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 www.gunyah.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/jacqui-oreilly-artist-in-residence.html and you can hear more of Jacqui's work on her Soundcloud page https://soundcloud.com/jacqui-oreilly

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 www.petadzubiel.com