Capturing Cronulla: Getting to Know Shire Arthouse
Originally operating as Tony Rea Designs since 2002, the company underwent a re-brand in 2018 re-emerging as Arthouse Shire. We caught up with the Shire-born and bred co-owner and director, Kiah Rea to learn more about the business, their practices and commitment to capturing Cronulla and the growth that it inspires.
The Arthouse website states that all production is done right here in the Sutherland Shire. Why is local production important to you?
All of our work is created by local artists and craftspeople here in the Sutherland Shire. We shoot a lot of our work locally, but we also shoot in locations across Australia and sometimes overseas too. We print and frame all of our work in-house. This is important to us because it helps to ensure that the work we produce is of the highest quality using local talent and materials. Not only does this help to ensure quality, but it also helps to support local artists and craft people. In addition, it means that our work is fully customisable.
Shire Arthouse has a continuing collaboration with Bob Weeks & Co for the Cronulla Memories Series. What was it like to revisit these iconic images and present them to the local public again?
It has been, and continues to be, a privilege to work with him; he is a great bloke, a talented photographer, and a local legend. His shots of Cronulla in the 1960’s are truly iconic; Bob’s photographs allow us to have a glimpse into a bygone era. The sixties were the decade that surf culture took Australia’s beaches by storm and Bob’s images capture this vibe. It is nostalgic for those who experienced the sixties, and it is fascinating for those who didn't.
Kiah, as a photographer what is your favourite area of The Shire to shoot and why?
My favourite spot to shoot in The Shire is South Cronulla. The coastline along Cronulla is spectacular, the beaches are pristine and the water is so clear. I especially love South Cronulla due to the incredible rock pools and sandstone that is further revealed when the tide is low.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
We have been known as Shire Arthouse for some years now. We do capture a lot of our work in the Sutherland Shire, in particular Cronulla. However, as our business has continued to grow we have been engaged to do a lot of large-scale project work across Australia. For this project work we are sent on location shoots across Australia, the images we shoot are then used to fit our new commercial, residential and aged-care buildings.
Our work's focus is not just the Shire now; we have an extensive collection of photography that's been shot all over Australia. As such, we are currently undergoing a rebrand of our business from Shire Arthouse to Local & Yonder. We feel that Local & Yonder captures who we are now and what we do; we shoot, print and frame locally in the Shire, but we also have an incredible collection of works from beyond the shire too, hence - Local & Yonder. Our rebrand will come into effect over the coming months.
To stay up-to-date with Shire Arthouse, follow them on Instagram @shirearthouse or head to their website www.shirearthouse.com . For the full experience visit their Art Studio at 26 Cronulla Street, Cronulla (rear access via Surf Lane).