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SMH weighs in on the fitters’ workshop

By johnboy - 2 February 2012 4

It’s a rare day you’ll read a bigger pile of gash than Elizabeth Farrely’s ode to the musical values of the contested Fitters’ Workshop in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning.

But in amongst the towering piles of fluff there are some nuggets.

For example I hadn’t realised that the distinctive early Canberra architecture had a common creator in the form of one John Smith Murdoch.

But this quote right down the bottom is where it gets interesting for those who’ve been following the tale:

Colin Stewart, the architect for the original Kingston Foreshore masterplan, envisioned a dozen or more arts uses, each supported by a concomitant private use.

He suspects the slow whittling away of the proposed ”arts precinct” to a couple of ALP-favoured users reflects government desire to flog the remaining sites for development. At which point it all starts to sound depressingly Sydney.

Here in the Eagle’s nest we’ve always been suspicious of trying to create “Arts Precincts”, which historically occur where real estate is cheap enough for artists (not just favoured luvvies of the ruling elite) to live and create their own studios.

What’s Your opinion?


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4 Responses to
SMH weighs in on the fitters’ workshop
peachykeen 11:45 am 20 Mar 12

it is the exact same article in the Canberra Time (LAZY CT, get your own writers on this, jeez!), funnily enough I am writing an analysis on this for Uni (sigh). To have someone who DOESNT EVEN LIVE HERE to write an ‘opinion’ on the topic is lazy and embarrassing for all parties. If someone wants to write a REAL piece on this let me know (or point me in the direction of other/better articles)- i’d really appreciate it!

LSWCHP 10:47 pm 02 Feb 12

I-filed said :

The Arts Precinct is a cr*p idea. I’ve posted before that the inner north is already more of an arts precinct. The Kingston site is just intended to turn artists into monkeys on display for tourists & give the banal and stupid nearby apartment dwellers the illusion that they are hip & around artsy folk.
The “precinct” is already damaging the art scene: Glassworks artists are starting to produce unlimited editions of cheap works just to turn a buck and keep the shop stocked. That is unsustainable.

The way I read that, you seem to be saying that making a lot of cheap art and selling it for money is unsustainable.

I agree that being in the sole business of mass producing crap is bad, but I don’t see how that is unsustainable. While it might be poor in an artistic sense, it’s a lot more sustainable than producing art that nobody wants, and then going to live off the public purse while producing more dust gathering objects. Artists need to maintain a balance between artistic vision and the need to sustain themselves.

I-filed 7:18 pm 02 Feb 12

The Arts Precinct is a cr*p idea. I’ve posted before that the inner north is already more of an arts precinct. The Kingston site is just intended to turn artists into monkeys on display for tourists & give the banal and stupid nearby apartment dwellers the illusion that they are hip & around artsy folk.
The “precinct” is already damaging the art scene: Glassworks artists are starting to produce unlimited editions of cheap works just to turn a buck and keep the shop stocked. That is unsustainable.

poetix 5:32 pm 02 Feb 12

This is in The Crimes today as well. (I don’t know if it’s exactly the same, or given a different emphasis, as there’s no way I’m reading it twice.)

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