Upcoming artists-in-residence: Pablo Browne - Judith Martinez and Craig Billingham

Pablo Browne - Judith Martinez and Craig Billingham, The Empty Jar, page 2, 2014, children's book

Pablo Browne is a creative partnership between Judith Martinez (illustrator) and Craig Billingham (writer). Together they created The Empty Jar, a children’s picture book launched at The Melbourne Writers’ Festival last year. They live in the Blue Mountains, NSW. 

Pablo Browne - Judith Martinez and Craig Billingham, The Empty Jar, page 1, 2014, children's book

Craig Billingham is a poet and fiction writer. His work has appeared in many Australian journals, including Meanjin, Heat, Review of Australian Fiction, and Antipodes, as well as having been twice selected for The Best Australian Poems. A slim collection, Storytelling, was published in 2007. Craig has a Masters in Creative Writing from The University of Sydney.

Pablo Browne - Judith Martinez and Craig Billingham, The Empty Jar, page 3, 2014, children's book

"My poems and stories typically involve some form of misunderstanding, and the confusion that ensues. These misunderstandings could be of emotions, or actions, or identities, etc. Very often they arise from misheard statements, or from words taken to mean something other than what their speaker had intended. Working with this confusion – chasing the next word, or the next image – propels the story, and not always towards a resolution." Craig Billingham
Follow these links to read some of Craig's fiction and poems, or listen to him reading… 

Pablo Browne - Judith Martinez and Craig Billingham, The Empty Jar, page 4, 2014, children's book

Judith Martinez is a artist, illustrator and graphic designer. She studied at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, and has completed various printmaking courses at the National Art School. She has worked on the creative for major festivals and events in Sydney, designed book covers, historical interpretation graphics for The Rocks, and worked on numerous publications. Judith's work has recently featured at The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre exhibitions Keepsake and The Black and Blue Project, as well as Seven Illustrators at The Everglades, Leura. The Empty Jar is her first picture book.

Judith Martinez, Illustrations from The Empty Jar, 2014

"My work is made up of carefully salvaged objects, textures and images – which allow me the privilege of creating new narratives. This is a technique I use in both my fine art and illustration work – through collage, photomedia and drawings. The use of layers in my work creates visual maps for the viewer to navigate – inviting them to return and decipher the stories within the works." Judith Martinez
You can see more of Judith's work in Katoomba and on her websites hopestreetpress.com.au and judithmartinez.com.au

Judith Martinez, We must give them shapes and names, 2013/14,
digital photo montage with scanned and manipulated found photographs

During their Gunyah residency Judith and Craig plan to develop their second book for children - The Alphabet Thieves, aimed at children 5 to 9 years old. This picture book seeks to entertain and to contribute to the development of children’s literacy skills. The artwork for The Alphabet Thieves will be hand drawn illustration, digital collage and mixed media. A draft of the story has been completed, but their previous experience on The Empty Jar suggests that the storyline will grow as writer and illustrator work more closely together. This is a time consuming process that requires a period of focused concentration – the Gunyah residency will be an ideal opportunity to progress the project.

Craig and Judith, with their book - The Empty Jar 
Blue Mountains Gazette 11 Nov 2014

Rhonda Pryor: artist-in-residence May 2015

Rhonda Pryor, Washing after dyeing, Gunyah jetty, 2015

A wonderful, if too short, residency that was a real delight. Pluto the dog was very impressed too, what with all those intriguing bush smells to check out. The family came to visit for the weekend and we took off to the sand dunes (which had moved so much closer to the road than we remembered – no doubt due to the recent storms), had morning tea at Tillerman’s in Tea Gardens, and lazed around the Gunyah living room, enjoying the fireside, world map jigsaw puzzle, art magazines and the views. We had a great time checking out the jetty (Pluto does love a swim), discovering charming little beaches, and walking around exploring – and baking bread.

Rhonda Pryor, Pluto and the collection, Gunyah studio 2015

Rhonda Pryor, Bundle dyeing process, Gunyah studio 2015

I used the time to play around with the local flora (luckily readily available because of those storms) making dyes for the silk lengths I brought with me. Pluto and I went on daily walks collecting interesting bits and pieces to include in the process. We washed the cloth down by the jetty before and after the dyeing – a serene and meditative process at Gunyah (it is so quiet). The lovely golden colour of the water no doubt contributed to the final results. Photographing the fabrics in the water was fascinating for me – I couldn’t get enough of it. The colour of the water, the rocks beneath, the swirling cloth, beautiful light.... I also used up some of the waste threads and string to make experimental ‘lace’ samples.

Rhonda Pryor, Evaluating…, Gunyah studio 2015

Rhonda Pryor, Lace experiments, Gunyah studio 2015

A big thank you to Kath and the Gunyah team! What a peaceful and laid back thinking/working environment! And the house is sooooo charming…
Rhonda Pryor

Rhonda Pryor, Beautiful sunset, Gunyah 2015