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The Light Box to shine on Surf Coast Arts Trail

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When Martine Oderio unveiled shared makers’ space The Light Box in mid-2020, she could not have imagined how many times the pandemic would force its closure. It’s why opening the doors for the Surf Coast Arts Trail for the first time will be extra special for the Torquay studio.

“I have always loved visiting studios and meeting local artists, so I am excited to now be offering that to others,” she said. “Also, as a relatively new space that has been through periods of closure, it is super cool to have the chance to meet more creatives and those who appreciate creativity.”

The 2022 Surf Coast Arts Trail 10th anniversary – Take 2! will be held 6 and 7 August, showcasing more than 200 artists across 60 venues. The Light Box Torquay, located in the Cylinders industrial precinct in the north of Torquay, will give patrons insights into a shared makers’ space.

“We house permanent artist studios, classes, and casual art-making opportunities, while there’s also a shop of our products and artworks,” founder Ms Oderio said.

“During Arts Trail weekend, people will be able to tour the studio spaces and also be involved in art-making processes through watching a demo, or creating their own pieces. I’m so very excited to be part of the event. I have been a trailgoer for several years now, and am looking forward to being an exhibitor.”

The Light Box was created to replicate the inspiring energy that Ms Oderio – a ceramics creative –enjoyed in her university art department.

“Now, every day I get to make art surrounded by amazing people and new ideas. The permanent artists have their own studio spaces to work and store their materials, and everyone can use the shared making areas,” she said. “Teachers facilitate classes and workshops of a wide variety of mediums in the classroom spaces, so anyone can come and have fun too. I am just loving the collective buzz of creativity in the factory.”

That “collective buzz of creativity” was first soaked up as an eight-year-old, when she took part in her first art class.

“I’ve been taking or teaching art classes and workshops ever since,” she said. “I’ve never considered myself an artist, more of just a curious creative. I love working with my hands and playing with form, colour, and creative expression. I am always looking to learn new techniques and mediums and enjoy the process of exploration.”

Ms Oderio’s ceramics label Dinah’s Beach Shack is a conceptual place by the sea, where all beautiful things live.

“I am everyday inspired by life on the coast and the creatures that inhabit it,” she said. “My return to ceramics really took off during the lockdowns. I initially embarked on a little gift venture with a good friend, and as life evolved out of the pandemic, I went out on my own focusing on tableware and functional ceramics for the home.”

The Surf Coast Arts Trail welcomes all mediums – pottery to blacksmithing, painting to jewellery, printmaking to woodworking, and much more. This year will feature more collaborative spaces such as The Light Box, where trailgoers can take in various artists in the one venue.

To start planning your Arts Trail weekend on 6 and 7 August, visit surfcoastartstrail.com.au, and follow @SurfCoastArtMatters on Facebook and Instagram.

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