Golden 2016! When this project began in early 2015 I wasn’t sure it’d make it to the end of its first year, let alone a second. And yet, here we are! I’ve had a couple of weeks now to mull over the exhibition, and I am just so grateful to all those who came along, donated and volunteered. THANK YOU!
This year 11 artists exhibited some truly beautiful work. These wonderful people are 23rd Key, Viet-My Bui, Mark Conlan, Luke Day, Bobby Haiqalsyah, Hayley O’Connor, Kitiya Palaskas, Ellen Porteus, George Rose, Al Turnbull and Cat Wall. They are each incredibly busy people and so I thank them immensely for taking the time to be a part of this exhibition.
Their prints began flying out the door as soon as we opened, and we had one of each piece framed by United Measures. This is the second year Ryan has come on board, and has now donated 24 handmade frames! Legend.
On the night we also had more live art, with portraits this year by the beautiful Candy Ng, and live lettering by girl group The Letterettes. The team pumped out numerous pieces, with Candy taking some of her portraits home with her, and then mailing them to subjects! Now that’s what I call dedication.
As it was in 2015, Work-Shop was our venue, and what a venue! Thank you to Hayley and the team for allowing us into your space, it is such a fantastic one.
Mountain Goat again kept us hydrated throughout the evening, and a big thank you to Martin and Lyce on the bar.
Greta Larkins - aka Fash Gif - joined us again with the best playlists going around. It was so lovely to have you there Greta, thank you.
There were some absolute guns processing all the payments, and I must say a huge thank you to Yve, Tess and Nicole.
Volunteers Zoe and Lauren - thank you for your involvement! - were selling raffle tickets left, right and centre, and it was so exciting to see so many faces involved. As it was last year, people were only too willing to help - both in donating their products, services and time - and I have to stop again and marvel at the wonderful community that surrounds us. In the raffle we had beautiful products from Fictional Objects, Two Sourced, Awkward Portraits, Warisa, McKean Studio, Nice Digs, Pond, and Magic Rubble. If you were there on the night you would have also noticed the amazing welcome sign on your way in. This was printed by the team at Wood to Wall, who are able to transfer your photos and artwork directly on to wood, ready to hang!
Something a little extra this year were the greeting cards, designed by The Letterettes, printed by Saint Gertrude, and produced in conjunction with STREAT. This project actually began much earlier in the year, and all involved were very happy to see the set of cards launch at Golden. If you missed out never fear! These are still available at STREAT (66 Cromwell St, Collingwood) and also via Saint Gertrude’s site.
People have asked why the move from supporting mental health in 2015, to homelessness this year. There is undoubtedly a crossover here between homelessness and mental health, but when listening to and taking part in discussions around homelessness, what has struck me so strongly is how quickly and easily anyone can end up in such a position. I hope, that if I ever found myself there, I'd be able to access services and reach out for help. So now, when I'm in a position to lend a hand to those doing such great work, I feel that I have to.
On that note, STREAT is an incredible organisation. Every night in Australia there are more than 105,000 homeless, with nearly half being children and young people. STREAT exists to help these marginalised young people thrive and get a healthy self, job and home. STREAT runs a portfolio of hospitality businesses including cafes, a catering company, a coffee roastery (and now an artisan bakery) where its young people gain vocational training and where the organisation generates its revenue to fund its work with these young people. To date STREAT has worked with over 450 young people providing them with over 40,000 hours of training and support. Through its social enterprise businesses, STREAT harnesses the general public to help, one delicious mouthful at a time. That’s why STREAT ‘Tastes good, and Does good’. CEO Rebecca Scott - scientist turned social entrepreneur - is a person full of life, and compassion and, more often than not, is overflowing with ideas. It was such a pleasure and an honour having her come and spend the night with us at Golden, and I am in awe of her constant motivation, passion and dedication.
Again, a tremendous thank you to everyone involved. Almost everything in this exhibition is donated or heavily discounted, and those who take part can’t be praised highly enough. And to everyone who came along, what a night! THANK YOU for your support, and for making this year such a blast. In the end, as a group we raised over three thousand dollars, all of which will be going to STREAT.
PS If you would like to share any photos, please credit Val Bong (@valbong) as she is the mastermind behind the lens! Thank you for photographing yet again Val.