Kingston Arts

In recent years, there’s been a growing and evolving arts scene in Moorabbin. And, with it, the Kingston Arts Centre has been growing and evolving too. “There’s a good visual arts scene developing,” explains Adrian Nunes, arts team leader for Kingston Arts. “There are a lot of artists using disused factory spaces as dance studios, recording studios, breweries, cafes, arts studios. studios. It’s changing rapidly; the face of Moorabbin in that industrial area is really starting to shift.”

In response, the 86-year old building is undergoing some of the most radical changes in its history, opening up new galleries, bars and performance strategies, while embracing the artforms of the 21st century. “We’re doing a lot of work on developing digital arts right now,” explains Adrian. “We’re looking at developing outdoor projections, and we’re interested in getting more digital artists interested in creating and presenting works here.”

Apart from expanding the indoor spaces and galleries within the centre itself, the team at Kingston Arts is also exploring how best to use the building’s exterior. “We’re always thinking about how we’re going to use this space here,” says Adrian. “The outside of the buildings is integral to the future of the buildings. When they see stuff, zipping past at 80km an hour, people will engage.”

Part of that process is utilising the centre’s carpark, which recently hosted a temporary paste-up photography exhibition by local artist, Layla Hackman. The site’s also regularly used for markets and pop-ups, while a fresh new street mural was commissioned. “The carpark’s had a freshly-painted graf mural,” says programmer, Steve Kingi. “It’s a bit more unique than most carparks. We wanted something that was quite unique, visually. Obviously being heritage listed, it’s hard to do anything with the front of the building, so we make a bit of noise, visually, with the car park.”

All the initiatives are part of a larger plan to help the arts scene in the city of Kingston grow and thrive. “Because it’s a new area, people aren’t so familiar with who we are, our identity,” admits Steve. “We’re just in that phase of trying to make a bit of a splash ourselves, and hopefully the artists will come to us and see that there’s a bit of a home for them.”

Words and Photos by Tim Grey