I didn’t know what I was in for but the modern floor orange sign grabbed my attention: The Lock Up
The building sits in a row of four heritage buildings on Hunter Street, that reflects the prosperity of early Newcastle. The building itself used to be the Newcastle Police Station from 1961 to 1982, so no wonder as i walked in I could see heritage listed cells, a former exercise yard turned into an installation space and an onsite apartment for multi-disciplinary art residencies.
I saw the next sign that grabbed my attention and I had to find out more. .. Black Douglas (AKA Adam Hill ) and Adam Geczy are presenting ‘The Most Gaoled Race On Earth’. The Title is not a gratuitous provocation, it is a fact, per capita the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are the most Gaoled on Earth.
Although this is being raised in consciousness of Australians, there is still much work for this nation to do to close the gap of inequality between indigenous and other (white) Australians. With a recent apology by a former Prime Minister, things are starting to turn but it needs to. How many cultures and amazing knowledge of Australia has been lost? Walking around The Lock-Up, I thought about the stories that were never told or changed too early for a nation that had so much involvement with gaols…
Transforming this space into a hub of creativity can only be a good thing.