I can’t exactly remember how I met Tara. It was likely down a back alley in Mermaid Beach industrial area, behind the Bob Jane T-marts. The alleyway led to a melting heart painted on the back wall. Actually, writing it down, it does sound kinda sketchy. But it was far from it. Down that alleyway, Tara ran a warehouse called ArTHaus, a new kind of environmentally conscious event space.
Relax, it wasn’t just filled with compost bins and hula hoops. It was rad. ArTHaus catered to the new era of socially conscious young people. It was a place to throw parties, watch bands, showcase art, get married and all while feeling a little better about yourself for not using 137 plastic red cups to drink beer from.
Sadly, the warehouse has since closed but Tara is still doing a bunch of epic shit. I caught up with her to talk about her most recent project – #farkplastic.
Hey Tara, tell us a bit about yourself and ArTHaus.
ArTHaus Projects is, well, it’s me. It’s my initials A TH Project and it basically acts like an umbrella identity for all the ideas and concepts I create and collaborate on. It actually started as my eco-conscious construction business (I’m a building estimator. That’s my actual day job. weird, I know) and turned into a real-life enviro-conscious warehouse in Mermaid Beach. Since finishing up the warehouse ArTHaus has kept growing and morphing into so much more than I would have ever expected. The GC arts culture is rapidly developing and I’m super proud to say ArTHaus has played some part in helping establish a culture of people doing cool shit – yet still being socially conscious.
What’s your new project?
#farkplastic. It’s just that. It’s just a big ol’ fuck you to the plastic bag situation.
Can you give us a run-down?
This project has a few elements to it but the main focus is on supporting local artists and local businesses – while being environmentally and socially responsible. And to provide rad tote bags so people don’t have to use shitty plastic bags.
- Local artist creates a tote bag design
- Limited number of tote bags are made
- Stocked locally ($12ea)
- $1 goes to the artist
- $1 goes to charity
A reusable bag that incorporates the use of local artists and their artwork. For every bag sold, ArTHaus donates $1 back to the artist and $1 to charity. The tote bags are stocked in local retail shops such as Thryft GC and Morena Espresso. I am a big believer in the #shoplocalthinkglobal movement and every element of this project is focused around supporting someone local, which as a small business is a pretty cool thing to be able to achieve.
How did you come up with the idea?
The warehouse in Mermaid Beach had an ethos of no single-use plastics. Any events, gigs, wedding, workshops or even my mates coming for a beer all knew the rules and it made the place petty special. It really had patrons thinking about their choice of booze and food service vessels. It helped people to start thinking about single-use plastics and would affect their decisions long after their event at the warehouse was finished.
I was looking for a merchandise product which would be reflective of the ethos as well as being practical. I use a tote bag every day and thought, why not showcase some amazing local talent and do a good thing for charity at the same time? The tagline #farkplastic is an obvious tongue in cheek (anyone who knows me knows my love for the F-word) yet PG enough that my mum would approve and in turn rep a bag. It just, sort of, happened and at first, I wasn’t sure if anyone would dig it but I’ve learnt to trust my gut on these things and here we are… Look, mum, I’m featured in Rarlo!
It’s a great concept. Your mum should be proud. What charity will you be donating too?
The charity which will receive this round of tote bag donations is Positive Change For Marine Life. PCML are a not for profit organisation which are doing really cool things in the way of providing education and awareness on environmental impacts of communities, business and the greater population all across the world. They understand the ocean isn’t there for us to exploit and are providing pathways to mitigating pollution and helping keep our beautiful ocean healthy for future generations. They host regular beach cleans and educational talks which you can check out on their website or by visiting their Instagram. www.pcfml.org.au /@positivechangeformarinelife
Caught In The Act – @alrightco_
Dan Paps (Alright Co!) is the colony master. He also has a very unique style and his most known subject The Frogs are spreading all over the world (he just got back from living in Berlin) and they are always up to mischief. Super cheeky paintings and drawings using traditional techniques and colours. He is also a tattoo artist at House of Solace in Coolangatta.
$12 – Buy it online here
Plastic Isn’t Fantastic – @shuturp
Elle (Shut Urp) is a local GC artist who will have you in stitches (from laughing, not injury). Just a real cool cat who expresses her thoughts through this super unique freehand outline artwork. Elle has this uncanny ability to take a very heavy topic and show it through picture and my word they are on point.
$12 – Buy it online here
Plastic Lizzie – @arthaus.projectsgc
There is also the ArTHaus design- Plastic Lizzie. That was designed in honour of when Queenie banned the plastic bag at the palace. I thought I’d give her a special mention on a bag. High fives Lizzie!
$12 – Buy it online here
Dan and Elle were so willing to help with the project and jumped at the opportunity to have their artwork featured on the very first round of #farkplastic totes. They both have such individual styles and their designs are epic. I encourage everyone to visit their Instagrams and give them some love. Oh and I need to mention they have both agreed to donate their $1 to charity. Which makes the donation $2 per bag! Absolute legends!
These are epic! Where can I buy one?
The bags are stocked in Thryft GC (@thryft_gc ) at Mos Desert Clubhouse in Burleigh as well as Morena Espresso (@morena.espresso) in Mermaid. Oh and not to mention on our good mates Rarlo Magazine’s website. (Buy ’em here )
What do you have planned for next year?
The next run of #farkplastic will happen in the new year. The ultimate goal is for this to occur as a quarterly initiative with different local artists being featured each time. They are super limited runs which make these bags even more special as once they are gone, they are gone. Keep a lookout on the @arthaus.projectsgc Instagram for updates on the #farkplastic project.