Finding themselves at a life crossroad, creative directors Soula and Theo Mantalvanos of ooi – creative communication, decided to grant themselves four months of thinking time on the East Coast of Tasmania.

Away from their Collingwood routine, they were able to clarify and plan for the next stage of life, taking into serious consideration Soula’s chronic pain issue and related daily limitations.

Soula and Theo reviewed their vast creative experience, their professional connections and the friendships that had been made over the years and explored ways they could find a creative answer by combining these abilities and friendships. Quite the personal brief!

They arrived at the idea of a gallery and workshop… one that wouldn’t impact their city neighbours but rather expand the reach of the artists they knew and supported those locally. It was also important that they find a strong creative communityCollingwood had spoilt them for the last 15 years.

Whilst exploring Victoria’s bays for some months they arrived at the furthest West point, Queenscliff, a town that to them, presented as a Grand Dame, not only strong in heritage and history but abundant in culture, especially the artistic kind.

After much conversation with the galleries in town, and further research around the gorgeous Bellarine Peninsula and across the bay (via ferry) to Sorrento, they were convinced. What helped seal the deal for them, was an 1868 Wesleyan church, a building even older than their old Collingwood Distillery