Sharon McKenzie: artist-in-residence Sept 2015

Sharon McKenzie, Gunyah studio, September 2015

After a nine-hour drive from Ipswich to North Arm Cove and arriving in the dark I immediately unpacked and set up the studio, the children excitedly chose the loft as their sleeping quarters and promptly went to sleep. I awoke at dawn to be greeted by a wonderful sunrise and several local birds, bees and a leaf tailed gecko. 

Sharon McKenzie, Gunyah excursion, September 2015
The days quickly took on a routine of working through the morning, drawing and painting the colors of the Australian bush surrounding the house with afternoons spent exploring and photographing slightly further afield. During our stay the weather was a challenge with 40-knot winds and pouring rain we spent a lot of time in the beautiful tree house, reading and researching our own interests. However we also took trips to local beaches (during a brief break in the weather) and to the tallest tree in NSW (despite the pouring rain). We also made a visit to Newcastle Art Gallery and picked up a Sun print kit I later used to make prints from some of the fallen leaves and branches.
Sharon McKenzie, Gunyah foreshore, September 2015

The stay at the house was a wonderful opportunity to combine work and family without TV/digital distractions. Over the week I could see the change from frantic excitement to quiet relaxation take place among the family members helped along by the lovely warm fire and winter like weather we experienced. The children enjoyed watching the daily eating habits of the local wildlife including the resident wallaby who had an occupied pouch and would come close to the house easily viewed from the studio, decking or favorite window seat. During my time at Gunyah I generated a lot of ideas and works towards my solo exhibition next February and enjoyed the break from the normal routine of daily life. 

Sharon McKenzie
September 2015