Gunyah artists-in-residence program 2016

Thank you to all the artists who applied to the 2016 Gunyah artists-in-residence program. There will be eight artists' residencies next year, the selected artists are: 
Michele Morcos, a visual artist working across painting, drawing, coil weaving and photography; based in Sydney 
Julie Pennington, a ceramic artist; based in Bowral NSW
Oliver Bown and Ben Carey, experimental musicians working with interactive performance systems; based in Sydney NSW and 
Tracey Coutts, a visual artist working across digital media, painting and printmaking; based in Geelong VIC  
Dean Cross, a multidisciplinary artist working across contemporary dance, performance, painting and printmaking; based in Sydney NSW 
Bridget Kennedy, a visual artist working across installation, jewellery and sculpture; based in Sydney 
Lesa Hepburn, a botanical fibre artist, working with handmade paper and plant materials; based in Moreton Bay QLD 
Charlie Sublet, a writer and photographer; based in Melbourne VIC

Gunyah waterfront, photo by Kath Fries

Janet Meaney: artist-in-residence November 2015

I had the most wonderful time at Gunyah. What an amazing retreat - not that I was closeted. Quite the opposite, I enjoyed the outdoors, breakfasts on the balcony, strolls down to the jetty, lolling in the lounge. And all importantly, working on performances - I spent time contemplating the water and the rocks at Gunyah, as well as the beaches and dunes across the cove at Tea Gardens, Jimmy's Beach and the Nature Reserve.

Janet Meaney, Gunyah track down to the water, 2015

What a luxury it was to spend time in such a fabulous house in a bush setting on the waterfront. So calm, peaceful and perfect for coming up with new ideas. Despite my plan to work with the degradation of the beach and the rising sea level I concentrated instead on the oysters from the area. Besides eating them (they were so fresh and delicious) I was fascinated by the way they cling to the rocks below the house and impressed by the fact that their numbers in the wild are rising, indicating the health of the water and the lack of disturbance that allows them to grow and procreate.

Janet Meaney, Old Oysters, 2015

I developed quite a relationship with the oyster shells. As I was lolling in the window seat looking out across the water I was thinking of how sedentary I had become and it struck me that the perfect application for the shells was to attach them to my body with the intent that the viewer would gather that I was so sedentary that the shells began to grow on me. It was also a bit about age and its process.

Janet Meaney, Sedentary sculpture and Sedentary arm drawing, 2015

I also used my new fabulous sound recorder for many hours recording the wonderful lapping of the water on the rocks and the birds as they planned their mornings and settled in the evenings. The recorder picks up 5 times the sound that our ears can hear so after listening for an extended time then taking the earphones off, the sound flattens with a thud - totally flat and one dimensional. What a luxury it was to spend such time listening and contemplating. It has given me all sorts of ideas for performances such as playing the lapping while raising and lowering a sheet for instance in a tub as if washing by hand to test the reaction of the viewer - will they realise that the sound is not that of the washing in the absence of water in the tub, it sounds the same. Another performance I planned is for Amsterdam at the Festival of Unnoticed Art. I recorded the sound of me walking in the bush with the cracking of twigs and leaves underfoot to be played back on a portable speaker that I will carry as I walk the streets of Amsterdam. So the sound will be noticed but not necessarily as art.

Janet Meaney, Re-erosion and Bucket, 2015

My Gunyah residency was a very productive time for me, new ideas are continuing to develop as a result. Thanks again Kath for such a wonderful opportunity to absorb the atmosphere and put it to use.
Janet Meaney
November 2015

Janet Meaney, Low tide at Jimmy's Beach, 2015