West End’s new creative space Open House is the brainchild of four friends who have pooled their collective know-how across art, fashion and events to create a progressive hub for cultural endeavour. Nick Goding, owner and operator of popular Vulture Street boozer The End, has held the lease on the bar’s neighbouring tenancy for years, seeking to fill it with a forward-thinking business that could add to the local scene. After a string of short-lived tenants, Nick and his partner Mia Goding decided to utilise the space themselves to revitalise their beloved vintage clothing outlet Boxvintage. Not satisfied to merely establish a pre-loved clothing shop, Nick and Mia decided to rope in some friends to make the space truly unique. Enter Amanda Hayman and Troy Casey of Blaklash Projects – an Indigenous-owned creative agency that regularly delivers cultural events that showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices. The duo agreed to come on board, relocating their office to the Open House space and contributing their own ideas to the multipurpose collective.
At first glance, Open House resembles a chic retail space, with racks of vintage clothing adorning one wall, and artisan crafted pieces from the Local Makers Collective lining another. The crew have sourced limited-edition pieces from local makers in the slow-fashion movement, eschewing mass-produced items in favour of bespoke labels and artisans that operate using sustainable and ethically sound practices. Upon launch, Open House stocks fabrics, fashion, jewellery, zines and much more, with labels such as Magpie Goose, Haus of Dizzy, Chaboo Designs, Brush and Wheel, Papa Drew, Katalyst Design, Nelson Molloy, Elk & Ina and other names available. Art is also a major focus of Open House’s offering, with the Blaklash Projects duo showcasing a variety of Aboriginal art on the venue’s walls. At any given point, works from Richard Bell, Tony Albert, Rachael Sarra, Hannah Gutchen and Dale Harding are visible around the space. Open House will host regular exhibitions curated by Troy and Amanda, clearing the racks to display stunning works from a plethora of artists on a monthly basis. Finally, Open House will host various workshops led by talented artisans, giving interested parties the chance to learn various crafts from skilled hands.