Artists Bronte Naylor and Ian McCallum moved from Toowoomba to Newcastle at the end of 2019.
They occupy the small and funky lower level of a house in Georgetown. Their space was once a garage.
The house has a similar story to many houses in the street; it was most likely a worker's cottage that was converted to two storeys in the 60s.
Despite its humble car park beginnings, the house is now completely transformed, renovated and styled.
The longer you sit in the space, the more you'll spot odd and interesting intricacies. From the large jars of brewing kombucha to the wooden duck collection, the home continues to intrigue.
They joke that this is their idea of minimalism.
"Our art doesn't all go together, it's all hung on the wall together, lots of found objects. And art from friends we would not be able to afford if they weren't our friends," Naylor says.
They have a "crazy amount" of art that people have given them, including pieces from local artist Brett Piva and Queensland artists Catherine Parker and printmaker Stephen Spurriar.
"Spurriar, he spray painted a funnel for us, he made us this weird funnel hair thing," Naylor says.
McCallum's studio greets you as you enter the house. A retro sideboard stands out, a gift from Queensland artist David Usher. Here they keep the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Their cute collection of little cameras are a nod to their range of interests and skills.
The bed backs up to the wall to the curious kitchen, with a white lace curtain over the window.
When Naylor and McCallum moved in, they painted the brick walls.
Look around their space and you'll spot a "stabby pillowcase" of baby chicks with knives.
They have landscapes, also by David Usher, and work by Dan Elborne and Susan Lynch pottery.
"We'd rather have a few nice things than more average things," McCallum says.
Naylor counted 35 plants, many of which sit outside from time to time to soak up the natural light.
"It's weird, because we don't have stuff that wasn't given to us or through personal experience. We try and really limit the stuff we go out and buy without any personal consideration. Even plants," Naylor says.
It would be a tragedy not to mention the bathroom which is very orange, very retro and very seventies.
They had to do a bit of furniture moving and testing things out to make the place perfect. They went through a few iterations.
"When we moved my studio in here, somehow it feels better," McCallum says.
The next thing to sort out is the front garden; they want to pave it in time for summer, and McCallum already has a chili collection growing.
They moved here for the beach and because Newcastle was more central to the capital cities.
Both Naylor and McCallum are muralists and painters. They work from home but, before the pandemic, both worked from Onwards, a co-working studio. Along with painting, McCallum works at Maitland Regional Art Gallery and Naylor's a contractor. In October, both will be featured artists in Newcastle's Big Picture Fest, a renowned street art festival.
They've fared well over the isolation period, riding their bikes and doing lots of yoga. Naylor said isolation was a chance to take stock of what was important in her life.
"I was kinda like reluctant to go back out. I think there's more of a graceful understanding, because we are all communally going through it," Naylor says.
"I think people were more understanding of mental health."
They're excited to get to know Newcastle better as restrictions ease. It appears they are off to a good start as they're already involved with different community endeavours.
Moving to Newcastle a few months before a pandemic would give anyone a unique, and perhaps challenging, perspective of the city. But these two seem to have used the time at home strategically.
With stacks of stimulating art, furniture, gaming consoles and plants, the old garage in Georgetown is getting into gear.
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