Bohemia is not dead in Melbourne. It thrives in the reclaimed spaces-turned-residences, the hearts of aspiring artists, the crowds of fans and followers who turn up in various venues around the city to support them. One such establishment is Eastmint- a communal studio space in Northcote.
…the epitome of creative communal living- far before it’s time in a city of recently formed co-working startups.
The charming warehouse, containing four studios and one much larger rehearsal area, is the kind of live/work space that most Inner Northerners can only dream of. And it is dreamy indeed- with church pews filling the primary living room, metallic animal masks decorating the walls and loft bedrooms just a slatted wooden staircase away.
Eastmint is the epitome of creative communal living- far before it’s time in a city of recently formed co-working startups. Yet Eastmint also attracts a different crowd than these corporate co-work communities. The warehouse’s DIY aesthetic and minimalist features might detract your average yuppie, but it is perfect for an environmentally minded hospo worker by day and musician by night, or anyone else who embraces the hustle for the sake of their underlying creative passion.
It’s live-work-play for those with who prefer a joint in the veggie patch over an espresso martini at the newest rooftop bar, and would rather join forces with experimental drummers or found-object artists than tech gurus or graphic designers.
I remember the first gig I saw at Eastmint- featuring resident band Cold Hands Warm Heart, as well as several other supporting artists. The room was warm and quiet. House-made soup with crusty bread was offered by donation.
This was over a year ago now, and many other events have been hosted in the space since then, most likely of the same caliber. Not many people know about Eastmint; their Facebook page boasts fewer than 500 likes. But the following that they have is strong and supportive. It fosters community amongst artists of the Inner North and maintains a sense of intimacy between these artists and their listeners.
While there’s something to be said for Melbourne’s highly regarded venues, I’ll continue to cherish the small and largely undiscovered spaces that only a thrifty mindset and unrelenting artistic drive can manifest.
Eastmint art space is small artist run studio warehouse with four studio spaces and one shared music teaching & rehearsal space. Eastmint is also the home of Eastmint Records. To learn more, head to eastmint.com.au.
Image Credit: Julian Frees