Over the course of the 2020-21 summer break, while the campus lay silent, Rob Douglas transformed a disused cafeteria at ECU’s Mt Lawley campus into a gallery and exhibition space called Meanwhile.

The ‘Meanwhile’ Space is open now. Image: Vanguard.

Located in Building 12, Meanwhile is the brainchild of fourth-year education and visual arts student and president of ECU’s Contemporary Art Club Rob Douglas.

Along with local artist Ryck Rudd, the pair were thrilled to launch the gallery and exhibition space last Friday.

Post-renovation, it is cavernous and full of light—and an easy space to lose oneself in contemplation and curiosity.  

However, prior to its reanimation, it was a blight on the university campus.

“It was so dodgy and dingy,” Mr Rudd said.

Mr Rudd once entered the venue several years prior and was struck by its poor image.

“I don’t even know if there was music on. There were people playing ping-pong, I think there was a TV in there as well. I went in there once and was like, ‘never again.’” 

Now, thanks to the hard work of Mr Douglas and a set of vibrant young artists, the walls are busy with students’ work.

In the centre of the room stands an obelisk-like mattress with a diamond-shaped window cut through its middle, which is the work of WA artist Tim Keevil.  

“We want to create a space for students to show things that would otherwise be in Mum and Dad’s garage,” Mr Douglas said.

“Half the battle with art is having a place to show it and show it well.” 

Following the official Meanwhile launch party on Friday 26 February, Rudd will take residency in the gallery from March 2 to April 16 to do just that. 

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