The idea of a space with a singular purpose is becoming somewhat stale in certain strands of contemporary culture. Why only operate as a cafe when there is room for work desks, a gallery or a garden? A multipurpose offering that aligns different elements under one roof holds the potential for a far more engaging experience. Recently launched in a basement space on Campbell Street in Surry Hills, Brand X is part workspace, part gallery and part retail concept store. It’s the latest artist residency project from Sydney-based arts organisation Queen Street Studios.
The not-for-profit management team is responsible for an impressive collection of arts-based warehouse acquisitions, making use of otherwise unused spaces throughout the city for various creative ventures. The Fraser Studios project saw the temporary transformation of three warehouses into multidisciplinary art spaces at the Kent Street Brewery development site up until July 2012. The organisation has also created dedicated performance art and dance spaces at Heffron Hall in Darlinghurst and The Palace Studio in Marrickville.
The Surry Hills Brand X program will offer a series of six-month residencies to six artists at a time. The artists are encouraged to style their individual workspaces to represent their craft, with the idea of creating an immersive environment for visitors, viewers and shoppers alike. The current artist occupancy – which runs from July to December – features custom coconut handbags by Nikki Majajas, kinetic sculpture by Pamela Lee Brenner and Johannes Mulijana, and taxidermy animals by Eloise Kirk.
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By combining retail, exhibition and workspaces in one, Brand X will give artists the opportunity to develop their work, generate an income and connect with potential patrons by sharing their process.