Straight off the bat Work-Shop is a creative space that intrigues. Snuggled between the Abercrombie and the ultra modern Central Park, the Chippendale located workshop appears like a modern day curiosity shop, with eclectic mix of cacti, motorbikes and guitars on display.
The brain child of Matt Branagan and Chester Garcia, Work-Shop hopes to engage the community in a range of new skills. The concept fills a niche demand, providing whimsical, fun and affordable lessons in life skills and alternative art.
Classes on offer refuse to be predictable, with a smorgasbord of ways to get ya’ quirk on. The workshops change throughout the year and have been determined organically with close collaboration with local artists. Past classes include flirting workshops, crotchet lessons and terrarium-making.
I attended the ‘Introduction to Street Art’ class. The availability of VB stubbies sets the night in a casual tone. We begin with an introductory talk with street artist, and our instructor for the night, Sidney Tapia. Sidney explains how often the illegal nature of street art leads many to under-develop their style, since at any minute they might have to bolt. Sidney is the owner and director of label Crown St, a skateboarder, a graffiti artist, and a damn fascinating man.
Rough sketches and ideas are mapped out in the main space, then we head to the back garden. The noise and banter of the Abercrombie over flows into the space, giving the class an easy-going buzz. We find our metre of canvas and begin to spray. It’s a bit of a high to spray paint legally, like smoking weed in Amsterdam you feel like you’re going to get in trouble at any minute and just can’t quite come to terms with the normalcy. Sid talks to each participant personally and gives them notes on the finer touches of spray painting; how to get thin lines, how to add depth.
After swapping cans, discussing each others works, and a little tomfoolery, Sid brings the class together. He encourages all to find spaces to spray paint legally in Sydney and continue the craft.
‘Introduction to Street Art’ would be perfect present for the badass that’s always been afraid to get out the spray paint and go for it. The crowd was university student types and young professionals, but I think any demographic would find it a thrill. I would recommend it as a Christmas present for someone you can’t quite find something for, or for an off-beat date option. Gift certificates are available for those who like to give ‘experiences’, and at the price range offered (this class was $35), I think it’s a steal.