St Leonards artists’ studio takes creative payment method

July 15, 2018 by  

Sydney’s lower north shore has become home for 70 artists who pay for their residential accommodation through a system of Medici-like patronage.

In lieu of rent, artists at the new TWT Creative Precinct simply donate one artwork a year to property owner Tina Tian, the 35-year-old founder of TWT Property Group. Artists and their representatives often use poster printing and graphic design services to help market their gallery exhibitions.

With residential studios in St Leonards usually renting for over $400 per week, the arrangement represents a huge saving for professional artists, whose income is often highly variable. However, Tian has said the millions in foregone rent is good business, explaining to AFR.com:

“Once you have artists working and studying and living here… St Leonards will become a destination.”

Artists living and working at the studio and apartment complex on Chandos Street have commented positively on the space. Ironically, some have moved there due to their previous creative workshops being taken over by property developers. Visual artist Abdul Abdullah remarked his previous warehouse space in Alexandria had just such a fate.

TWT Creative Precinct currently hosts over 70 artists from a wide range of artistic disciplines including dance, film and music production. A microprocessor-driven light installation by resident artist Amy Indermühle adorns the building at night.

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