Dwellingup art lovers in for a treat when new creative hub opens

Dwellingup art lovers are in for a treat when a new spaced designed to showcase works from local, national and international artists opens along the town's main street. 

Located at 58 McLarty Street, Lost Eden Creative, Gallery and Artist Residency is project 18-months in the making. 

The brains behind the new arts hub is Monique and Peter Tippett, who have been Dwellingup residents for the past 18 years.

The commercial/residential property was built in the 1940s and survived a large fire of 1961.

The duo have transformed the house into a comfortable, contemporary accommodation and the commercial portion into a large open and airy space with exciting potential.

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The building is now an unmissable part of the main street with its striking mural art by Jack Bromell.

Mr Tippett said a residency was an important part of an artist's career development.

"It gives them the opportunity to step outside of their normal domestic routine to concentrate on their work in a peaceful and inspiring environment, and they don't come much more peaceful or inspiring than Dwellingup," he said. 

The couple previously operated a gallery and residency in the early 2000's from the same building.

Mr Tippett said they had fond memories of meeting some incredibly talented and interesting artists from Australia and overseas.

They scaled things back after a few years for Ms Tippett to concentrate on her own practice, she soon began winning awards and large public art commissions.

Her work has also been acquired by several significant public and private art collections which has seen her become a leading Western Australian artist.

She has recently been given the huge honour of being named the WA Parliament Artist in Residence for 2019.

Artist residencies at Lost Eden will take place 3-4 times a year and outside of those times the renovated three-bedroom house, 'Gallery House', is available for short stay holiday accommodation.

The gallery space will also have a community focus, its large open 150 square metres area will be used for morning yoga sessions and after school art workshops for kids.

Ms Tippett's visual and sculptural works on timber explore themes drawn from her relationship with the forest environment surrounding the town and her home.

An exhibition of her latest work, titled 'Forest 14' will be launched at the Lost Eden opening event.

'Forest 14' refers to the classification of the vast, unbroken expanse of forest that stretches 24 kilometres to the north, 26 kilometres to the east and 37 kilometres to the south of Dwellingup.

It encompasses the beautiful Lane Poole Nature Reserve with its unspoilt forest and meandering river valleys.

The second exhibition, in mid-June, will be a solo show by Frances Sullivan Rhodes, an emerging visual artist who Ms Tippett has been mentoring since November 2018.

"This is an exciting time for the little town of 'Dwelly', with the construction of up to 80 kilometres of new mountain bike trails around the town and in nearby Lane Poole Reserve, and a new Trails Centre on the site of the current information centre," Ms Tippett said. 

Tourist numbers are expected to double and with Lost Eden being a focal point in the streetscape, Ms Tippett and Mr Tippett are excited to be able to expose contemporary art to people who may not normally visit an art gallery.

They also intend for it to raise Dwellingup's cultural profile, as a place for artists and creative people to live and work.

Future plans may also include food vans, market stalls, movie and music nights.

Lost Eden Creative will be open from May 11, 2019.