Steampunk The Thames now has its own headquarters, opening the doors for the first time on Saturday 4th August.
“Steampunk Central’s” launch event, ‘“W u n d e r k a m m e r’” is a Declaration of Independence Dance Party from 7:30pm. Seasoned steampunkers, along with anyone who’s curious and would like to learn more, are invited to come and enjoy a great night out complete with live band, light supper, and beverages at the Boilerhouse Brewery next door. Become a “Citizen of the Republic” with a free visa and passport which allows discounted entry to Steampunk events and other bonuses.
Steampunk Central is located at the corner of Cochrane and Queen Street in Thames in the former Placemakers building. The base is an exciting evolution for Steampunk The Thames; providing a central location for Steampunk costumes, props and resources, an artspace, workshop, venue and performance space.
Steampunk Organiser, John McKeowen shares his vision of the new base as an opportunity for Thames to become an international Steampunk destination. Its proximity to Grahamstown adds a new element to the lively precinct and the space will soon be home to regular markets, festivals and arts activity.
Steampunk Central is housed in a Heritage listed building with an industrial history. The site was once home to Judd’s Foundry, established in 1869, making goldmining and saw milling equipment. With a nod to history, Steampunk Central will continue the proud Thames tradition of creativity combined with industry.
“The space is set up to become a creative hub for artists and craftspeople. We envision future workshops in leather making, screen printing, ceramic tile making, just to name a few. We hope to acquire a forge and a kiln in the future. It is a creative base to share tools, space and resources,” explains John.
It is likely the space will be operated by volunteers so it is regularly available to the public. Anyone who would like to be involved is welcome to contact the Steampunk organisers. Steampunk The Thames is a non-profit organisation, with any event proceeds going towards making Steampunk festival activities free and accessible for children and youth. John McKeowen acknowledges the commitment, generosity and support from the community to establish a physical location for Steampunk The Thames. The venue re-fit was made possible by a grant from Thames Community Board.
“Everything has been donated by community and we see it as a community place. It will also be available to lend out to community groups.”
Costumes, props and equipment will be stored and made available at Steampunk Central. Modular configuration structures mean the venue will be versatile, allowing for a stage, catwalk, band space, exhibition space…whatever the occasion requires. A spiraling staircase and high level platform allow audiences to look down and take in the fascination of the entire space from above.
“It’s a constant evolution,” says John, busy preparing Steampunk Central with opening night only days away. “I can’t wait to show people how we’ve progressed.”
Tickets for Saturday’s launch party are $35, available for pre-sale online at https://www.steampunkthethames.org/. Door sales will also be available on the night.
Visit Steampunk The Thames website or facebook page for more information.
Article Published 3 August 2018