What’s on at The Station

Almost five years ago Newcastle’s former railway precinct entered a new chapter as a community space for recreation, shopping and pop-up events. Time to re-discover what the artists and retailers, baristas and booklovers at The Station have to offer.

Charming heritage features abound at The Station in Newcastle East, a fine example of Victorian Italianate architecture, originally built in 1878. Fast forward 145 years and Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC) has transformed the precinct into a vibrant community hub that is home to a tightly knit group of local artists and retailers – with some of Newcastle’s most spectacular water views to boot.
The Station’s Place Manager, Sally Leacy, says “The site’s temporary activation is all about trying new things and having fun with creative business ideas, activities and pop-up events.

“The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. The Station’s event calendar has an exciting lineup of market days, live music, food and wellbeing festivals and the collective of local businesses creates a beautiful and supportive community atmosphere. It’s a location unlike any other in Newcastle.”

Make Space, is a collective of, currently, eight local artists including painters and photographers, jewellery makers and fashion designers.

Ceramic artist Alison Sobel-Read from PotteryAli explains, “I love the idea of activating spaces and wanted to create an artistic community in a permanent environment. We fell in love with this beautiful building, with the sense of space and the wide barn doors that allow you to enjoy the view of the ships passing by on the harbour.

“We offer a carefully curated collection of handmade local items, and our exhibitions rotate monthly, so visitors are bound to find something new every time they come in. “We also run regular workshops and we actively use this retail space to create things, right here at this table. Belinda (Dorey) might be painting, others might be doing sketches, I often assemble my jewellery here or you might catch Petra Hilsen busy with her feltwork.”

The members of Make Space curate their displays together, to showcase the breadth and vitality of their creations. “We love to create art that is both functional and wearable, inspiring conversation and telling stories. We are aware not everyone has an enormous budget, but you don’t need huge amounts of money to buy art,” Ali adds.

“Come in and maybe you’ll buy a lovely hair clip or a broach, a tea towel or a smaller print for your living room, a little something that you love, that will brighten your day. It is a challenging balance between careful curation, high quality and accessibility at times. But we take great pride in keeping that balance.”
Next door, photographer Peter Masters shows his works at Gallery QUBE.

“I’m born and bred Novocastrian but lived in Sydney for 25 years and out west for a while. But I just missed the ocean too much,” Peter says. “I love being around the water, walking on the beach, checking out the waves, even just sitting and taking it all in.”

Check out more in our Autumn Edition of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.

Story by Cornelia Schulze, photography by Frank Schulze