I travelled extensively in my youth, over forty years ago. It was extensive for then, although nothing by today’s standards. If capitalism, communism and fascism were the great isms of the 20th century then tourism and consumerism are the great isms of the 21st century. We’re all doing it.
For some the travel destination is the largest cities, I guess that’s why they are so large. My destinations were creative centres and communities where craft was still very much part of daily life. Places where stone and timber were still carved, textiles hand woven, houses adorned and public spaces decorated. These were communities where everyone was an artist or artisan.
Canberra has recently taken advantage of its centenary to rebrand itself as ‘creative, bold and ready’ a clever take on the CBR by which it is identified in airport lounges everywhere. This is not just an aspiration it is also an apt description for the culture of Canberra itself. Even short-term visitors will find our city amply endowed with galleries, studios, theatres and performing spaces. However, this new culture is not so much about these formal venues but about art and culture popping up everywhere in urban and suburban spaces and this is what ‘one of a kind apartments’ responds to.
43 Stockdale is an artist-inspired artisan-built building that is contributing to this urban art movement. It is not sufficient for accommodation to be clean and luxurious, it must also embody the spirit and soul of a place and those who constructed it. And this is what 43 Stockdale and ‘one of a kind apartments’ does. And it also celebrates other cities, large and small, that do likewise.
There is an apartment celebrating San Francisco, home of the counter-culture, pop art and Levi jeans, the uniform of the 21st century. We celebrate Shanghai, it’s vibrancy and it’s ‘good-fortune’ art. We celebrate Kyoto, it’s ‘wabi-sabi’ and it’s quest for perfection. We celebrate Delhi and it’s bustle and colour. We celebrate Paris and its cool elegance. We celebrate Yogyakarta, the home of batik and we celebrate Mexico City and it’s peasant artistry.
Creativity is a dying art as consumerism takes hold. We believe it must be celebrated and encouraged and therefore celebrate these places where it is still to be found. And 43 Stockdale and ‘one of a kind apartments’ demonstrates that it is to be found very alive in Canberra.