Residency report: Heidi Lee Douglas, Megan Riakos and Shideh Faramand

Heidi Lee Douglas, Megan Riakos and Shideh Faramand,
Gunyah artists-in-residence May 2018

"Two weeks of clean air, the ever changing light on the water, a chorus of birds as companions. In some ways I wish I had spent more time exploring the beautiful outside landscape of the whole area, but for me time at Gunyah was a chance to be quiet with myself and explore the inner, creative landscape. Gunyah provided a fresh perspective to think deeply and clearly, and bring down onto the page the stories that have brewing inside me and asking to born or refined.
I was relieved to have these intense writing sessions punctuated by the passionate discussions and meals with my colleagues Megan and Shideh who had been thrashing out their own projects. Or to take an hour for by a head clearing walk in the forest on our doorstep. I made great headway on three projects whilst at The Gunyah and cried tears of gratitude when I left, because it felt like the generous community that created the Artists in Residence had enabled a new chapter of my life into existence.” 
Heidi Lee Douglas

Writing by the water, Gunyah artists-in-residence May 2018

“So many writers I know juggle a number of freelance jobs, projects and general life commitments. It means that without a hard-and-fast external deadline, it’s easy to get distracted by the never-ending ‘to do’ lists of life. But a writer’s retreat helps you to stake a claim on your time, compelling you to meet your page count and by the end of the retreat I was able to finally click save on the first full draft of my feature script Hidden Valley.
But Gunyah is not just a place of exile. For me it was a place to type away while overlooking the stunning North Arm Cove, a place to enjoy the last ounces of warm weather with a kayak on the water and morning runs through the bush and a place to share hearty dinners and inspiring discussions with fellow writers and friends Heidi and Shideh.
It reminds me that even though a writer’s life can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, it is in fact a pleasure and a privilege to be able to create and to do this in the beautiful Gunyah is the cherry on the top.”
Megan Riakos

Tree top view from writing desk, Gunyah artists-in-residence May 2018

"We each came to this sacred spot to focus on the task at hand. Each project different, but passion and determination the same. Such a rare experience but one we were fortunate enough to share. I can’t stress enough the importance of this opportunity … to step outside your daily life and to indulge ones artistic pursuits. It was a magical retreat … souls were nourished, and the presence of past artists felt in the walls.” 
- Shideh Faramand

Sky boat, Gunyah artists-in-residence May 2018