Marrickville Garage is exactly what the name implies. It is a garage in Marrickville that two artists have turned into a gallery. In 2012 Jane Polkinghorne and Sarah Newell decided to fix up their garage as an artist-run space. They spent the summer emptying out the accumulated rubbish, fixing the walls, re-pointing the plaster (whatever that means) and filling in the holes. They also fixed up the outside dunny – which they described as ‘disgusting’… I can only imagine, although I”m trying not to.
The Garage is in the suburbs. It’s not near any arts precinct or arts hub. Yet from the start the audience has come. The day I visited, which was the morning after the night before’s opening event – Jane and Sarah were sitting in their smallish backyard already drinking tea and chatting to a young neighbour, who had popped around. The two artists are friends and this is their first collaboration.
The night before our meeting I attended the opening. Jürgen Kerkovius Terror Australis was a video installation inside the garage. Minimal, strange and alluring. Outside, Margaret Roberts made a work on the doors of the old dunny as well as the garage door – strong green line drawings, apparently referring to Wladyslaw Strzeminski’s 1929 Architectural Composition 13c. I’m not familiar with Strzeminski’s work, but the green architectural lines seemed to map out a space of possibility. There was a wonderful energy around the event and the space. The next day, I was back and spent a couple of hours in the Sydney winter sun chatting with Jane and Sarah about how and why Marrickville Garage came to be. This ARI is a good fit with the idea put forward by John Cruthers in Art Monthly, (“Home is where the art is: the rise of home-based galleries”, Issue 246, Summer 2011)and mentioned by Sarah Nolan in a previous post – see below – of the phenomenon of “home-based galleries.” More soon on this idea.