An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the opening was on September 1. Please note the opening is on September 8.
Lisa King and Jarrad Jackson know fad from fab. They’ve built careers – Jackson as a musician and King as a visual artist – from a shared affinity with the modern cultural mindset. Together they’re launching Cult & Harper, a new creative space in Port Adelaide.
The stunning 400-metre-squared warehouse will feature a retail store and gallery, four artist studios, a white-wall photography studio and a bar for events. “We’re about culture. We’re a new-gen concept,” King says. “Jarrad’s the boss of retail.” He’s curating a collection of independent labels not available elsewhere in Adelaide, starting with Crap Eyewear (other brands to be released soon). King and Jackson are the venue’s artistic directors, and will both maintain a permanent presence by occupying a studio each.
They got the keys two weeks ago and are well on their way to realising their vision. “We have all of our furniture picked, we’ve designed every room – we’re just putting it all together now,” says King. “Every section has its own character.”
The venue will open on September 8 with an exhibition by artist Julia Townsend, and a huge launch party.
Cult & Harper was born as a concept for an online collective of artists to share work and ideas, and to connect with an internet audience. But when an email from Renew Adelaide slid into King’s inbox, a bricks and mortar format suddenly seemed attainable. They were instantly drawn to the Port Adelaide location, formerly Forge Creative Warehouse. “It was a synapse moment where everything we had planned would fit perfectly in the space,” King says. “I feel like we’ve created a blog and are turning that into an installation.”
King and Jackson hope Cult & Harper will generate national and international interest in the local makers associated with the project. They’re excited to be part of a growing community that’s dissolving stifling perceptions of the Port as someplace far away. “It’s got to go, man, it’s really holding us back,” says King. “The more time I spend in the Port, the more I fall in love – and I don’t fall in love that easily. It’s so untouched. Everything about it – even the ghostliness – is so different from anywhere else in Adelaide. It suits what we want.”
The area has attracted a few major drawcards recently (Low & Slow, Drummer Boy) and more are on the way. “Having the Port Admiral Hotel and Fontanelle there is perfect. If they weren’t there we wouldn’t have moved [there],” King says. “We need to do it all at once and build up some momentum.”
Cult and Harper
Level 2 168 St Vincent Street, Port Adelaide