What on earth is Orbis?
Orbis, a not-for-profit organisation, hold the lease for eight floors of Commercial Union House and each one positively thrums with good stuff. The building has been totally transformed into a workspace for creative practitioners and small and medium enterprises over a wide range of fields including visual arts, performance, craft, illustration, filmmaking, writing, theatre, fashion, design and disability arts projects. Among the programme of regular learning and skill-sharing opportunities hosted in the building is Union. This is presented by Orbis partner organisations, studio holders and friends of the building, and events – such as zine making workshops – are designed to foster working collaborations with different practitioners and with visitors. Among the other ventures in Commercial Union House are Melanie Kyles’ The Fashion Lab (a creative practice that blends fashion, art and curation - pictured); Loose Tooth Studios (a small team of artists in the north-east looking to promote and support awesome creatives – either students, emerging or established – of all talents); and Monno Print (a community focussed Risograph print studio, they aim to provide accessible Risograph printing services to all). Over 350 creative practitioners, plus thousands of visitors, benefit from the building’s resources, facilities and programme of activities – thanks to mentoring from Orbis – and you can find out more about them from the website, below.
Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle. www.orbis.one