Mark Collett has been the studio co-ordinator for the past year and he describes the site as it was some three years ago. "The building was in a pretty rough state, there hadn't been anyone in it for quite a while." Then the landlord came in, whitewashed, rewired all the electrics to make the building habitable, and then Fusion Arts moved in and people were allocated studios. There are currently about 24 people sharing the building, and many of them will be participating in Visual Arts North East, a month-long festival to be held in the city centre from 21 October.
Who's in your house?
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Designer, studio co-ordinator and
Moved in: November 1996
Mark created his own flat at 10 Cloth Market, including the soundproofed box which functions as his bedroom.
"I made it because there's a dog down below that starts barking at six in the morning and a casino above which is very noisy," he says. He has also designed a new kitchen, which is being built, and wants to sand and polish the floors; then his apartment will be complete.
University lecturer and painter
Both moved in: March 1999
Sarah McConkey (nearest to the camera) concentrates on figurative painting, while Michelle Neumann, with whom she shares, creates oversized wire-mesh figures. Sarah finds that the only drawback with the space is that it has almost no sunlight, which she didn't realise at first. Even on a sunny day in Newcastle, the room feels cold.
Moved in: March 1997
Gary Certer is a very romantic artist. He paints away under the eaves, sunlight streaming into the room. He feels that since he's been in this studio he's been producing some of his best work. "Painting here makes me feel confident, because you are reminded that other artists are in their studios, trying to find some truth in their work." He walks four miles to get here from home most days, to save money for paint.
Moved in: March 1998
Gillian Nicol's work is inspired by her surroundings. She used to draw the view from her window all the time. Describing her studio, she says, "The building's great because it's kind of failing apart, and I really like that decaying aesthetic, I just work with it, rather than trying to fix it." She has her own private space and can shut the door - although she still feels herself to be part of the building's wider community. nReuse content