GEELONG | Powerhouse Geelong, once the old Power Station B in North Geelong, is now a remarkable and very exciting creative project and industrial street art space. Pardon the pun, but it is proof of the electricity that is flowing through Geelong right now as old industry meets new ideas.
Built in 1954, Power Station B generated power for local industry until the 1960s and finally closed in 1970. The abandoned building then became a popular site for illegal graffiti and tagging. That is, until recently… Today the old 3000 sqm building is officially “Australia’s largest indoor legal space to create ephemeral street art”.
I briefly caught up with Ian Ballis, the curator of this project, one sunny afternoon in August, and he invited me in to check the place out. The 6 story building is currently being renovated to ensure that the space is safe for artists to continue to work there, without losing any of its original character. Inside is dreamlike space for street art admirers, photographers and the curious alike.
The outside is pretty fascinating too. In fact just about every surface has been used as a canvas by as many as 350 street artists since the project started, around November 2014.
And since November, the site has hosted photography festivals and street art competitions, complete with food stalls and live music. Sitting on 6 acres and facing Corio bay, Ian envisions utilising the space in the future, not only for street art, but also for gardens, markets, a traffic school, and many other community based projects.
The natural views from near the site aren’t too bad either!
Whilst Powerhouse Geelong is clearly a work in progress, it is a thrill to wonder the grounds and imagine how it will take shape – that is if you can tear yourself away from staring up in amazement at the many murals on the walls, staring back down at you. Watch this space, things are just getting started.
40 Mackey Street
Mon – Sun: 10:00am to 5:00pm