Call out for 2014 Gunyah artists-in-residence

Applications for the 2014 Gunyah artist-in-residence program are now open. 

Applications close: 30 November 2013

The 2014 AIR program will run from March to October, with one residency per month. Visual artists, writers, composers, performance artists, curators, new media, arts administrators and other creators are welcome to apply for a solo, collaborative or group residency.

Please note that there is a residency fee of $220 for a Short Stay (seven days, Monday to Monday) and $330 for a Long Stay (eleven days, Monday to the following Friday week) and that you'll need your own vehicle to access the North Arm Cove area and Gunyah. 

Gunyah residence

To apply email Kath (Gunyah AIR co-ordinator) with:
  • Your contact details: name, phone, email, postal address, (select one contact person for collaborations and groups) 
  • What you plan to do during your residency (max 200 words) 
  • Bio and artist statement for each artist (max 300 words) - do not send your CV, just summarise the highlights of your artistic career into a short bio,
  • Website url link for each artist (where possible) 
  • Visual artists - attach up to 3 jpeg low-res images of artworks per artist. Include an image list with artist name, title, date and medium/materials for each work. Image size: 72dpi, approx 400x600pixels.
  • Other artists (writers, composers, curators and arts administrators etc) - attach a sample of your work or url links to examples of your work. 
  • In order of preference list three possible dates between March and October, or if you are flexible with dates please list three months in your order of preference. Please indicate whether you would prefer a Short Stay (seven days, Monday to Monday, $220) or Long Stay (eleven days, Monday to the following Friday week, $330) 

All applicants will be emailed in January 2014 regarding the success of their application. 

The selected artists' proposals and images will be posted on the Gunyah blog before each residency commences.

For more information please see or contact Kath,

Kim Percy and Morgan Freeman exhibit work from their Gunyah residency

Friday 8 November, 5-7pm. Designscope, 13 Knox St, Daylesford, Victoria 3460. 
Kim Percy and Morgan Williams exhibit from their June 2013 Gunyah residency

Kim Percy and Morgan Williams, Gunyah exhibition image, 2013

Jacqui O’Reilly: artist-in-residence October 2013

Jacqui O'Reilly, Selfie in the Gunyah studio, 2013, photograph

In the morning when I wake up and listen to the sound of the birds outside on the roof, I try to ignore what the paper says and I try not to read all the news.
(Neil Young, It’s a dream)

Jacqui O'Reilly, Gunyah studio, 2013, photograph

My time in residence at Gunyah is summed up by these Neil Young lyrics. I slept in the loft in the wonderfully crafted wooden pole house that is Gunyah and listened to the gentle and slow sounds of North Arm Cove resonate throughout every morning and night. On one occasion I went to sleep to the sound of a big electrical storm above me and the open fire in the lounge below me. It was a sonic dream and a welcomed break from the information overload of Sydney that I am so accustomed to.

Jacqui O'Reilly, Sunset North Arm Cove, 2013, photograph

I used this space to experiment with the sound of my own voice, and set up a studio looking out onto bush and water. Here, surrounded by the acoustics of my work reverberating in the interior of the house, I recorded, sampled and synthesized my compositions in preparation of a self-released EP of ambient music using voice exclusively. It was a perfect environment to experiment in and focus on stillness and sound and creative expression.

Jacqui O'Reilly, Gunyah fire in the storm, 2013, photograph

I also submerged myself in the local region and was very spoilt to encounter a range of wildlife including a whale at Hawk’s Nest beach for a whole morning, dolphins in the cove, wallabies, hawks, pelicans and geckos. All this life energised me as did the coastline and the cove itself and I hope at least some of this energy may be heard in the work I achieved while at Gunyah.
Jacqui O’Reilly

Jacqui O'Reilly, Hawks Nest beach, 2013, photograph

Recording: Distance (work in progress), Jacqui O’Reilly, Gunyah, North Arm Cove

Jacqui O'Reilly is a Sydney based sound artist. Her practice includes, composition, performance, community facilitation and media arts. You can read Jacqui's residency proposal at and you can hear more of Jacqui's work on her Soundcloud page

Peta Dzubiel: artist-in-residence September 2013

Peta Dzubiel, Absence 1, 2013, painting posted on tree

The Gunyah house is beautiful and set amongst the bush on a slope that leads to the waters of North Arm Cove, a gentle sheltered cove where a boat could seek refuge from a storm. During my two week residency the weather was all over the place, a sunny warm morning followed by a thunder storm at lunchtime and a calm mild afternoon. Typical Spring with four seasons experienced in one day. Towards the end of September the weather was windy and warm and a high danger for bushfires.

Peta Dzubiel, Beyond Pulpit, 2013, oil on board
Peta with Harry, Bonnie and Ava on the Gunyah foreshore
Peta Dzubiel, Have you seen Miranda II, oil on primed paper, 2013

Apart from enjoying the exquisite natural surroundings of Gunyah, I was able to develop and play with some ideas central to the Australian bushland environment and the dense and twisted Gums of North Arm was the perfect place to do this. My focus at Gunyah was to explore the anxiety of the Australian bush through ‘lost children’ narratives. I found myself working with one image of two little girls, painting it several times. When working with images of children, one can often be overtaken by sentimentality. I tried to avoid this by not painting in facial features or by blurring the portrait with a broad gestural sweep.

Peta Dzubiel, Drawing (lost children), sketchbook 2013
Bonnie hugging a Gunyah tree
Peta Dzubiel, Girls, oil on paper, 2013
Peta working on the Gunyah foreshore
Peta Dzubiel, Have you seen Miranda I, oil on primed paper, 2013

In the studio and out in the field I favoured painting on primed paper as my support. For one work, I painted two portraits of the same child’s face, one showing facial detail while the other face is blurred and diminished like a fading memory. I wanted to take these dual portraits out of the studio and into the bush, simply to see how they would appear juxtaposed next to the landscape that enticed so many children away from their families and homes to their own detriment and peril. By pinning the paintings to the trees I found I could evoke something that alluded to a memorial or memory, of loss, erasure, missing person’s posters or bush telegraph, something along these lines. I found I could create a multi layered experience with a two dimensional and traditional object, such as, a painting. I took black and white photographs to document this work.

Peta Dzubiel, Looking North from Gunyah, 2013, oil on primed paper
Peta Dzubiel, Gunyah at dusk, 2013, photograph 
Peta Dzubiel, North Arm Cove late afternoon, 2013, oil on primed paper
Peta Dzubiel, Last light on North Arm Cove, 2013, photograph
Peta Dzubiel, Erasure, 2013, oil on primed paper

The location of Gunyah and the spring light and colour, one could not help but do a few little landscapes en plein air! I was lucky to have my family and a couple of friends visit me and enjoy together the beautiful property. I enjoyed very much driving into Tea Gardens on occasion and eating and drinking coffee at the Boatshed.  I also enjoyed exploring Mungo Brush, seeing an abundance of flannel flowers and swimming in the aqua waters of Jimmy’s Beach on the hottest day.

Tom, Harry, Ava and Bonnie painting Gunyah trees
Tom, Harry, Ava and Bonnie painting Gunyah trees

A sincere thankyou to Kath Fries and the Gunyah property group that make this wonderful residency available to artists. I found the two weeks very productive and positive for my practice. 
Peta Dzubiel, 2013

Peta at Hawks Nest beach

You can see more images of Peta's work on her website

Jacqui O'Reilly: upcoming artist-in-residence

Jacqui O'Reilly is a Sydney based sound artist. Her practice includes, composition, performance, community facilitation and media arts. She has presented her work in collaboration with a range of artists and on her own at Queen Street Studios Chippendale NSW; Performance Space Everleigh NSW; Electrofringe Newcastle; and Thinkspace, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. You can listen to her work at

At Gunyah, in the restorative silence of a bushland setting, I plan to produce new work based on my electronic music practice, using field recordings from the environment together with reflections and fragments from my folk music history, to create an intensive period of digital composition. Drawing on my current academic study in sound and media arts, I will undertake a process of collecting sounds and recollecting songs, melding the two within a particular context of retreat and sonic wilderness. This focus will emulate the sound cycles of daily life in a place of shelter. Recording the ambience inside the built environment, resonant in its architecture, and its history, together with capturing the sounds of the natural environment, will create the foundation of a soundscape, on which to draw references about contemplation, resolve and a historical love of writing and listening to music.

Emerge Outside 2010, Jacqui O’Reilly & Randolf Reimann, Performance Space

Emerge Outside 2010, engaged nine people in a two-day soundscape workshop, run by Jacqui O’Reilly & Randolf Reimann at Performance Space, Everleigh, February 2010. Using found sounds, modern synthesis techniques and performance art, a 30-minute soundscape was exhibited as part of the Clubhouse season. Funded by Regional Arts NSW to support collaboration with regional artist Randolf Reimann

Emerge Outside Randwick 2012, aimed to break down and rebuild structures of sound, environment and collective existence. Working with members of the Randwick community, who contributed to the production of a sound installation through story telling, based on sounds recorded from their everyday lives. Three participants joined Jacqui O’Reilly to perform a live improvised soundscape using modern synthesis techniques that include a range of participants’ field recordings, spoken word and song derived from workshops and an eight week creative process.

Ros Meeker: artist-in-residence August 2013

Ros Meeker, Work in progress, Gunyah 2013

My proposal for The Gunyah residency said I would reacquaint myself with the North coast as ‘place’, to prompt works that would look back nostalgically to the 1960s/70s holiday making culture. I was accompanied by my sister, retired teacher and ceramicist, Alison Mackey.

Ros Meeker, Alison on the Gunyah foreshore, 2013

Ros Meeker, Gunyah foreshore, 2013

In the weeks preceding residency I found myself involved in University papers and research exhibition deadlines. I convinced myself not to worry. I would be organised and ‘go with the flow.’ I left my artwork with the curators and bought a WIFI dongle to keep in touch with my supervisors. My research is into the Scottish diaspora and identity. The idea of homeland and pilgrimage is figured into my work. So I treated the residency as a dress rehearsal for a pilgrimage to Scotland next year, when the small Scottish town of Haddington will be the meeting place of my Australian family and the Canadian and Scottish family connected to me. The Gunyah residency became a pilgrimage into childhood.

Ros Meeker and Alison MacKey, Selfie - on our way to Gunyah, 2013

The day after I left a windy and wild Tasmania we set forth from my sister’s home and travelled north from Sydney on a highway unfamiliar to me. We remembered how Dad would stop at the Oaks at Hexham. It is no longer a rest stop but there was a memory of chips and milkshakes. We stopped at a modern McCafe and Alison shot a portrait of us on her phone in the ladies loos.

Ros Meeker, Gunyah view, 2013

In no time at all we were in Harrington. We stayed in the beautiful home of sister’s long term friend, in a new subdivision of like homes. In the morning we set off again to look for Uncle Geoff’s house. I found it easily. My first ‘holiday’ to Uncle Geoff’s had two families living in a small two room fibro shack. My father, a plumber and building inspector, laid the plumbing for their new house being built in the front yard. A second ‘holiday’ finished the internal plumbing. As Alison and I stood at the roadside and looked at the house, my eyes wandered down the road. I remembered listening to Paul Simon’s Kodachrome album. ’It was a sunny day, not a cloud was in the sky.. .’ I remembered I was off to paint my first unsuccessful en plein air oil painting, which cracked like an old master. Later, it was my father who explained to me why I should be using more linseed oil if I was painting in hot sun, near the sea.    

Ros Meeker, Old jetty, 2013

We travelled back down the coast. In Forster we were more at home. I navigated the area via memory and was seldom wrong. Old Mick’s place was gone and replaced by units, the place where we had gone horse riding had morphed into a ‘key development,’ and the houses I had stayed at on One Mile beach renovated beyond recognition.The weather had to turned to gale force and we found a motel room. I slipped out to the new local supermarket, not 200 metres away, for some provisions. I got lost on the way back.

Ros Meeker, Arrival - Gunyah, 2013

The next day we were at Gunyah. It was sunny and warm and we made ourselves at home. We settled into a relaxed routine of a daily excursion, art and talk, art research report and talk, meals and talk, and canasta and talk. Alison worked on green-ware with under glazes. Just gifts she said. But I recognised in her process how each work develops out the last, knowing this is how I too work. I played in a journal. I took some surface rubbings of Gunyah’s external cladding. I wrote in the journal with a marker pen and photographed the journal central field in the landscape. In the evenings after Alison retired I would work further on my writing and respond to urgent emails about the upcoming exhibitions in Hobart. I was being successful at ‘going with the flow.’

Ros Meeker, Work in progress, Gunyah 2013 

I brought with me a few small aluminium plates. It is not my usual selection for etching but it is light enough to pop into the luggage and not be burdened. We sat and scratched metal together. It was Alison’s first attempt at scratching a plate but I knew she would be successful as she is a dab hand at sgraffito.

Ros Meeker, Pelican boat, Tea Gardens 2013

One day we waited for the 12.30pm ferry from Tea Gardens to Nelson Bay. While we waited I got some nice shots of pelicans.  The lattes were excellent. The people sitting at the table next to us ran the caravan park for many years in my little hometown of Snug. The 12.30 ferry doesn’t happen anymore. It doesn’t matter- we are going with the flow.

Ros Meeker, Pelican jetty, Tea Gardens 2013

Another day we pottered around nearby Carrington, taking photos, enjoying the sun, the reflections on the water in the mangroves. We loved it. Carrington, I thought, is where an uncomplicated childhood summer holiday could still be had. It was so gloriously undeveloped. I felt grounded. I now feel connected to North Arm Cove.

Ros Meeker, Gunyah trees at night, 2013

Leaving Gunyah we made our way home. We stopped off the highway for coffee. We failed at reuniting with the new highway and found ourselves driving on the old expressway. ‘It doesn’t matter’ I said, ‘we are still heading home and we are doing well going with the flow.’  We travelled on the route of long past vacations, through large sandstone cuts, over the Hawkesbury Bridge, past the township of Brooklyn and back to suburban Sydney.

Ros Meeker, Carrington road sign, 2013

The very next afternoon I was back home, next to my fire, in my cottage surrounded by cold, wet Tasmanian forest. Back to writing about art.

Ros Meeker, On the Gunyah foreshore, 2013

Postscript: Today I finally got back into the studio and etched the little plates in Bordeaux. The first proofs look good. Next time I am in I shall do some drypoint touching up and reprint knowing now where to ‘pull a bit more light’ as I am wiping the plates.

Ros Meeker, Work in progress, 2013

I’m still to do some collages based on my nostalgic tour and residency to add to my photopolymer print series. I shall send on some more images in the coming months. Many thanks to Kath and the Gunyah committee for all. It was a great experience, a wonderful stopping place on a ‘journey with meaning.’

Ros Meeker