Ever had an urge to try something different or learn a new skill, but haven't known where to start? That's where Work-Shop comes in. Since 2013, the community class collective has been waging a creative crusade, and now they're bringing it to Brisbane.
Come August 7, fun, affordable and diverse short courses in life skills, alternative art and unleashing your inner awesome will take over The Autumn Co. at 29 Merivale Street, South Brisbane. Whether you want to learn about making Polish paper chandeliers, the basics of hand lettering or the Japanese art of flower arranging, this is the place to do it.
Work-Shop is the brainchild of Sydney's Matt Branagan and Chester Garcia, who wanted to create a space where broadening your horizons was something people actually did, not just something they said — or something they typed into a screen. If it sounds like the kind of idea someone would come up with over a drink, well, that’s because it is. When the duo first conjured up the concept, "It was just two guys getting together in a pub, talking about some ideas around a bar, and about things that we love," says Branagan.
They soon discovered that quite a large number of folks were on the same wavelength — 23,705 to date, in fact, because that's how many students have come through their doors so far. After initially setting up their headquarters in Redfern, Branagan and Garcia then expanded to Melbourne and added another Sydney site. Now, Brisbane beckons.
"I feel like Brisbane is the next big town for art, music, all those things," observes Branagan when asked about Work-Shop's new location. "There’s a lot of great talent coming out of there, and I think it is time to unite the community and show that you don’t need to be in Sydney or Melbourne to do these things."
That's good news not just for anyone who wants to discover new skills, but also for Brisbane's existing creative forces. Capitalising upon artistic heart of the city is the organisation's mode of operation, after all. “We like to tailor our classes to the local community, so we try to work with all the artists that we are surrounded by, and to collaborate with as many of them as possible," Branagan says.
So what can Brisbanites expect when they head to Work-Shop — other than becoming experts in everything from succulents to DIY resin jewellery, that is? "They can expect to be surrounded by a supportive environment of like-minded individuals and a teacher that is passionate and inspiring — and hopefully this can lead to a new hobby, a new career or a new way of life," advises Branagan. If that's not reason enough to rush out to a Work-Shop class on zine making, herbs, or — our personal favourite — watercolour, whimsy and wine, we don't know what is.
Find Work-Shop at 29 Merivale Street, South Brisbane from August 7, or head to their website for more details.