The Analogue Lab: Moving and expanding (Adelaide)
I'm prone to post pretty infrequently these days largely because the part of my life when I'm not studying is mostly taken up by this thing.
The short version of the story is that me and a friend started a darkroom here in South Australia in early 2012, built on top of 7 years of hoarded equipment plus 25-odd years in a darkroom between us. We both work extensively in experimental and alternative processes and needed a darkroom facility outside of a university in order to continue our practices, so we bit the bullet and built one. In order to pay the rent we started running workshops with the public and all of a sudden people were all over us and we couldn't keep up.
Previously hosted by Fontanelle Gallery and Studios in Bowden, just outside of Adelaide's CBD, we've now taken out a two year lease at The Mill, a new arts incubator hub in Adelaide City (154 Angus St, just near the Central Markets). This means we have more space, we can split our lab into two rooms (White light room for film developing and alt-process work and then the darkroom space itself), the ability to build our space to our requirements in regards to electricity and plumbing, and finally put in a chemical mixing cabinet for dealing with the ether and iodine fumes we like to work with.
Moving and expanding also means that we can finally hire out the space regularly on weekends, on top of the workshops we run, to help support a surprisingly large darkroom community here in Adelaide. In 2012 we ran seven workshops with more than 30 South Australians in everything from Wet Plate to how to use your Holga.
In order to finance all of the work that needs to be done (all we have right now is square meters of floor space and a very large door), we've started a campaign to pre-sell some of the workshops for July and August, as well as a bunch of other neat things like darkroom access passes, etc. If you are interested in supporting grass-roots analogue photography, please give it a look. Even ten bucks gets your name on a plaque on the wall.
Good to hear. I've put in $10 - I like the idea of a plaque on the wall with my name on it.
At your link I see a rotating door.
When I started darkroom work and helped building up a friend's darkroom, the installation of a rotating door seemed to me indicating darkroom grandeur.
Congratulations on the move (and the demand for it!). I'm afraid I was only able to pop enough in the kitty for two of the five of you to visit the bakery across the road but I hope it helps in some small way.
Good stuff Alex - and only a short walk from where I work. I'll have to make sure that I contribute in some way. Hmmm, $300 for a full day Wet Plate workshop......Hmmmmm
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Thanks guys! We're off to Bunnings tomorrow to get started on materials, picking up a borrowed nail gun and speaking to the plumber again on Friday to iron out details. That darkroom door is like our prized possession now - The University of South Australia were about to throw it out and we happened across it just in time, I think we paid $30 for it in the end. It's a monstrous thing but you can fit ten people in it at a squeeze.
Is this it?
"Take her to sea, Mister Murdoch. Let's stretch her legs."
The First Officer then reaches and confidently rings the engine room telegraph over to ALL AHEAD FULL...
— Captain Edward John Smith to First Officer William Murdoch, on the bridge of the RMS Titanic, 11 April 1912
Wow, there's a darkroom in Adelaide?
Colour me woohoo!
Meanwhile, I was thinking of the $35 thing for developing and enlarging, but it's been nearly 15 years since I did that at high school. Does the $75 option cover enlarging and such, or just for DIY film processing at home?
(otherwise maybe I'll keep the '1-day pass' until after i've taken a proper refresher course).
Also (please don't tell the missus because I've got enough work around the house I should be doing), can I lend a hand in any other ways? I've got a buttload of tools and I know how to use (most of) them, just a bit short on time these days is the only problem...
Alex I wish you and your team all the best. I look forward to when you or your team might be again participate in the Oz / NZ print exchange. I will sponsor some funds once I have approval from the financial controller. The $300 wet plate. I would seriously consider this and the journey over from Melbourne for it.
Cheers - Andy C
16mm Cine, 35mm, 120, 5x4 & 7x5.