Head to the Hawkesbury Lookout near the Blue Mountains town of Winmalee and you’ll find an ancient carving etched into the rock. Created by the Darug tribe centuries ago, The Flight of the Great Grey Kangaroo is still remarkably preserved to this day, and earns its place as one of the oldest known artworks in the region.
Conversely, the work of the creatives profiled here on MTNS MADE represents the newest – a collection of designers, artists, film-makers, sculptors, actors, musicians, writers and more; all of whom have today made the Blue Mountains their home, and – like the Darug and the Gundungurra people before them – all of whom have made the space, the sound and the colour of the Mountains intrinsic to their work.
When it comes to art, culture and creativity, we’ve always known that we have something special up here, although we admit that we may have been a little shy in telling you about it.
Perhaps that has something to do with how treasured our life is here. We have all the space in the world to create our own opportunities and to evolve our creative practice – and that space, nestled in over one million hectares of UNESCO World Heritage-listed landscape, feels so incredibly rare and precious.
While some of our MTNS MADE creatives were born in the region, many sought refuge from the noise, stress and constraints of urban life – which often had a restrictive effect on their practice. Here, with so much room to move – physically and mentally – there are no such limits.
Here, community and networks are in abundance, allowing us to all feel connected, not remote. Collaboration is welcomed and encouraged, not forced or contracted. We respect one another’s integrity and craft, and recognise our singular talents and unique voices. Here, we can make and we can play, and we can do it at our pace, in our own way.
We may not witness the same level of architectural change that is so prevalent in the city, but we know that the Mountains is transforming all the same. Here, we have twice as many people employed in the creative industries compared to the state and national averages. It’s clear that the creative community no longer feels that a regional location need be a barrier to their work. Indeed, on these pages, we set out to prove that it has an extraordinarily positive influence. The result is some of the most original and vibrant work that you’re likely to find in Australia, and even further beyond.
We know exactly who we are here, and now we want you to find out too.
We are honest and we are strong.
We are authentic and we are bold.
We are MTNS MADE.
Download MTNS MADE Edition One here.
Why MTNS MADE? MTNS MADE was commissioned by Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise (BMEE), the peak regional economic development organisation for the Blue Mountains. BMEE aims to stimulate economic development in the Blue Mountains through advocacy, investment and industry development. The creative industries is one of BMEE’s strategic pillars for economic development and in 2013 BMEE launched the Creative Industries Cluster to facilitate growth and collaboration in the sector. MTNS MADE is one of the Cluster’s key initiatives, in response to industry demand for a bold new approach to branding and the desire to position the region as an internationally competitive creative hub.
Credits The MTNS MADE strategy, identity and design was developed by Blue Mountains-based creatives Stuart Buchanan, Heath Killen, Chloe Killen and Robyn Buchanan. Campaign photography by Blue Mountains photographers Ona Janzen and Camille Walsh. The BMEE team consists of Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Brinkman and Creative Industries Cluster Manager Kelly Heylen.
Thanks Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise is supported by Blue Mountains City Council. The MTNS MADE campaign is proudly supported by the NSW and Australian Governments through The Blue Mountains Flexible Community Grant Program.