Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements - The Newbridge Project Newcastle
The NewBridge Project is an artist-led community, formally located inside an old office block that housed 80 artist studios, an exhibition space and a bookshop. As a result of the financial crash in 2008 the office block was neglected and stood empty. Then, in 2010, it was taken over and the NewBridge Project was created. It was an environment shared by like-minded people that have added to the dynamic of Newcastle’s art scene; the workspaces provided artists with a place to form new ideas and work on projects. For the last six years the building had been run and maintained by the artists themselves, and funded by various grants and small rental payments from each artists. However, in 2016 it was announced that the landlord would have the building demolished the following year in order to sell off the land. The land itself is located in an urban area that has been earmarked for redevelopment. The decision was met with hostility by the artists who felt they were being undervalued, and forced to relocate. Carl learned about the NewBridge Project and the fate of the building from one of the artists there in 2016. Towards the end of the year he began documenting the artists over the course of several months, just before the demolition went ahead. With this work Carl aims to demonstrate how corporate and commercial developers edge out the undervalued "grass roots” artists who are vitally important to a city like Newcastle. In addition, he points out that NewBridge’s dismantlement is a representation of a future where arts are undervalued, and taken out from the school curriculum.