There is a lot to celebrate at Primrose Park...
Primrose Park Art & Craft Centre opened its doors in February 1991, supported by North Sydney Council, to operate as a not-for-profit community centre run by interested local residents and craftspeople.
Twenty years on, Primrose Park has cemented its position, not only within the local community but across the country as a respected artistic centre. It is home to Primrose Paper Arts, Australia’s only open-access studio group devoted to papermaking and all its many branches. It’s also the headquarters of the Australian Society of Calligraphers, respected around the world for their fine craftsmanship, and home to Primrose Park Photography.
Kirribilli Camera Club 1987
A brief history
Primrose Park Photography, or PPP as it tends to be called, had its genesis as the Kirribilli Camera Club. In 1988 North Sydney Council, as part of the Bi-Centenary celebrations, sought the assistance of the club in organising a community photographic project “North Sydney in Focus”. The success of this project led Council to suggest the club become part of the proposed centre being planned for Primrose Park.
For many years these buildings had been used informally by several local community organisations, but by 1985 one building (the compressor house) was vacant and derelict. The then-mayor Ted Mack commissioned architect Feiko Bouman to design low budget building renovations that would allow for a variety of community uses.
At the same time, North Sydney Council's newly-appointed Community Arts Officer, Jan Grieve, was tasked to bring the Art & Craft Centre into existence. The necessary additional funding was secured via innumerable grant applications and over several years she worked to develop the administrative framework and community support necessary to ensure that the Centre, once established, would be run effectively.
A group of papermakers (now Primrose Paper Arts) were strong supporters and the preparations in 1987 for the Bicentenary celebrations ensured the involvement of Kirribilli Camera Club. It was a further three years before the Centre opened but that time was used in forming Primrose Park Art & Craft Centre (Inc.) which would manage the Centre, in fundraising and in setting up the rules and guidelines for operation, financial arrangements, space and time sharing agreements, etc. - work which has proven invaluable over the years. The PPACCI Committee, notably Ron Wiebe, Vincent Joseph and Geraldine Berkemeier worked closely with Jan Grieve and Council engineers on building fit-out issues during the construction period.
At the completion of the 'North Sydney in Focus' project Kodak and George Patterson Advertising rewarded the photographers for their hard work with a generous grant, which was used to build and equip a darkroom at the Centre. This work was done by Ron Wiebe with occasional help from Vincent Joseph.
Primrose Park Photography Today
Never a conventional camera club, PPP has pursued a non-competitive policy over the years and encourages members to develop skills in a wide range of photographic activities. With the resources of the Art & Craft Centre and much volunteer effort and commitment, excellent facilities have been developed. High quality projection, scanning and printing capabilities are available and of course the full range of 'wet' darkroom processes. There is also a small attractive gallery where members hold month-long exhibitions.
Monthly meetings are complemented by field trips and 'conversationals' - a mix of tutorials, discussions and lectures by visiting specialists in some photographic area - aiming to expand members' skills and experience. All services are free to members.