Mark says ‘if you build it they will come’. He describes the ‘yard as his canvas and the forklift as his paintbrush’, and this is a clue as to how it all started…
Mark ran a scrap yard here for many years. He spoke very honestly about his blatant lack of interest in making money, which he even spoke to a councillor about to see if this was normal, perhaps as an outcome of this the yard hit the buffers. From its ashes emerged this community of makers, doers, artists – some of them building their own spaces but with much dreamt up by Mark himself. Its really clear that the riches in this place far exceed financial gain and monetary shackles, their website says the following…
‘‘Found on Cloud Hill, in Temple Cloud, Rockaway Park is home to an ever expanding community of diverse and interdependent talents. At the core of our disused quarry is a belief that collaboration and collectivism, sharing work, vision and ideas are how all great creations take hold and manifest.’
In a very different way these are the values that Cobalt holds dear too, this ethos resonates with the reasons behind why we run this place and in that respect it’s always invigorating and nurturing to meet kindred spirits, even when the outcomes are very different!
We left Mark eating his lunch in the vegan café onsite, it’s very possible that our chat made him late for dinner but his smile and warmth was as broad as when we arrived. This is a unique and special place, with creativity , ingenuity and warmth running through it – go and check it out if you can, book into the Airbnb and kick back with t he eye-candy for a few days.
Thank you so much to Mark for his time and tales, we hope to be back soon for sure!
Kate, Mark, Jacob and Charlie