Popup Blog

Popup Blog

Just finished a book this week called The Power of the Habit by Charles Duhigg which I think can inform artists practise. He calls on major research and many studies real world examples and practical tips about habits and how they can be ingrained, but to how change habits so they become automatic, you can change a routine, and you can still get the reward at the end of it. There are a few key things he cites – the belief system, assigning a group to go with you, changing the environment, the automatic reaction so it’s something you no longer have to think about.

Fascinating work. Although habits remain for life and the pathways are there, you are capable of ingraining new habits, He uses really diverse examples like the NFL and the civil rights movement to help us understand how habits work.

How to Change Things When Change is Hard – by Chip and Dan Heath was a similarly inspiring read which focuses on why we insist on seeing the obstacles rather than the goal – understanding how our minds function in order to engineer shortcuts and switches to human behaviour.

I look at goal setting often in the pop up program, usually at the commencement of an artist’s time with us. It does work – one of the fashion designers with us has mentioned this as a turning point in her early career many times. One of our more recent arrivals is working through an action plan with her mentor and it’s an exhilarating time for her, reminding herself of why she set up the brand, but facing the changes too with an open mind. I’m so excited about this.

Making people accountable to their Mentors is one of the keystone features of the Pop Up Program. Of course this is not the only feature – once they accepted they are part of a cohort, a group or a network, some of which are working towards some of the same goals. There are so many initiatives, activities and things that have been developed in the last few years that I’m intensely proud of. That of the artists and creative leaders who have created their own communities around their dynamic, intensely local and diverse projects. Prospector Store, Ruth Fattal, Ivan Chew, Unknown Quantity and Shh Centre 4 Hybrid Arts I’ll cite as local leaders in this field. Particularly with PS, as the director has said to me many times, she has created a community who engage with and love the product and become ambassadors for the brand, highly engaged net promoters.

These artists nurture their community in a way that our city needs. Good urban design and elements talk a lot about what a community needs to thrive, and last week’s Festival Keynote Event – the Colloquium from the Sydney Architecture Festival talked about the key things people require to build their community – the key features are access to public transport, proximity to arts, culture and recreational facilities, access to major universities, great hospitals, and a feasible or short journey to work. Parramatta is this. It has all the hallmarks to succeed. The way we work has changed – we follow the high knowledge and innovation jobs, smart jobs, educational investments rather than being focused on industrial production or manufacturing. Many cities have done this very successfully in the past. As Pop Up is part of the wider activities driving the City Animation team to grow and nurture our city, I believe this small brand of place making is highly applicable to all our activities across the public domain.

Creating a good framework for where artists sit in all of this is never easy. But I think we are part of that change, we can live and vision and grow the type of creative city we would like, right here in #parracity. Whilst everyone in pop up is creating their own personal brand, they are part of a bigger change regarding our city that will enhance and build our reputation as a growing, responsive and dynamic one.

I do wonder how we are supposed to ‘do’ vintage properly in the office without totally falling into some weird alternative retro universe. Especially for the work related outfit, weeding out the great finds I personally find quite difficult, to match corporate with vintage. It can be challenging to match hipster-style heavy framed glasses with a high waist lace dress and chequered tights and then find the blazer over the top is not quite the right shade of pastel…

Some people like my colleague Amy* (not her real name) has a beautiful bubbly persona and gorgeous lion-like hair, permanently in stilettos, just frocks up gorgeously every time. I think her whole work wardrobe is based out of a 1950s fashion magazine, she is petite, slender, even wears real vintage red lipstick and she always looks amazing. But that’s another story for another day…however never fear because two innovative and unique pop ups ‘Unknown Quantity’ and ‘Prospector Store’ are determined to make vintage good for us this winter. A bit about the real stars behind this event....

Unknown Quantity (Delia Puiatti) creates with love. Handcrafted, repurposed, & up cycled clothing, art, accessories, selected vintage, and more. The artist behind this label believes in making the world a better place with sustainability, positivity, and meaningful, artful ways.

The Prospector Store (Geraldine Mills) wants you to have a prospect (hunt) and to be the prospector (find). You find the hidden gold, collect and experience the art of shopping at the same time. It’s a carefully curated collection of items from here and around the globe including: vintage, threads, abode & art.

Both of these Pop Ups are some of my absolute favourite places to be in Parramatta, provide an amazing service and are on top of all this, are like a magnet to artists as I always see interesting people. These two are also incredibly creative, productive, so incredibly resourceful and hard working.

For one afternoon only, at a fantastic price, you can sip champers, sample delicious sweet treats and sample the gorgeous vintage collection pulled together by these brilliant stylists. There are only 25 lucky seats to this event, so you’ll have to book now to secure your front seat, for models parading across a gorgeous shop, styling up Parramatta’s finest and only vintage. Of course, there will be ample opportunity for purchasing these amazing outfits too, and what’s better it’s on a weekend so you don’t have to rush off back to the office but linger and try on the outfits! If you saw their amazing work on their last awesomeness-inspired Autumn photoshoot, your really don't want to miss this opportunity.

Date: Saturday 26 July from 2-4pm

Location: Prospector Store – Shop 1/162 – 172 Church Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150

Tix: $25 (bookings essential!)

Book: via the Prospector Store contact page or Unknown Quantity contact page