So, what exactly is the Reading Room?
The Reading Room, for those out there yet to be enlightened, is the brainchild of Becci Love who, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, saw the need for an intimate cultural hub amongst the casual sleaze and seediness of Hindley Street.
Becci shared her vision with Renew Adelaide, which rejuvenates unused spaces across CBD area creative endeavours, and so began the Reading Room.
This unique space is a library, gallery, cinema and music venue, all rolled into one cosy spot where friends can gather to soak up some of Adelaide’s best innovative artistic talents. It’s impossible to leave here without becoming creatively enriched. It has even become a weekly after-work dance club – the perfect place to dance away your work-a-day blues!
The Festival of Unpopular Culture, which inhabited many Adelaide creative spaces during October, gave the Reading Room a chance to host discussion nights debating philosophy, literature, poetry and music.
Adelaide’s ‘Choral Grief’, made up of members from some of our city’s most talented bands, has even performed there, much to the delight of an enthusiastic crowd.
Thanks to Becci and her small, dedicated band of volunteers (especially Art Coordinator extraordinaire Kat Coppock), the Room hosts monthly art exhibitions. There is always new and inspiring art on the walls, waiting to be devoured. A recent collaboration between Daria Healy-Koljanin and Shaylee Leach produced the visually provocative exhibition Pretty/Ugly, leading the viewer through the darker side of innocence. It examines feminism, teenage sexuality and the duality of roles our fast-paced, ever-changing society places upon us.
This February, as part of the Fringe season, Kat has teamed up with fellow artist Tiffany Hampton to present Hard Lines; a thrilling exploration of human nature’s murky depths, confronting us head on with the often ruinous consequences of our insatiable appetites for destruction.
This is a PG event – the Reading Room offers many child-friendly activities encouraging kids to pursue arts in a creative environment.
The Reading Room is open every Tuesday through Saturday from 2-7pm for regular use, and will open later for launch nights and other events over the coming year. It is just one of many innovative and exciting places popping up across Adelaide, designed to entice folk into discovering (and rediscovering) the delights of our fair city.
So my fellow seekers of fantastic-chillabulous-sometimes-confrontational-but-forever-inspirational creative pursuits – get around it! This * ‘joint’ is for you.
(*Yes, I did steal that word from an 80s Brat Pack movie. Correct guesses earn my eternal respect, plus a John Hughes DVD. Maybe not that last one.)