With the support of the Northern Territory Governments Community Benefits Fund (CBF), Central Craft has been able to convert 2 shipping containers into flexible outdoor rooms that can be used as exhibition and workshop spaces. We have called these Pop Up Spaces ‘ArtShips’.
They are multifunctional but primarily serve as exhibition spaces and creative hubs for the local arts sector, something that the rural community of Alice Springs had been lacking in compared to other areas of this size. Featuring glass panels along one side with lockable steel covers for protection, they are safe and secure when not in use.
The ArtShips are already creating temporary place activations to occur, a vital component of placemaking, to ensure all stakeholders – especially the local community – feel connected to the place. Falling under the umbrella of tactical urbanism, they are facilitating the implementation of short-term, low cost, and citizen-led changes to urban spaces.
The development of the containers has already led to the ability to leverage additional support for projects that build community cultural development. One of the containers, ArtShip 2 has already been the site of a community arts activation project in the form of The Art Ship2 Youth Mural during the June/ July school holidays.
STORY By Aliyah Anderson & Alyssa Mason - NXT Gen Artists / artworkers on placement @ Central Craft
During the June / July Holidays a colourful mural was taking place on the grounds of the Araluen Cultural Precinct. An activity of the Alice Springs Town Council’s youth program the ArtsShip Youth Mural was developed with over 100 young people participating. Three local young artists were mentored on the project by experienced mural artists Alison Hittmann and Tammy Cornthwaite. The mural’s developed with spray paints, stencils and pen reflect the outline of Yeperenye Caterpillar Sculpture that is located nearby.
The mural was painted over the exterior of a shipping container as a part of the youth workshop hosted by Central Crafts. The purpose built shipping container is a lockable self-contained gallery/workshop space that was funded through a Community Benefits Fund Grant. Currently located at Central Craft, ArtShip 2 can be transported for use in community events throughout Alice Springs, (Mparntwe). The ArtShips have already been in use at the Partjima and Beanie Festivals.
This project has presented a fantastic opportunity for youth engagement around Mparntwe, Alice Springs. The ArtShips workshops used a Community Cultural Development process that involves artists working collaboratively with communities. The mural provided opportunities for young artists to express themselves and share their stories. They developed their artistic skills and cultural knowledge of the surrounding area. The three young artists had the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the project from the planning and design to the coordination and production.
“I was so happy to work with like minded youth and mural artists that shared and encouraged me to express my style of art, and to make me come out of my shell as I was always a bit anxious to try new things” -Alyssa
“ It was to cool to work with Alison Hittmann, Tammy Cornthwait and Jeremiah Daniels-Pepperill in a team. Alison taught me how to scale up images, Tammy taught me how to use spray paints and Jeremiah helped with local cultural advice” -Alyssa
“This was a great opportunity to unleash my artistic thoughts and create a healthy, safe place for ideas and inspiration to run wild. We had many great artists who hopped on board to help with the workshops which I am most grateful for. Tammy Cornthwait helped me with teaching me how to manage the spray-paint and how to use it as a medium. Jeremiah Daniels -Pepperill was perfect coming into the project, sharing his thoughts and traditional knowledge onto the subject by bending his art into the work. Alison Hittmann was amazing coming in with fresh new ideas on how we can change the format, colour theory but also be open to trying different things to experiment and take advantage of mess ups. With also the support of planning by Lucy and Isla, Me and Alyssa where able to plan for this great opportunity for the community. We wanted to give back to the community and I say it worked out pretty good”.
“Having grown up in Alice we know that youth need projects like this, that create an expressive outlet through paintings and drawings. These help encourage their artist skills and grow their voice in the community. Art is its own language and creates some harmony. They need opportunities to build a positive mind set and show that they are not just running amok. We want the youth to be part of something that builds community, that is open to a wider audience , where they can put their own art into the public space and be recognised for it” Aaliyah
“Workshops like this bring a new light to the types of activities young people that are in the Alice Springs, Mparntwe art community. It helped young artists to find a like minded, safe place they either didn’t know about or had little knowledge on. I believe, artists will greatly benefit from having these kinds of workshop experiences, as it not only creates friendships, but also connections that can last forever” Alyssa
In 2023 Central Craft has a focus on supporting young makers, and is committed to helping young artists who are focused on making craft and the arts their vocation. As part of this focus, we are hosting Alyssa and Aaliyah on NXT Gen (Under 25yrs old) artist / arts worker placements for six months.
The ArtShips are available for hire for community events,
contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
ArtShip2 Youth Mural Team: Alyssa Mason, Aaliyah Anderson, Tammy Cornthwaite, Jeremiah Daniels-Pepperill & Alison Hittmann
ArtShip1 in use during The 2023 Beanie Festival, all access ramp installed
Mural design & development process. The mural was designed to reflect the nearby Yeperenye Caterpillar sculpture.
The ArtShips have been proudly sponsored through the Northern Territory Government through the Community Benefits Fund. The ArtsShip2 Youth Mural has been supported by the Alice Springs Town Council