The Old Ambo on Howard street has been abuzz with activity this week, hosting Occupy Makerspace, a collaboration of “Artists, Artisans, Freeks and Geeks, for 8 days of art making and workshops”.
John Bourke’s project, a movement in collaboration with a slew of local artists and craftspeople, saw The Ambo come alive with activity and creativity.
Through the week-long occupation, Nambouring immersed itself into the space, meeting the artists and students of the Maker’s Movement.
On Wednesday Suzi Scrimshaw from Circus Connect took over the Old Ambo space. First up was a circus playground for the young ones. Hoola hoops and twirling sticks were spun, while Suzi taught others how to build themselves into human pyramids.
Later in the day came the fire twirling workshop for the adults, where participates leant the techniques behind staff twirling and Poi, which is a performance art involving swing weights in visually mesmerizing patterns.
Suzi is a great teacher; she explains the general practices, as well as the finer details to mastering different tricks, while still keeping the sessions entertaining.
In the space on Saturday – the final day of workshops – was Melanie, who runs her clothing store and sewing classes on the top floor. Mel’s shop, Pin Curls and Petticoats, formerly on Howard Street, relocated to The Ambo as a business decision.
“I started making a lot more custom made clothes, and decided that’s where we wanted to head with the business. I’m not so tied to being somewhere permanently, I work by appointment, and this (The Ambo) is where I hold my classes”.
Downstairs was Blake, of Analog Ordnance. Blake is a musician and a builder of electronics, who has been running workshops teaching how to build synthesisers and electronics in Makerspace.
After filming a how-to video on soldering, Blake spoke about the benefits of running workshops and classes at The Old Ambo: “[The workshops] get people interested in electronics, in making things in general, not just sitting around and watching TV, doing things and creating things”.
Blake describes his workshops as a “crash course” on building electronics.
“The last workshop I held was upstairs [at The Ambo], we had eight people and a light board, I taught them how to identify the different components and how the parts work… I provided soldering sets, and held their hand through the soldering and building process to achieve their desire of building a synthesiser”.
As the afternoon rolled around, the barbecue was fired up, and the final exhibition was opened.
While the sausages cooked, Rob demonstrated the process of screen printing, John, now DJ of The Ambo plays a song called Dirty Old Town. Most of the attendees had taken part in workshops over the past eight days. Brian Murray showed his conscious art piece The Hate Project.
Seeing all the inspired work on display was a testament to the hard work put in by John, The Old Ambo and the artists involved, as well as the creativity that the workshops have fostered.
The folks involved with The Ambo agree unanimously they would like to see growth in the space, and more engagement with the community of Nambour.
Suzi from Circus Connect explained, “Nambour has lots of little ventures sprouting. We just need to tender and nourish them, and then give them the time to sprout”.