window99 started in June of 2010 with the intention of getting art out of the enclosed gallery spaces and into the public eye. By providing Artists with an installation space that doesn’t require the payment of high fees, this previously disused space is now able to present works by young and emerging artists. The emphasis is on works that utilize the space in a way that brings the public, art goers or not, into a dialogue with the Artists.
“As the space is my house all that was needed was the landlord’s permission. I think this was helped along due to the fact that this space many years ago was a gallery run by the landlord’s sister.” window99
How was the space first identified and who was contacted to secure it?
The space was first identified when my partner moved into the house. At that point, the down stairs space, that is now the studios, was used as an office and the windows that make up the gallery were simply covered with paper for the sake of privacy. When the space became available we moved in and after organizing the necessary bits and pieces I presented the landlord with my idea.
What was required to secure the space?
As the space is my house all that was needed was the landlord’s permission. I think this was helped along due to the fact that this space many years ago was a gallery run by the landlord’s sister. To assure the landlord that the project would in no way damage his property I prepared a detailed description of the project, including concept drawings, and a mock up of the boxes to demonstrate how they would work.
What were the costs?
The costs involved were quite minimal as the boxes sit within existing structures. The only materials needed to cover were timber, screws, lighting, signage and power cables as well as the ongoing upkeep on the gallery like paint, etc.
What were the resources available to you?
I was lucky enough to have some timber from a previous artwork, which I used to make parts of the boxes. I also had most of the equipment needed to cut the timber and a Dad with some expert advice.
Who helped you to fit it out?
I had, and continue to have, incredible support from my partner who assisted with parts of the construction and can be seen at most openings creating his lighting magic with very little resources and serving drinks.
What were/are the obstacles?
The main obstacle was gaining permission, which in the end was nowhere near as hard as I first thought it might be. The lighting also offered its challenges with spatial and budgetary restrictions.
What were/are the risks?
This project has quite a few risks but the main one stems from the fact that we are still renting. This simply means that there is always the risk that we could be evicted at anytime with very little notice. There is always a risk of vandalism coming from busy Brunswick Street and also the risk that artists will simply not be interested, however, these last five months have all run very smoothly with the exception of one graffiti tag that was done quite artfully in the centre of one of the window boxes. window99 has also been receiving great feedback from artist, public and art interested bloggers.