9 July 2013

Midland Atelier celebrates five years of creativity at The Workshops

  • Midland

More than 450 people attended the 4 July opening of the 'Paper Cotton Leather Flowers Wood' exhibition at the Midland Atelier, which is celebrating its fifth year at the historic Midland Railway Workshops.

The Atelier occupies a cluster of heritage buildings within The Workshops site and was created as a partnership between the MRA and cultural organisation FORM.

The Atelier is home to a number of local designers working across various mediums from photography to furniture design, as well as a program of interstate and international artists-in-residence.

MRA CEO Kieran Kinsella said the Atelier had rejuvenated the history of creative innovation at The Workshops.

“For close to a century, The Workshops provided a training ground for highly-refined hand making and technical skills in railway engineering. As an epicentre for the production and maintenance of the state’s rail network, this vast industrial complex housed literally thousands of Western Australians and was one of the state’s major employers throughout the twentieth century," Mr Kinsella said.

“Despite having closed in 1994, it continues to hold a special place in the local community and is central to the identity and sense of place of Perth’s eastern suburbs.”

The Atelier is celebrating its five-year anniversary with three exhibitions that pay homage to its spectacular home:

'Paper Cotton Leather Flowers Wood' - The exhibition features site-specific installations at Midland Atelier by leading WA artists, inspired by the first five traditional anniversary gifts. Showing until 21 July 2013 at the Midland Atelier, Midland Railway Workshops (Open 10am-5pm Thursday-Sunday. Entry through the security gate on Yelverton Drive)

'From the Atelier' - A showcase of product and furniture developed at the Atelier’s Pattern Shop Studio by current and past designers in residence. Showing until 14 September at FORM Gallery, 357 Murray Street Perth (Open 9am – 5pm Monday-Friday, 10am – 5pm Saturday)

'Faultlines: Two artists in Karijini' - The outcome of a Midland Atelier residency by internationally-renowned New Zealand-based designer, David Trubridge, Faultlines presents works developed by Trubridge and Midland Atelier designer Nick Statham, following a research trip to Karijini National Park. Showing until 14 September at FORM Gallery, 357 Murray Street Perth (Open 9am – 5pm Monday-Friday, 10am – 5pm Saturday)

FORM Director Lynda Dorrington said the Atelier’s fifth anniversary was not only a milestone for FORM and the MRA, but also provided an opportunity to showcase the results of the partnership to the broader community. 

“The Atelier brings together creatives from a range of disciplines to exchange ideas and inspiration. The Workshops site itself is an integral part of this process, proving to be the inspiration behind some of the most intriguing works to be made here,” Ms Dorrington said.

In addition to the Atelier, The Workshops are being currently creatively reused in a number of ways. Attractive landscaping, street furniture and public art define the area, with unique artworks reflecting Midland’s past and future.

A GP Super Clinic was opened in Block 1 in July 2012 bringing a range of health care services to the region. The clinic, together with the adjacent Midland Public Hospital currently under construction, is transforming Midland into a significant centre for health care delivery.

Redevelopment of The Workshops precinct by the MRA will create a new urban village with a mix of residential, commercial, health, education and creative industry uses. A future university campus is also planned for the precinct.

Find out more:

Midland Atelier 2008-2013 from FORM on Vimeo(Commissioned by FORM. Producer and Director: Amelia Phillips; Cinematographer: Daniel Gallagher)