schoolhouse studios

Martha Brown



First memory of SHS

My first memory of Schoolhouse is when it first began and I was helping set up the Two Bright Lakes office. Next door there a girl was practicing tattoos on pigskin, and on the other side was a group of designers. We used to knock on each others walls and sing songs together whilst working. We’d pick things from the veggie garden we had going and have community lunch picnics out in the garden.
 At this point there were only about 20 artists, but there was a feeling about the place, a kind of buzz which made me feel like it would grow.

How has the closing of current SHS affected your practice?

The closing of schoolhouse has changed a lot for me. Not only do I not make as much music and craft as I used to, but I can feel my ideas narrowing. Schoolhouse was like a hub, or some sort of hive for productivity and now that I don’t have that everything I was doing whilst there has slowed down. Just being apart of the SHS community pushed me to work harder and to question and try new ways of writing music.

In your own words, how has SHS helped you develop your practice and strengthened the creative community?

Schoolhouse has helped me in so many ways. Of course it provided a beautiful place to create, but it also gave way to new artistic relationships and gave me the chance to collaborate with people I wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance or confidence to work with. For me this opened up whole new avenues and shaped a lot of the work that I’m doing now. The community there was so supportive and encouraging as well as allowing me the space I needed to stay on track and produce a lot more work than I can at home.

Tell us something that wouldn’t have happened had you not been to SHS?

Without SHS a lot of the work I’m doing now wouldn’t exist. Working in proximity with jewellery designers inspired me to start a jewellery label.  And being around Hazel and Alice who are just the most productive people on the planet encouraged me to take a more hands on approach with event and release planning for my music.
 Right now I have a finished line of jewellery, an EP ready to be released, and a tour arranged for later on in the year. Alice Glenn and I are making a music clip for my upcoming single, and I have planned collaborations with Sui Zen who also had a studio there. None of the above would exist without having the space I had at Schoolhouse and peers and artists around to give me ideas and to help out. 
It really is a place of learning and teaching and everyone shares anything they can to fuel the creative drive there.  Now I’m just hoping and waiting for it to open again so I can continue to expand my work and learn and teach with whatever community forms within the next space.


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