Our visions for the future include a redevelopment of our special corner of the beloved Onkaparinga Woollen Mill to become home to gallery spaces, artist studios, workshops, artists in residence, retail and a heritage display celebrating the important history of the Mill.
Fabrik’s dream is not just about bricks and mortar (although we think ours are pretty special), but about bringing our community together through creative activity and supporting artists to develop their creative practice into a viable business. With all of this happening, we know we will have a cracker of a venue to attract visitors to come and see what’s happening, and as a result, explore the rest of the beautiful Adelaide Hills.
That’s a big dream, and while we work on bringing it to reality, we have been busy offering programs and exploring ways to create and foster our community. We feel it’s a bit like tending to a garden before renovating the house – the garden (or in our case, the community) is the all-important context that informs the work of Fabrik.
For now, Fabrik is only open during special events and exhibitions, but this availability will grow as we do. Please keep an eye on the What’s On page of our website for current activities and opportunities to be involved.
The Onkaparinga Woollen Mill site is one of the few former mill precincts in Australia that has been well preserved and successfully repurposed. When the Mill closed in the early 1990s the precinct was managed by Council and became a home for start-up business enterprises. Today there are eight established food, wine and engineering businesses on site and as many people employed as there were when the Mill closed.
Throughout this time a cluster of industrial buildings in the heart of the site have been used for cultural purposes, including markets, community museum displays and art exhibitions. In 2015 a local art collective called Hills Art formed to develop arts and cultural activity at the Mill and to demonstrate to Council and the wider community the potential the site held as a cultural centre. The success of these community members, along with extensive community consultation, led to the decision of the Adelaide Hills Council in 2018 to develop an arts and heritage hub, aimed at building community connections, encouraging community creativity, attracting visitors to Lobethal and supporting arts business enterprises.
The language of textiles is rich and we had many wonderful options to choose from. Fabrik is the German word for factory or mill and its use acknowledges the old woollen mill’s functions as well as giving a nod to Lobethal’s German roots.