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Meet Mitch – a market stallholder and florist in Merchant & Green

November 1, 2018 12:32 pmby

Today we’re talking to Mitch from Merchant & Green

Tell us about Merchant & Green

Merchant & Green was started just over a year ago by Chris – he’s been in the the floristry industry for over 25 years in flowers and events. I came on board with him about 6 moths ago.

What’s the concept behind Merchant & Green?

We have a shop on Bourke St open 7 days a week focusing on plants, flowers and events as well. We also have workshops in things like terrariums, flower arranging, flower crown making, which we run on weekends and privately during the week.

What excites you about working in flowers?

It’s always changing, you always work with the seasons. And no job is ever the same, you’re working with people’s tastes so it always changes. It’s really rewarding as well.

What’s rewarding about it?

Working with people, with their birthdays, weddings, adding to that event. When people come to you for flowers it’s always for a special occasion and it’s rewarding getting to be part of that.

How has today gone for you?

It’s been really good. Really nice chatting to the people here, seeing their appreciation of flowers and seeing old faces who come into the shop.  And it’s also really cool seeing what else is going on here with the other stalls.

What’s your favorite flower?

It’a always changing but one of my all time favorites would have to be the tuba rose – which really doesn’t look like a rose, so you should google it.

How did you get into this?

I used to work in hospitality doing lots of functions and seeing the flower arrangements there, and I wanted to do something more creative. So about 6 years ago I went to study floristry, first at Ultimo TAFE, then finishing my degree in Melbourne. I’m also a morning person so doing the 5am flower market run is much nicer than working bars at night.

SHNC thanks Alli Sebastian Wolf for interviewing Mitch and taking the photo of their beautiful stall.

Surry Hills Festival bursts into Sydney this weekend!

September 19, 2018 9:59 amby

SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL 2018 IS THIS WEEKEND + FESTIVAL PROGRAM AVAILABLE

Surry Hills Festival 2018 will be showing off the sights, sounds and colourful atmosphere that characterise the inner city suburb this weekend. Spreading across Surry Hills from 10am to 10pm on Saturday, 22 September – the festival is a FREE family-friendly day taking place across Ward Park, Devonshire Street, Crown Street, Shannon Reserve and surrounds. Come in your best flower power inspired outfit for the unofficial opening of spring!

Packed with the trademark live music line-up, free tours, pop up spaces, nooks and crannies bursting with performance, local narratives, food and vibrant art – the festival is an engaging showcase of what makes Surry Hills the heart of Sydney’s innovative creative district. Don’t miss a moment of one of Sydney’s most-loved festivals by downloading the program HERE.

Celebrating the founding of Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre (SHNC) in the late 1960s/70s, the Centre’s role in nurturing community, and the design and textile industries for which Surry Hills is famous – this year’s creative theme is all about FLOWER POWER. Highlights of the arts program include giant glowing Triffid installations, Projection Arts, The emPOWER FLOWER public art project inviting everyone to join in making a stunning installation of Spring happiness, Surry Hills and Valleys (an installation of portrait photographs by Tim Ritchie coupled with stories of local personalities), the inaugural Microflix Festival (30 short fiction animations), Kate Leigh’s Knees Up (hilarious reenactments of the infamous local bootlegger) and pop up performances by The Devonshire Divas presented by the ever wonderful Deep Sea Astronauts.

Kick off spring with the whole family this year with a whole bunch of creative activities to bring old and young together. Get down early from 10am for the Dog Show with categories including Best Tricks and Best Flower Power Fancy Dress. Meet Your Mayors is a huge colour in art wall brought to life by Tim Andrews that will keep the whole family entertained. Hitch a ride in a 1970’s inspired Kombi and come see the Mind Melting Maypole, a psychedelic rendition of the wicker-man tradition produced by SEET Dance.

The live music line-up features some of the Sydney’s most talented artists including Joyride, DOBBY, Rackett, Crocodylus, Pirra, Iluka, Jackie Brown Jr. and King Tide on the Ward Park and Shannon Reserve stages – listen to the offical festival playlist HERE. Beyond these main stages, there is the popular AIM Pop Up Stage returning to Tudor Reserve, a Vintage Record Fair and the Clock Hotel will play host to the official Surry Hills Festival after party with great local DJs for music lovers of all sorts.

And to top it off, Surry Hills legends Yullis have crafted a FLOWER POWER ale, nice and dry, with a light hop profile complemented by Chamomile tea aromas – perfect for Springtime and available at local venues. You can also meet the locals, sample the ale and explore the heritage, art and architecture, wonderful eateries and creative enterprises of Devonshire Street and surrounds with especially curated tours with Surry Hills Creative Precinct – visit HERE for bookings.

Join the thousands of expected Sydneysiders for the unofficial welcoming of spring.

All funds raised on the day go to community programs presented by Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre

( Photo Credit: The Devonshire Divas by Deep Sea Astronauts)

SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL 2018

SAT 22ND SEPTEMBER 2018, 10AM – 10PM

FREE. ENTRY BY DONATION

Temporary Event Road Closures – Saturday 22 September

September 10, 2018 2:11 pmby

Surry Hills Festival – Saturday 22 September 2018

The annual fundraiser for Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre and community programs, Surry Hills Festival returns on Saturday 22 September 2018 for a celebration around Ward Park, Shannon Reserve, Crown Street, laneways, venues, businesses and creative spaces across Surry Hills. With great food, guided tours, public art installations, live music, physical theatre and loads for the kids – there’s something for all ages and interests to enjoy!

Barricading Parking Spaces

  • Marlborough St – between Lansdowne St and Devonshire St – eastern side
  • Marlborough St – dead end north of Devonshire St – both sides

Temporary Event Road Closures – Saturday 22 September, 6AM – 11.59PM

To ensure pedestrian flow and community safety, the following streets will be closed on Saturday 22 September, 2018:

  • Devonshire Street Elizabeth Street to Bourke St (light rail closure) West bound
  • Devonshire Street Elizabeth Street to Holt St (light rail closure)
  • Devonshire Street Clisdell St to Waterloo St (residents excepted) East bound
  • Clisdell Street At Devonshire Street (light Rail closure) South bound
  • Holt Street
  • Between Gladstone St and Devonshire St (light rail closure)
  • Waterloo Street
  • Between Gladstone St and Devonshire St (residents excepted)
  • Adelaide Place Closed at Devonshire St (light rail closure)
  • Steel Street Closed between Devonshire St and Steel Lane
  • Riley Street Closed at Devonshire St (light rail closure)
  • Riley Street
  • Between Arthur St and Devonshire St (residents excepted)
  • South bound
  • Marlborough St Between Lansdowne St and Devonshire St
  • Devonshire Street Adelaide Place to Crown Street
  • High Holburn St At Devonshire Street (light rail closure)
  • Collins Street Between Crown Street and Richards Lane

During event operations, managed access will be maintained for residents. To gain managed vehicle access, residents must present proof of residency within the road closure area.

For more information about the 2018 Surry Hills Festival and free family program, visit surryhillsfestival.org

Download pdf version here – SHF 2018 – Temporary Event Road Closures

Surry Hills Festival reveals extensive ‘Spring Into Surry Hills’ Creative Arts Program

August 20, 2018 3:51 pmby
Photo: Projection Arts by Esem Projects

SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL REVEALS EXTENSIVE ‘SPRING INTO SURRY HILLS’ CREATIVE ARTS PROGRAM –

Pop Up events performances and installations in the heart of Surry Hills

DOWNLOAD SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL 2018 PROGRAM

From huge glowing triffids to stunning large scale projection arts and pop up garden performances, Surry Hills Festival is back on 22 September with a unique arts program ready to transform Sydney’s culturally vibrant suburb. Building up to the Festival, celebrations kick off with the Spring into Surry Hills arts program running from 13 to 22 September. It’s bold and fun, celebrating the founding of Surry Hills Neighbourhood centre (SHNC) in the era of Flower Power (late 1960s/70s), the Centre’s role in nurturing community, and the design and creative enterprises for which Surry Hills is famous.

The inaugural Microflix Festival brings 30 short animation works inspired by microfiction. Catch these superb shorts airing next to the Shakey from the 13-23 September (5.30pm to 10pm), with an awards night on 14 September at the historic St Peters 1880 Hall to celebrate the best of the best.

Surry Hills and Valleys, by accomplished creatives including Tim Ritchie, James O’Brien, Astra Howard and Karina Kreminski, invokes the power of common humanity – with giant portraits and personal stories lining Marlborough Street. This unique work opens with a free community celebration on 15 September.

Following the enormous success of Kitten Wall 2017, artist Tim Andrew returns with Meet Your Mayors, inviting audiences to engage with portraits of colourful personalities- in fact, all 30 Mayors of Greater Sydney.

Join award winning performer Vashti Hughes for Kate Leigh’s Knees Up – hilarious reenactments of notorious local criminal Kate Leigh and her cronies – guided performances to historic sites and venues, including Kate Leigh’s original home.

Fall in love with Sydney all over again this spring with incredible works from street artist Nico and local textile design powerhouse, Longina Phillips Designs. Whilst Longina Phillips Designs has supported the cause through creating art for bold and uplifting installations around the local spots, Nico has taken the artwork as inspiration to transform  beautiful centrally located building and creative space into a statement of Flower Power. Meet Nico the artist and watch the building transform from beginning to end.

Everyone is invited to join in creating the emPOWER FLOWER Project, bringing out the inner creativity of young and old into one huge interactive art spot. Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre is grateful to ALTRAC Light Rail for supporting this community art project.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Devonshire Divas or Mind Melting Maypole, a psychedelic rendition of the Wicker Man-esque ance, two of many special performances across pop up gardens and sites through Spring into Surry Hills and on the Festival Day.

And to top it off, Surry Hills legends Yulli’s have crafted a FLOWER POWER ale, nice and dry, with a light hop profile complemented by Chamomile tea aromas – perfect for Springtime and available at local bars, venues and tours, 13-22 September.

Along with live music, creative arts is the binding glue of Surry Hills Festival. The curated program is a community service in itself providing a connection point for local residents and visitors to tap into as they contribute to the high quality works, engendering community happiness and wellbeing. It’s a portal to celebrate all there is to love about this unique inner city neighbourhood.

Meet the locals, sample the ale and explore the heritage, art and architecture, wonderful eateries and creative enterprises of Devonshire Street and surrounds with a series of especially curated tours with Surry Hills Creative Precinct. There are 5 tours leading up to the Festival, plus two tours across Festival highlights on Festival day. Visit HERE for bookings.

Themed tours include:

  1. Art/Architecture Creative Trail – Saturday 25 August
  2. Craft Beer Creative Trail Saturday – 15 September
  3. Art/Architecture Creative Trail – Saturday 15 September
  4. St Peters Church Choir & local history – Sunday 16 September
  5. Surry Hills Spring Tasting Trail Thursday – 20 September
  6. Festival Highlights, Art & Heritage – 22 September

On Saturday 22 September, the much loved Surry Hills Festival will culminate in one fabulous celebration of Surry Hills. The arts program joins the recently announced music line up featuring some of the Sydney’s most talented artists including Joyride, DOBBY, Rackett, Crocodylus, Pirra, Iluka, Jackie Brown Jr. and King Tide on the Ward Park and Shannon Reserve stages – listen to the offical festival playlist HERE. The popular AIM Pop Up Stage returns to Tudor Reserve and the Clock Hotel will play host to the official Surry Hills Festival after party with great local DJs.

Surry Hills Festival – Saturday 22 September 2018, a FREE family-friendly day, packed with the trademark live music line-up, plus free tours, pop up spaces, nooks and crannies bursting with performance, local narratives, food and art – an engaging showcase of what makes Surry Hills the heart of Sydney’s innovative creative district. Join the thousands of expected Sydneysiders for the unofficial welcoming of spring.

To download the full Surry Hills Festival and Spring into Surry Hills arts program, visit: surryhillsfestival.org

All funds raised go to community programs presented by Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL 2018

SAT 22 SEPTEMBER 2018, 10AM-10PM

FREE.ENTRY BY DONATION

Meet Joe – a market stallholder for over a decade and collector of memories

August 2, 2018 1:30 pmby

Joe Alizzi has been a feature at the Surry Hill Markets for the last decade – we caught up with him about some of best, and worst, finds in his collecting career.

 

What do you sell, Joe?

Joe: Quality and classic books, vinyl and anything old and interesting. If I’m getting poetic, I’d say things that transport you to another world.

How do you choose what to add to your stall?

J: Well, it’s a skill you develop actually. I like to read a lot so I know what a good read is, but it’s also about understanding what people are reading.

How do you find things?

J: Anything from garage sales to hard rubbish – you just have to be resourceful and keep an eye out.

Could you share some memorable stories from collecting?

J: I was buying some vinyl records, and bought a collection of The Beatles. I took it home and was going through the process of cleaning it up when I found one with writing. At first I was cursing that someone had scribbled on this but then I thought ‘Does that say George Harrison?’ I googled it and it looked like his signature, so I sent photos to Beatles dealers in the UK and US and ended up selling it for $16,000.

Sometimes you buy record and they’re damaged – you don’t realise till you get them home. I bought a Roy Orbison record once and when I got it home found out it was all scratched and useless. So I thought I’d just use the cover for cardboard – I do a lot of postage so I needed the cardboard. And I was halfway through cutting it up when I turned it over and realized I’d just cut through Roy’s signature. You’ve got to laugh at those ones – if you don’t laugh, you cry.

What keeps you coming back all these years?

I’ve got to know people over the years, that’s a big part of it. And it’s a great way to earn a bit of extra cash. But mostly – when you’re a bit of a bower bird, or when you’re someone who doesn’t like waste, who understands the value of things, you end up getting a lot of things.

And this is your way to make sure they go to an appreciative home, rather than to waste?

J: I like letting people discover something – my stall is about memories, everything means something, it’s about finding something lost, you’re looking for something unique. I like giving people that.

SHNC thanks Alli Sebastian Wolf for interviewing Joe and taking his photo.

Surry Hills Festival 2018 – Music Line Up Announced!

July 18, 2018 12:56 pmby

SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES MUSIC LINE UP

With a reputation for showcasing the best in outstanding Sydney live music, today Surry Hills Festival announces its 2018 music line up comprised of some of the cities best First Nations performers. Joining the festival on 22 September is singer-songwriter pop duo Chymes, funky collective The BIG ILCH, smooth as folk/pop duo Microwave Jenny, one of Sydney’s most beloved talents Joyride and soul toasting legends King Tide rounding out the Ward Park stage lineup. Experimental rockers Rackett will be headlining the Shannon Reserve stage alongside rising hip-hop star DOBBY, energetic garage rock band Crocodylus, psych indie pop group Pirra, retro pop singer Iluka, and the amazing Jackie Brown Jr. The event will be MC’ed by locals Gavin Ivey from Koori Radio and Emily Nicol of NITV with amazing DJs to be announced for the offical afterparty at The Clock Hotel.

TOP L: JOYRIDE // TOP R: DOBBY
BTM L: RACKETT // BTM R: THE BIG ILCH

Plus, returning by popular demand is the curated Pop Up Stage featuring up and coming artists from the Australian Institute of Music (AIM).

“Surry Hills Festival is a local Sydney community focused event, when programming I felt it was important to showcase and support artists from within the Sydney region and surrounds. Their music is integral to the soundtrack of the city and the lineup not only reflects the high quality of Sydney contemporary music and art but also its cultural diversity and vibrant musical heart.”
– Michael Hutchings, Program Director Live Music, 2018 Surry Hills Festival

Spread across Ward Park, Devonshire Street, Shannon Reserve, Crown Street, laneways, pop up spaces, local venues, creative spaces and everything in between – Surry Hills Festival invites everyone to be immersed in the creativity that the locals celebrate 365 days a year.

Spread over ten days leading up to the Festival, this year’s program, themed Spring into Surry Hills – kicks off from 13 September. Bold and fun, the theme celebrates founding of Surry Hills Neigbourhood Centre in era of Flower Power (late 1960s/70s). Selected creatives will overlay Devonshire Street and surrounds with a curated trail of projections, installations and performances, running 13 – 23 September.

The Surry Hills Creative Precinct will be hosting a program of special tours, exploring the heritage, art and architecture, wonderful eateries and creative enterprises of Devonshire Street and surrounds. Meet the neighbourhood’s talented entrepreneurs, the curators and artists who bring you Spring into Surry HIlls. Kicking off in August, there will be 5 tours leading up to the Festival, plus two tours across Festival highlights on Festival day. Visit HERE for bookings.

Themed tours include:
1. Art/Architecture Creative Trail – Saturday 25th August
2. Craft Beer Creative Trail Saturday – 15th September
3. Art/Architecture Creative Trail – Saturday 15th September
4. St Peters Church Choir & local history – Sunday 16th September
5. Surry Hills Spring Tasting Trail Thursday – 20th September

Guided tours on festival day will visit all the highlights. Surry Hills Festival, Saturday 22 September, 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm.

Surry Hills Festival, a FREE family-friendly day, will be packed with the trademark live music line-up, plus free tours, pop up spaces, nooks and crannies bursting with performance, local narratives, food and art – an engaging showcase of what makes Surry Hills the heart of Sydney’s innovative creative district. Join the thousands of Sydneysiders expected for the unofficial welcoming of spring.

All funds raised on the day go to community programs presented by Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL 2018
SAT 22ND SEPTEMBER 2018, 10AM – 10PM
FREE. ENTRY BY DONATION

 

NAIDOC Celebration – Because of Her, We can!

July 9, 2018 1:05 pmby

On the 4th of July Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre and Surry Hills Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) hosted a NAIDOC Afternoon Celebration at the Neighbourhood Centre, above Surry Hills Library. This year’s NAIDOC theme “Because of Her, We Can!” inspired the event and the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their vital, although often unrecognised, contribution and service at the community, local, state and national levels.

“As leaders, trailblazers, politicians, activists and social change advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women fought and continue to fight, for justice, equal rights, our rights to country, for law and justice, access to education, employment and to maintain and celebrate our culture, language, music and art.” – the NAIDOC Official website.

Many community members attended the event, including the honoured guests – Aunty Donna Ingram and MP for Newtown Jenny Leong.  Aunty Donna opened the event with a poignant “Welcome to Country”, and Jenny Leong also spoke to the theme,

“Watching the aunties, sisters, mothers and daughters stand strong at rallies and actions, speaking out against injustices and ensuring that the harm done to their loved ones, their family members, their children is never forgotten is always such an inspiration for me.”

Central to the afternoon celebration was the showing of the movie “Yajillara” by Melanie Hogan. “Yajilarra” is a powerful, inspiring documentary about the courage and resilience of Aboriginal women from the Fitzroy Valley, in the remote Kimberley region of outback Australia. In 2007 a group of courageous women from the Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre led a transforming pioneering campaign to ban full-strength ‘takeaway’ alcohol in their community. The alarming statistics in their town – 13 suicides in 13 months, commonplace reports of family violence and child abuse, high levels of dangerous alcohol consumption – gave them resolve to unite and insist on change. Braving the opposition and standing their ground, these women saw the ban officially introduced, bringing not only reduced levels of alcohol abuse and domestic violence, but also giving back hope to the community, for the health and wellbeing of their children and future generations.

The topic of the film resonated strongly with the event participants, many of whom take an active part in the work of the local CDAT, aimed at introducing harm reduction measures around alcohol and drug use and improving the health of the community. Jenny Leong commended and encouraged this approach,

“The work of the Surry Hills CDAT is an example of the important collaboration and integration across services, organisations, and community members that happens locally to ensure a harm minimisation approach to drugs in our local community.”

Stephen Lunny, the Chair of Surry Hills CDAT, in the process of acquiring rights for the screening of the film, got in touch with the community of Fitzroy Crossing and the women featured in the “Yajilarra”: “A powerful moment for me was when I made contact with the community and women of Fitzroy Crossing, and Emily Carter said to me, “We need non-indigenous Indigenous Champions. We can’t do this on our own”. Emily was referring to a broader shift in thinking and an acknowledgement of our First Nations peoples and their place in our history and future. This inspired me to want to do more. We must do more; as individuals, as organisations, as a country.”

We thank South Sydney Herald for publishing the article in their August 2018 issue.

Pocket parks coming to Surry Hills

July 9, 2018 11:24 amby

Pocket parks coming to Surry Hills – News from ALTRAC Light Rail

A key environmental aim in designing and building the CBD and South East Light Rail project is to retain as many trees as possible. Each tree is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Every effort is made to minimise the number of trees that are removed for this project.

Where the loss of trees is unavoidable, the ALTRAC Light Rail team will plant two new trees for every small tree removed; four for every medium tree; and eight replacement trees for every large tree removed. At the end of the project around 1,800 new trees will be planted in consultation with Randwick and City of Sydney Councils, including around 900 new trees that will be planted along the alignment. The remaining offset trees will be planted across the LGAs in consultation with Councils.  At the time they are planted the trees will already be 3-4 metres tall.

Some unique features of the project are the pocket parks that will characterise the Surry Hills section of the alignment.

Located along the Devonshire St intersections of Buckingham St, Holt St, Waterloo St and High Holborn St, the pocket parks will create new green public spaces for people to enjoy. The pocket parks will include trees, garden beds as well as street furniture.

These locations are ideal as they are the end of streets that are closed to traffic. The pockets parks are a key feature of the project’s revegetation program and will contribute to the distinct character of Surry Hills.

The construction of pocket parks will start towards the end of the year.

ALTRAC Light Rail is a proud supporter of Surry Hills Festival.

 

Meet the artisans behind SHM favorite pottery stall!

April 3, 2018 3:18 pmby

Meet the artisans behind Surry Hills Market favorite fired handcrafts – Em Pottery by Emi Mutch (and baby Maih), and Ichijoy Handmade Ceramics by Keiichi Aikawa and Richard Kaye-Smith.

Instagram: @empottery and @ichi_joy

What do you like most about Surry Hills Markets?

Emi: I love how it’s local – it’s really close to me – and I like the atmosphere. People are really nice here. I love how there’s kids’ play area and lots of families – the atmosphere is really nice.

Keiichi: Everyone is friendly, down to earth. I love the culture and there is a nice collection here; I get books and cds, it’s a nice collection.

Emi: Some months we have a “no leaving the stall” rule or we buy everything – if you don’t see anything, you can’t buy anything.

When did you start doing Surry Hills Markets?

E: Maybe three or four years ago. I started in winter and I remember it was so cold and dark when we got here at 6:45am.

You left for a little while to have Miah?

E: I was actually here till I was 30 something weeks – she was born in August and I did the August markets a few weeks before. A lot of my friends told me not to do that, but I did it anyway and it was fun.

And when did the guys join?

E: In September last year. We met in ceramics class.

Richard: We study together with a Japanese teacher once a week in Artarmon, Emi Tanaka – she’s a professional artisan who’s been doing this 20 years, and, of course, teaches in the Japanese style.

And how did you two meet? (Keiichi and Richard)

R: We’ve been together for 28 years. We met in Tokyo – I was living there, starting as one of the first Australians to be awarded a working holiday visa. We met at a gay bar, but I had to take him on three dates before he kissed me, he’s very conservative.

It must have been hard in Japan for a queer couple then?

R: You had to be careful – if his company found out, he’d lose his job. But the same was true in Australia. You just surrounded yourself with a group of friends and you protected each other.

Are you doing anything for Mardi Gras tonight?

K: I’m working at a Japanese restaurant

R: We’re not young anymore. We’ve lived in Surry Hills since we came to Australia 17 years ago, so we’ve seen our share.

What do you like most about creating these art pieces?

K: I’m studying the wheel, but I prefer painting – painting the plates or making Japanese style.

R: It’s just so much fun, satisfying, a stress release. If it were possible, I’d retire today and just do this.

What got you started in pottery?

R: We’re both artistically educated – design and painting.

K: Before we both loved painting and wanting something more, to try something new. It’s so nice – when you touch the clay – it’s so calming.

R: Keiichi’s been doing it for 3 years, I’ve been doing it almost two. I like the surprise of it – with handmade ceramics, once it goes in the kiln – it’s fingers crossed! – anything could happen. So everything is a one off piece.

SHNC thanks Alli Sebastian Wolf for interviewing Emi, Keiichi and Richard and taking their photos.

Hand knitted blankets for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

March 27, 2018 11:06 amby

Once again we are so proud to showcase the amazing work that our Sewing and Knitting group does. Over the last few months Cathy, Jan, Carol and the rest of the group have been knitting the dozens and dozens of colorful squares that were then weaved together into blankets and donated to the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, who work tirelessly to care for Australians with cancer, their carers and families. Wonderful work! 💝

The Sewing and Knitting group meets weekly on Thursdays and everybody is welcome to join. You can work on your own projects and learn new skills, or join in a community project. In the past few years the group worked on knitting beanies and scarves for Canteens, weaving stars for One Million Stars to End Violence , and raising money for Ronald McDonald House in Randwick.

Meet Beryl – stall holder for the last 23 years and hat maker for the Queen!

February 21, 2018 1:52 pmby

Meet Beryl – stall holder at Surry Hills Markets for the last 23 years, hat maker for the queen and resident expert on objects so old their use has been forgotten for generations. 

 

I started life as a milliner. I did my apprentice ship with Normon Hartnell in the 50’s – you probably don’t know who that is but he was the royal dress maker, by appointment to the royal family, so I was sometime working on hats for Queen Elizabeth. That background is why I usually have some hats.

What can we find at your stall?

I love old things. I do have a few new things, quirky things, but I prefer antiques and brick-a-brac. Things with history. And I like to bring some plants as well.

How do you find these treasures?

Car boot sales, garage sales, street sales – places like that. Even other stall holders.

What attracts you to an object? How do you choose them?

It’s got to be the character of the thing. I prefer old; that lamp is over 100 years old, so I love it. Basically I like old things, like me.

Your objects always seem to have a story. People come intrigued by the mysterious objects you’ve found – things forgotten for generations – it’s such an education to hear you tell them its use and origin.

I do try to find out something’s story before I buy it. But sometimes it’s just a thing in a box somewhere and I need to do research – which always leads to interesting histories. This green tea pot is a Brown Betty – and that’s known as one of the best tea pots in the world. It’s made in England, and something to do with the way the clay is made means it retains its heat better than any other tea pot. So I love it because of that. Because it’s got an intriguing past, and is such good quality. Some items I know the history of because they used to be mine, or like that Japanese tea set – that was in Jerry’s (her partner’s) family for around 70 years.

What do you love about Surry Hills Markets?

The people, really. You become friends with the other stall holders – some have been coming her for 20 years. You meet some very interesting people who become old friends.  And it’s a good crowd, it’s always good to have different people coming through, from all over the world.

It’s just got a good vibe, hasn’t it? It’s a really lovely market.

Next Surry Hills Market is Saturday March 3 – drop by and meet Beryl and many other amazing stall holders!

SHNC thanks Alli Sebastian Wolf for interviewing beautiful Beryl and taking her photo.

Meet Addison and Gavin from Crown Street Vintage!

December 18, 2017 11:59 amby

Meet Addison and Gavin from Crown Street Vintage, one of Surry Hills Markets oldest running stalls.

 

Tell us a bit about how Crown St Vintage began…

Addison: I began it in 1999, then I met Gavin 8 years ago –

Gavin: 2010, I think. Addison’s been doing this for 15 years, he did fashion design as well.

A: I love fashion, I love clothes. But fashion design wasn’t for me.

G: We became partners and then a few years later I join him in this business.

How did you two meet?

A: We met here (at Surry Hills Markets).

G: I met Addison in 2012 as a customer.

A: You bought a jacket.

G: I bought a 1980’s bomber jacket that was too small for me. It was really just an excuse to talk to Addison. I was with my friend, she bought a pair of boots. We both were interested in him and not sure which way he was batting.

A: Then we joined forces.

G: We joined forces and I went on to do fashion design as well.

He wooed you away from the corporate world into vintage fashion?

G: Yeah, he did – and the desire to have something that was ours together. There are sacrifices, but it’s worth it to not be sitting behind a desk every day.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

G: We have a love affair with bright and bold vintage patterns. We love our forgotten Australian designers from the 1960’s-80’s – Jenny Key, Prue Acton, etc – and forgotten Aussie labels like Walter Christensen. We are drawn to colourful prints and patterns that are still very wearable in a contemporary setting. It’s what we look for the most.

A: Colour and pattern.

How do you find your pieces?

A: Without giving too much away…

G: A lot of it finds us. Everything we source is hand picked.

A: I’m sitting on a huge stockpile after being a hoarder for so many years.

G: It comes to us on our travels, through private sales or at other markets. We try to find quality Australian vintage, made here in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. And we can’t pass up a good designer label.

We also have an etsy store full of the more high end designer labels. It’s a different market online, people want different things.

Do you have a favorite find?

G: Absolutely. That Ozzie Clark Jumpsuit –

A: I found it in a dress up box for $1. Ozzie Clark is a designer from the 70’s.

G: It’s what lots of celebrities are wearing on the red carpet at the moment – vintage Ozzie Clark.

A: It’s worth about $1000 now.

 

Next Surry Hills Market is Saturday January 6 – drop by and meet Addison and Gavin and many other amazing stallholders!

 

SHNC thanks Alli Sebastian Wolf for doing the interview with Addison and Gavin and taking their photo.

Meet the Cooks – Market stallholders since 1983!

November 27, 2017 11:54 amby

Meet the Cooks – the family that has been running a market stall at Surry Hills Markets since 1983.

Jemima and Alice talk to us about what makes one of our longest running stalls such a happy place to visit.

How did this stall begin?

Jemima: Cleaning out the house. It just developed from there…

Alice: And because we’re a family of hoarders and collectors – it keeps going.

You sell an amazing collection of antiques and vintage clothing – how do you find things?

A: Garage sales, definitely garage sales. The ones that are in small towns – not the city garage sales.

Can you remember a special find, something you couldn’t believe was in someone junk pile?

A: For me it’s more often when we’re unpacking to set up the stall for the markets and I’ll see something I haven’t seen for ages and fall in love and have to keep it.

Is it mostly your personal taste determining what you’ll collect?

A: Pretty much. The whole family has an eye for vintage over new things – we grew up in op shops and second hand stores so everyone has great taste for unusual and interesting things.

What’s the best part of this being such a family business?

J: I get to hang out with my children every month.

A: I get to hang out with mum.

J: It’s very social for us.

A: We have lots of family friends who love to come visit us while we’re here.

J: Because we live out of town we don’t see people that often, so this becomes the chance to catch up. And then there is the market family, friends who come back every month. Some people we see here have become lifelong friends. It’s really been a key part of our family for many years.

Is that the best part of being involved in Surry Hills Markets?

J: Definitely. It’s the connection, that special family connection.

Is the honey you sell part of that?

J: The honey has been a really important part – it supplies Surry Hills, all these friends with honey. We had our first honey stall at Surry Hills Markets in 1983.

A: Selling honey and vintage things –

J: – and marmalade made with the honey, that was a huge thing.

A: Dad is the bee keeper and collects the honey, mum makes the marmalade, and I take the wax and make the candles.

J: It’s a real family thing.

SHNC thanks Alli Sebastian Wolf for doing the interview with the lovely Cooks family and taking their photo.

Meet Surry Hills Market stallholders!

October 27, 2017 2:15 pmby

Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre is grateful to Alli Sebastian Wolf for doing the interview with Tony Chaplin from Big Lapel Vintage and taking the photos of him and his delightful dog Bradley!  

Surry Hills Markets have been an integral part of the Surry Hills community from 1981. Every month we open the opportunity to have a stall at our market to new merchants and one-off applicants, and also have a long-standing group of regular stallholders who have been an important part of the Markets for many-many years.

Meet one of our regulars – Tony Chaplin from the Big Lapel Vintage!

How did you get started?

I was always into vintage fashion and collecting vintage clothes – it started out with me collecting way too many of my own clothes so I needed to sell some. Surry Hills being the epicentre of vintage fashion, I decided to do a stall here. What started as a way to sell my excess wardrobe became a thriving business. Vintage has always been popular and Surry Hills is such a reliable market for that. Because your pieces are so unique you can spot it when people come back to the market in the next months wearing something you sold them and that’s so satisfying. You get a lot of return customers. With all vintage stalls every piece is unique, people love that variety.

Do you have a most exciting find?

I can still go right to the day I found it – in an op-shop warehouse in the western suburbs, just sitting on a couch was a Float-A-Bar; a perspex dome you could have floating in your pool with compartments for different snacks and drinks. And a big gold label saying Float-A-Bar on the side. It was such a great item, it got so much attention. Whenever I see something like that I always pick it up, it was such a great piece.

What is the most interesting part of your day at Surry Hills Markets?

I love the interaction with the locals and the people who come to the market – it’s not just about selling, it’s about those interactions, it’s a lovely day out.

A big part of that must be your fabulous dog Bradley – 

He’s the mascot, the ambassador for Big Lapel Vintage; so many people come back to see him. He loves the attention, loves the pats and interacting with the other dogs.

 Does the environmental impact of fast fashion play a role in your passion for vintage?

Throughout my life I may have bought less new items than i could count on my fingers. I always buy second hand. And them when I’m done with them I sell it or donate it – it’s all about recycling. I get a lot of joy out of seeing people buy a piece they love, that looks great on them.

Meet Tony & Bradley and other wonderful stallholders at Surry Hills Market every first Saturday of the month!

Surry Hills Festival launches DOUBLE TAKE

October 3, 2017 10:58 amby

Creative Arts Program runs daily until Sunday 15 October!

Welcoming an unexpected slice of summer in spring, this year’s Surry Hills Festival  warmly embraced an estimated crowd of 50,000 people last weekend, raising vital funds for the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre to continue to provide essential community programs.  Double Take, a bold new Arts program was launched on festival day and has since transformed the heart of the iconic suburb into a curated trail of projection and arts until Sunday 15 October.

Developed by the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre and local creatives Esem Projects, Double Take has enlisted over 60 artists to contribute site specific projection art and immersive experiences.

From dusk until 10pm every night, spy the suburb in a different light with projections including Double Circus by Esem Projects a homage to the Wimbo Park Circus which was permanently housed on Bourke Street in the early 1900’s.  She Swallowed The Sky, an animation written and illustrated by Askiew follows a female character who is walking the city alone.  “Action research performer”, Astra Howard, presents Village Voices in the form of varied art interventions, watch and hear stories by locals, write your own or contemplate your favourite neighbourhood.

See your brain’s neuronal activity using an EEG headset, and move objects with your thoughts at Mindz Brainplay. Kitten Wall invites audiences to join in creating an enormous wall of colourful cats.  Award-winning performer Vashti Hughes will present a hilarious pop up re-enactment of Kate Leigh and her notorious cronies for Mum’s In (the password to her sly grog establishment was “is mum in?”).  Make your mark on Play Street, a wild and fictitious Surry Hills where you can paint and rearrange terrace houses, street lights, bikes, trees, clouds and more in the form of an ever-changing diorama.  Investigate our global cyber world in contrast to the need for human interactions generating meaning and community connection The Binary Operators by Barbara Doran.

Explore local creative spaces, meet the locals, curators and artists behind Double Take on three guided sunset tours hosted by Culture Scouts on Thursday 28 September, Thursday 5 October and Thursday 12 October from 4:00pm – 6:00pm.

To download the full Double Take program, visit: surryhillsfestival.org

Surry Hills Festival announces music line up!

August 3, 2017 12:01 pmby

SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES MUSIC LINE UP

 + THE MOST AMAZING DEVONSHIRE TEA PARTY, EVER! PUBLIC ART PROJECT

With a reputation for showcasing a wide range of Sydney’s most outstanding acts, today Surry Hills Festival announces its 2017 music line up. Joining the festival on 23 September is Sydney’s soultronica singer-songwriter Thandi Phoenix, hip hop duo Coda Conduct, indie folkster Joe Mungovan, psychedelic gypsy rock band Ungus Ungus Ungus, the red hot soul sounds of The Fever Pitch with the fun sounds of Borneo and Dweeb City rounding out the main stage line up. Jay Katz returns as the MC DJ for the main music stage in Ward Park. The ever popular AIM Pop up stage will be hosted at Shannon Reserve this year.

Spread across Ward Park, Devonshire Street, Shannon Reserve, Crown Street, laneways, pop up spaces, local venues, creative spaces and everything in between – Surry Hills Festival invites everyone to be immersed in the creativity that the locals celebrate 365 days a year.

This year’s program introduces Double Take which will be launched with one amazing day and night time celebration as part of Surry Hills Festival. Local creatives, Esem Projects, are working with selected artists to overlay Devonshire Street and surrounds with a curated trail of projection and pop up installations transforming the heart of Surry Hills into a network of spontaneous art and discovery. Double Take will run three weeks from Surry Hills Festival on Saturday 23 September to Sunday 15 October 2017.

Also announced is the The Most Amazing Devonshire Tea Party, Ever! Inspired by legendary local artist Martin Sharp and all the notorious characters of Surry Hills, everyone’s invited to join in creating a bold immersive installation. Developed in months leading up to the festival at community workshops it will be launched on festival day and remain in place for three weeks as part of Double Take. Join free workshops every Saturday at Shannon Reserve (10am – 2pm) and at Surry Hills Markets on 5 August and 2 September. Visit the website for the full workshop program.

Surry Hills Festival, a FREE family-friendly day, will be packed with the trademark live music line-up, plus free tours, pop up spaces, nooks and crannies bursting with performance, local narratives, food and art – an engaging showcase of what makes Surry Hills the heart of Sydney’s innovative creative district. Join the 60,000 expected Sydneysiders for the unofficial welcoming of spring.

All funds raised on the day go to community programs presented by Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL 2017

SAT, 23rd SEPTEMBER 2017, 10AM – 10PM

FREE. ENTRY BY DONATION

Festival Partners

Pom Pom workshops are back!

June 7, 2017 12:11 pmby

On Saturday June 3 we held the first community pom pom making workshop in Shannon Reserve at Surry Hills Market. Great success! A little early rain ☔️ but as soon as we poured the colorful wool out – the kids in the playing ground all ran to it! Kids were helping each other and mums got in there helping the little ones!

We thank all the participants for joining in and donating the pom poms for the big soft sculptures we will be making for the spectacular community showcase at Surry Hills Festival on 23 September – big red hearts ♥️, big yellow diamonds , big blue clubs ♣️, and big aquamarine spades ♠️ .

The colorful Popping Pom Poms adorned the parks and streets of Surry Hills at Surry Hills Festival 2016. This year we continue with this well-loved and fun project, and will create a very special Alice in Wonderland inspired pom pom installation. Keep an eye out for the Surry Hills Festival updates on our Facebook page and join in the fun every first Saturday of the month at Surry Hills Markets.

Dance through the Divide

May 18, 2017 12:54 pmby

Over the last few weeks Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre (SHNC) has been hosting an exciting dance pilot program with Seet Dance and Mums 4 Refugees

Refugee and asylum seeker children are joining forces with Aussie kids learning Hip Hop dance moves from Sydney’s most skilled street dancers. The pilot program supported by SHNC is already proving to be a success with smiles abounding from the kids involved. 

“Dance through the Divide is a pilot project to bring children together through dance,” said Sara Lubowitz, vice chairperson of the SHNC. “Children, wherever they come from and whatever life events they have been through previously, can relate to each other through dance”. Sara is also a member of Mums 4 Refugees, an organization who have been consultants for the project on a volunteer basis. 

The nine kids are already developing friendships with each other as well as honing their skills at Popping, with internationally known street dancer Jack Wardana, aka Poppin’ Jack. The next teacher on the schedule is Adam Warburton who is an amazing dancer specialising in House. The street dance teachers were introduced to the idea of working with refugee children by Catherine Cassimatis. 

“The first lesson started slow, all the kids were shy. But it only took 10 minutes into the lesson for the kids to start interacting with the teacher and each other”, said Sara. “And by the second lesson the noise level had increased with laughter and joy…We hope that this will be the beginning of a project that can be broadened across Sydney and hopefully beyond”.

The Dance through the Divide program is being overseen by choreographer Charemaine Seet, the founder of Seet Dance contemporary dance school. “Dance is the universal language. Kids big and small, from all over the world can recognize Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalk”. It’s the perfect way for people from completely different circumstances and backgrounds to find common ground”, said Charemaine. 

SHNC thanks Michael Crewdson from SEET Dance for writing this news post.

Surry Hills Festival returns with Spring!

May 1, 2017 12:54 pmby

In it’s 15th year, Surry Hills Festival announces Saturday 23rd September as the date for Sydney most loved inner city celebration. 2017 continues to celebrate all there is to love about the iconic suburb, highlighting and exploring the area’s history, colourful culture, diversity and community spirit the suburb is hailed for. All funds raised on the day go to community programs presented by Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

This year’s line up will see a new evening hub hosted at Ward Park and surrounds. Applications are now open for bands, artists and vendors to get involved. Applications close 9th June 2017. Apply here.

Video makers, artists and performers are invited to apply for Double Take. Selected artists will work with curators, Esem Projects, to overlay Devonshire Street and surrounds with a curated trail of projection and pop up installations transforming the heart of Surry Hills into a network of spontaneous art and discovery. Turn the everyday into something curious, revisit the past in a new light, or reveal the playful side of city life. Double Take will run over three weeks from the Surry Hills Festival on Saturday 23 September, until 15 October 2017. Apply here.

Culture pioneers, Culture Scouts, have joined the festival line up to create a program of special tours exploring the history, creative hot spots and delicious food corners of Surry Hills. There will be two tours in the lead up to the festival, tours on festival day, and three sunset tours during the extended Double Take period. To celebrate, the festival is offering the chance to join the first VIP “taster tour” exploring Devonshire Street and surrounds on 12 May, 10am – 12pm. Enter here.

Join in long lead preparations for the festival with creative workshops being held at the Surry Hills Markets, on the first Saturday of each month. Head down to Shannon Reserve on 6th May, 3rd June, 1st July, 5th August or 2nd September to enjoy freshly baked scones at the Community Café and take part in creating fantastic bold public art installations that will line the streets on Surry Hills Festival day and beyond.

Surry Hills Festival, a FREE family-friendly day, will be packed with the trademark live music line-up, plus pop up spaces, nooks and crannies bursting with performance, local narratives, food and art – an engaging showcase of what makes Surry Hills the heart of Sydney’s innovative creative district. Join the 60,000 expected Sydneysiders for the unofficial welcoming of spring!

Change to SHNC Constitution accepted

March 24, 2017 12:52 pmby

On Tuesday March 21 the Special General Meeting was held at SHNC in order to vote on a proposed change to the SHNC Constitution – to increase the number of the governing board from 8 to 9.

The Governance Committee has carefully considered the need to change the Constitution. After extensive conversation, the Governance Committee is sure an additional committee member will enable a more comprehensive range of ideas and enable a more informed and considered decision making process.

The motion was passed, and a new member joined the board. We welcome Tony MacMahon to the SHNC Governance Committee and are looking forward to working together!