03 Dec A Sound/Space Video Exploring the Unfolding Hans Niehaus Gallery
It’s not often you come across a gallery space that’s never actually been used for an exhibition or event, nor a gallery owner who effortlessly welcomes unconventional art / design experiences. The Hans Niehaus Gallery, however, is such a place; a building of intrigue intended for continuous and varied exhibitions but which has only ever been used as an antiques restoration workshop and once as a film set.
The story of the gallery revolves around the building’s owner, Hans Niehaus, and his dream to craft a space over time, sold to the council as a “restoration” – incrementally adding to (and subtracting from) what was originally a small, single story shop on the corner of Ingle and Vineyard Roads, Claremont. Construction began in the early 90s and is still continuing. For Hans, each new addition, repair or improvement is triggered from something positive happening to the space, but too little has happened to complete his master plan and sustain an art-welcoming location.
Conceptualised and built by Hans and the late architect Norbert Rozendal, the space boasts an incredibly beautiful, double volume space with exposed roof trusses, rough off-shutter concrete columns and facebrick walls. The building is well-known for its architecturally captivating curving exterior and unusual spatial arrangement. Many people often speak of seeing it but never having gone inside. And it’s one thing to see it in photographs, but an entirely different experience when you’re there – navigating through a space of unexpected nooks, contrasting finishes and spells of light.
When music producer, Sylvan Aztok, and installation architect, ‘Rebecca makes space’, met Hans while searching for a venue for their collaborative sound and installation event, they were instantly captivated by the main hall – a space of light, movement and shadows. Sylvan Aztok’s sound, crafted and wielded into musical narratives, is eclectic, electric and relatable and he’s working with ‘Rebecca makes space’ to build an immersive installation to accompany his debut album ‘s z’. The Sylvan Aztok’s Album Launch will take place at the gallery on the 11th of December showcasing the space as a collaborative and creative one. The event promises an unexpected and interactive experience where art meets sound and dance.
This video was made to promote both the event and gallery. It highlights the building’s unusual and unexpected architectural features, while the gallery owner speaks of his dreams for the space.
Simon Kohler (sound, post-production, director)
Rebecca Looringh van Beeck (script, director)
Dane Dodds (DOP)