Tuesday 27 November 2012

Open Studios 2012 as it happened...

Today's xsite is Anna...

Open studios has been and gone for another year and we for one had a brilliant time. We were open at Ouse Street Arts Club for the first time, instead of Foundry Lane Studios, and received about 750 visitors over the course of the weekend. A lot when you think that the space only holds about 30 people!

The work on show in our art-mini-mart looked amazing and the pocket cinema worked brilliantly with people hanging around to watch whole films. Our little wood burner kept us warm all weekend and made sure all visitors left with a slight wood smoke aroma!

Our new venue was incredibly well received and we look forward to a full programme of events over the next year. To keep up to date with what is going on you can check out the wordpress site here. Or get in touch if you are interested in using the space via OuseStArtsClub@gmail.com

Friday 16 November 2012

Ouseburn Open Studios 2012

Today's xsite is Anna...

We're taking part in the Ouseburn Open Studios again this year, but instead of opening Foundry Lane Studios we will be at the newly complete Ouse Street Arts Club.

Ouse Street Arts Club is our brand new creative venue occupying two converted shipping containers in the Lower Ouseburn on Ouse Street, tucked in next to the Victoria Tunnel entrance. For the ever busy Ouseburn Open Studios we are putting on an ‘Art-Mini-Mart’ with amazing stuff to see and buy from the likes of Prefab, Amy Dover, Muro Buro, Jill Tate, Laura Sheldon and Bubblegum Vegas

Come along and visit our ‘Pocket Cinema’ with an array of short films being shown all weekend... There will be music, food from The Grazer Supperclub and drinks including the finest indie coffee from Ouseburn Coffee Company for you to enjoy around our hand built woodburner keeping us all warm!

Prefab have prints for sale framed and unframed, Amy Dover has beautiful illustrations, cards and ceramics for sale and Jill Tate will be selling her photography as cards and prints. Muro Buro has amazing ‘skull’ prints in gold silver and bronze... Laura Sheldon has prints, t-shirts, cards, badge/sticker packs and ceramic decals for sale too, as well as jewellery from Bubblegum Vegas.

We'll be hanging out there all weekend, so pop down and say hi, have a look our new space, have some lunch and buy some Christmas presents...

As well as ourselves Mushroom Works, Northern Print, 36 Lime Street, The Biscuit Factory, Biscuit Tin Studios and Colbalt Studios will be open all weekend, as well as the Toffee Factory who are playing host to the British by Design pop-up shop. A free shuttle bus will be running between all of the venues as well as to the Baltic and the Sage.

Wednesday 7 November 2012


Today's xsite is Adrian...

Pop-ups and pallets, restaurants in car parks  and artists on the high street, the themes of temporary adaption, retrofit and make-do-and-mend were on the rise in design before the recession but have become something of an imperative over the last 4 years. 

The disciplines of architecture and urbanism are no exception, where the retreat of development funding, plummeting values and surplus floorspace have provided a challenge to communities, property owners and designers alike.

Over the last couple of years xsite have been involved in a number of temporary and ‘meanwhile use’ projects, applying a shift in thinking to a more DIY mentality, as part of what can be seen as an 'incremental' approach to development and regeneration.

Pallet ‘Micro Offices’ were designed and constructed as a temporary means to exploit an unlet 1,800sqft floorplate at BOHO 1 in Middlesbrough. Fully occupied by individuals and micro businesses from the off, they were recently dismantled to allow a more conventional let to re-occupy the space.

The Cycle Hub, a social enterprise  set up to provide a physical focus  for cyclists and cycle culture on Tyneside has taken a temporary lease on the former Regeneration Centre building on Newcastle’s Quayside. xsite worked with the tightest of budgets to reinvent the building’s function space to house a thriving cafe, bike shop and workshop.

Ouse Street Arts Club is a self-developed and self-built space, a curated venue based in converted shipping containers in Newcastle’s Lower Ouseburn Valley. Conceived as a stop-gap use for a derelict, future development site the evolving space is a focal point for a range of events and creative activity and is an advanced bridgehead in the regeneration of the area.

In each case the ‘Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper’ thinking these projects utilise helps unlock economic, social and creative value which might otherwise sit behind a ‘to let’ sign, while also priming them for the next phase of an evolving development story.