space can be used by all the artists for exhibitions, events or workshops, as can a meeting room and a resource room with relevant magazines, periodicals and literature, plus a notice board with information on important and appropriate regional and national events. A communal kitchen area encourages artists to get together and talk, interact and exchange ideas. Studios are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Creatives at The Brick Works include Tonto Press, a publisher of fiction and non-fiction. The company also runs creative writing courses and other initiatives.
Scene Media is a forward-thinking company producing a range of video-based work for industry. Its strengths lie in the creation of inspired corporate and promotional video and LCD screen installation and content management.
At The Mushroom Works, glass sculptor Sarah Blood draws inspiration from sources as diverse as geometry to botany and childhood memories to poetry.
She creates large-scale sculpture for interior and exterior spaces using a mixture of glass-making techniques and mixed media.
Bethan Laker’s bold line and collage work investigates small rituals such as grating cheese or choosing socks. "I try to capture the joy that can be taken from the little things," she says.
Liam Newton’s company, Newton Architects, produces contemporary sustainable architecture addressing the issues of good design, sustainability and affordability, using modern materials and careful detailing to produce considered, viable buildings.