Where: 11 Rutland St, Newtown
When: Wed to Sat 9.30 – 4
If you’ve been following Oh! Hello Geelong for a while now you would know that we have a few particular “loves” including; all things industrial, local artists, kooky and wonderful design, fun and bright jewellery, handmade objects, great tea and coffee and most of all clever and dedicated people. So naturally the Oh! Hello Geelong love-reading was off the scale when we stumbled across the brilliant contemporary art and design space known as BOOM gallery, which has all our loves under the one (oh so very cool) roof!
The birth of BOOM
The idea for BOOM gallery was born whilst Ren Inei and Kate Jacoby (art and design fans with education and art backgrounds) were touring around South Geelong’s old industrial buildings. Inspired by the grand spaces hidden within the old brick work, the concept of an accessible art space quickly gained momentum and before long the paperwork was signed, the building work completed and in August 2011 a new gallery was born!
BOOM’s gallery space is a real credit to G-town’s industrial history. Together Ren and Kate have breathed new life into what was originally an old woollen mill for returned service men coming home from war. Ren and Kate have respectfully preserved the integrity of the building’s interiors and highlighted its industrial heritage through the use of big bold light fixtures and recycled wood. The pair has also given the interiors a contemporary and fresh look through the use of white and neutral tones for the walls, flooring and display tops and units and accented with awesome pops of yellow here and there!
The heart and soul…
Whilst we love the building itself, BOOM gallery’s real heart and soul is its exciting, innovative and active contemporary art and design exhibitions. Since its doors first opened, BOOM has had an exciting list of monthly exhibitions from both emerging and established artists who come from G-town and beyond. As well as single artist exhibitions, Ren and Kate have hosted group shows including showings of work by VCA graduates. During Oh! Hello Geelong’s recent visit we were treated to Natalie Anderson’s exhibition Aperçus and Simon Benz’s Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophies. Sadly these works have bid-adieu to BOOM however there is a very exciting exhibition opening on 14 July called Landscape Now, which is a group exhibition that includes the work of Ren Inei himself as well as strong steel artwork by John Heritage (looking forward to this one!).
The things that make us smile…
So while BOOM’s exhibition gives us a monthly culture fix, Oh! Hello Geelong loves that there are lots of beautiful design and art pieces for us to buy and take home (note to selves, we probably shouldn’t let our partners read this!). Some of the pieces currently available that we LOVE include; ichimu porcelainware in bubblegum pastels by Fiona McDonald, solid wood stools by Matt Baird, a dramatic hanging globe made of bark by Emma Mitchell (it’s on our wish list), recycled timber jewellery by Stampel, addictive jewellery by the very fun Emily Green, ceramic pieces by and O design and beautifully crafted pendants by Sylvia Segon. We especially loved the quirky sock paintings by Chelsea Gustafsson and the bold and bright stools and emoticon faces by local design spunk Adam Lynch (watch out for this name he’s destined for the big time!).
And….most exciting of all, BOOM and the very savvy ladies from Artefact Market have combined forces to host The Pop Up Project which is a selection of makers from Geelong’s Artefact art and design collective setting up shop for a day inside BOOM gallery . The event will be held on 21 July 2012 from 11am – 4pm (we promise we’ll see you there!). We hope this will be the first of many.
The energy source…
Ok, so we totally adore the art and design side but it is BOOM’s café that gives the place an extra spritz of energy. For Ren and Kate, the café was originally a secondary element to the gallery and something neither of them had any experience with but now it is a space that Ren feels “creates life”. With its cozy little fire place, hand made stools and table (by Ren and Kate with the help of residents from a local rehabilitation facility), yellow bent wood Ligne chairs, oh so moorish coffee from our friends at Cartel and stunning art work as far as the eye can see; we totally understand why this café is quickly becoming a G-town favourite!
For Oh! Hello Geelong, BOOM gallery is a little slice of art and design heaven and a testament to the strength of the local art and design scene and the commitment of two very clever locals to making it so accessible. Thanks Ren and Kate for sharing your stories, knowledge and melt-in-the mouth G.O.R.G.E chocolate (yum, yum, yum).
PS: Ren and Kate have a new and very exciting design-related operation in the pipeline; they hope to convert an old industrial building into a shared space for artists and designers, so exciting!!! Good luck guys x
Love Penny + Laura