Maylands: Studio 281 home to history

Leo Flavel has built a second studio from scratch next to their current site in Maylands
Leo Flavel has built a second studio from scratch next to their current site in Maylands

PAYING homage to historical Maylands workers cottages in its design, a new art space has been a labour of love for Leo Flavel and father Greg.

Mr Flavel has added to Maylands gallery Studio 281 with Ferguson Foundry which opened last month.

At 16, he helped his father restore an old worker’s cottage in Maylands and learnt construction techniques and an appreciation for heritage and character buildings.

“We designed the facade to replicate a worker’s cottage, which helped us come up with the name Ferguson Foundry,” he said.

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“The foundry was just down the road and Mephan Ferguson built the Kalgoorlie pipeline here.”

They salvaged 26 jarrah beams when the old Seventh Avenue bridge was pulled down, now used as seating at the gallery.

Oregon beams from the historic Fremantle Woolstores are also used and they managed to salvage 6000 bricks from construction sites that were slated for landfill.

Mr Flavel said the whole community supported the project – with neighbours and friends helping with building supplies and artists with the design and feature work on the lighting and bathroom door.

He said they have designed it for artists to rent out for their own exhibition.

“We really feel that the old formula of the gallery running everything and charging a high commission – those days are over,” he said.

“They can paint on the floor or make a mess, set it up how they want.”

Ferguson Foundry launched last month with an exhibition of pieces by emerging artists including Highgate’s Daek William, Bayswater’s Pippa McManus and Maylands’ Kyle Hughes-Odgers.