Step into snails artist run space and you'll be immersed in a world of art and creativity.
The communal space is packed with colourful quirky objects and artworks in a range of mediums. Retro carpet bunting hangs from the ceiling and each piece of upcycled furniture has a story. It’s a visual feast that represents Palmy’s diverse arts community. “I think the thing about this space is that we can’t have complete control over what it looks like. No one can. It’s a group of creative people who are chucking stuff in so it’s quite visually loaded,” artist and co-founder Kirsty Porter says. Run as a charitable trust, Snails is housed in the historic Cosmopolitan Club Building on the corner of Cuba and Taonui streets. It’s a safe, “all-ages” space run by a collective of local artists who are committed to making the arts more visible. “It’s about valuing art and the people that make this community, this region more vibrant,” says artist Sarah Bingle. Bingle and Porter founded Snails in 2014 with a simple vision in mind. “We wanted to create a space to make art in the broad sense - visual and music,” Bingle says. “It grew organically.” Today, Snails hosts workshops, art exhibitions, freeform dance sessions, and performances - all of them open to the public
The venue has become a hot spot for gigs too. A variety of bands take to the stage, from local rock and roll bands to adventurous, fringe bands on the national tour circuit. “We don’t really go out of our way to ask people to come and play here. They come to us”. Snails offers a safe alternative to the pub music scene. They welcome people of all ages and there’s zero tolerance for harassment and violence. “We’re not a bar. When you come here, you’re engaging. You’re consciously listening to the music. It’s not just having some beers and there’s a band playing,” Bingle explains. Snails also has an exhibition space and 11 private studios where local artists practice their crafts, from painting and writing, to tattooing. It’s home to Tiny Club too - a collective of electronic music artists that share gear and knowledge and foster their own sub-community.