Ollie Bown & Ben Carey: upcoming artists-in-residence

Ollie Bown and Ben Carey... listening

Ollie Bown and Ben Carey are Sydney based experimental musicians working with a combination of improvisation and studio production techniques. They make innovative use of software, creating their own interactive performance systems and new techniques for generating sound textures and patterns. Their first collaborative album, Ben+Zamyatin, is available to listen to on SoundCloud

Ben+Zamyatin album cover, listen online via SoundCloud

While we're at Gunyah, we plan to make a new studio album based around a series of recorded improvisations of Ben playing saxophone with our bespoke software systems. These recorded improvisations will be further edited into fully orchestrated studio constructions. We are both interested in the use of ‘field recordings’ in our work — recordings of naturally occurring sound, used in a creative context. We plan to construct the record around the use of natural environmental sound. This will include recording and improvising in natural settings in and around the Post Stephens area. This new material will also form the basis for a major live work, in conjunction with visual artists and performers, that we aim to put on in Sydney later in the year. We are looking forward to our residency at Gunyah, it will be an inspiring setting away from our other requirements, allowing us the time and space to create this new collaborative work.

Ollie Bown, Solstice LAMP, interactive installation, Vivid 2013, link

Ollie Bown with his new media work animos

Ollie Bown is a researcher, programmer and electronic music maker. He creates and performs music as one half of the duo Icarus, and performs regularly as a laptop improviser in electronic and electroacoustic ensembles. He has worked with musicians such as Tom Arthurs, Lothar Ohlmeier and Maurizio Ravalico of the Not Applicable Artists, and Brigid Burke and Adem Ilhan of Fridge. Icarus' 2012 album Fake Fish Distribution was released in 1000 unique digital variations, presenting a new angle on ownership and uniqueness in digital media artefacts. The band have produced remixes for electronic music pioneers such as Four Tet, Murcof, Caribou and EclecticMethod/ChuckD and recently produced software for an experimental live performance by Aphex Twin, premiered at the Barbican Hall in London in 2012. Ollie has performed at international festivals such as Sonic Acts Amsterdam, the Sonic Arts Network Expo UK and AudioVisiva Milan. He has designed interactive sound for installation projects by Squidsoup and Robococo, at venues such as the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, the Oslo Lux Festival, the Vivid Festival, Sydney, and the Kinetica Art Fair, London. He is also senior lecturer at the UNSW Faculty of Art & Design, in this research role he is local cochair of the 2013 International Conference on Computational Creativity and of the Musical Metacreation Workshop and events series. olliebown.com

Ben Carey, iambic, audiovisual composition, link

Ben Carey, laptopping 

Ben Carey is a saxophonist, composer and technologist with interests in contemporary classical, interactive, improvised and electroacoustic music. His research and practice incorporates equal parts improvisation, interpretation, composition and the development of musical software systems. He has recently completed a PhD at the University of Technology, Sydney, where his research was concerned with the development and use of interactive performance systems for instrumentalists and computer. In 2013 his _derivations interactive performance system was released online, and has since been used in performances throughout the world by numerous improvisers. The EP _derivationshumanmachine improvisations was released in 2014 on Integrated Records, documenting performances by Antoine Läng, Alana Blackburn, Joshua Hyde and Evan Dorrian with the software. As a performer Ben performs a wide range of chamber and mixed works for saxophone and live electronics. As a soloist he has premiered works by composers Daniel Blinkhorn, Mark Oliveiro, Tristan Coelho, François Rossé, Baptiste Boiron and Florent Colautti. As a chamber musician he has performed as part of the Nexas Quartet, Covalent Duo, and Ensemble Offsrping. Ben’s research and creative work has been presented at the dBâle festival of electronic music (Basel), IRCAM Live @ La Gaité Lyrique (Paris), International Conference of Computational Creativity (Sydney), Vivid @ Seymour (Sydney), the Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (London/Ann Arbor), the International Computer Music Conference (Perth), the Sound and Music Computing Conference (Copenhagen) and the Australasian Computer Music Conference (Auckland/Brisbane). bencarey.net

Ben Carey, performing _derivations, with Ollie Bown, MuMe 2013, link

Julie Pennington: upcoming artist-in-residence

Julie Pennington working in her Bowral studio

Julie Pennington is a ceramic artist based in Bowral, NSW Southern Highlands. Originally from the Blue Mountains, Julie studied in education in Canberra, then moved Sydney where she studied and worked in textile design. In 2001 she moved to the Southern Highlands and started studying ceramics. Her early ceramic work reflected her interest in textiles, investigating ceramic printing techniques on thrown and slip cast vessels. During her 2013 residency at Sturt Craft Centre in Mittagong, the direction of Julie's work shifted towards exploring the sculptural elements of ceramics. Julie now focuses on porcelain sculptural work, using finely rolled coils to construct intricate and delicate forms that explore positive and negative space, line and movement, and the interplay of light and shadow. Drawing inspiration from the natural environment as well as her ongoing interest in textiles, wire and woven forms, Julie's work evolves in an intuitive way, becoming absorbed in the process of building, and allowing the making process to inform her work. Julie has recently exhibited in The Course of Objects at Manly Art Gallery, at Chinaclay Gallery in Clovelly, M.Contemporary Gallery in Woollahra, Edwina Corlette Gallery in Brisbane, and last month she held a solo show titled Branching Out, at Mu Studio Gallery in Mosman.

Julie Pennington, Twig Vessels I & II, 2015, Porcelain and black stain

While I'm at Gunyah I plan to gather inspiration for a new ceramic works, expanding on my current interest in the surfaces of tree trunks and plant details. I'm looking forward to connecting with the bush on a daily basis – walking and having time to contemplate and observe things more closely. I don't get to spend much time on the coast, so I'll welcome the possibility of new ideas being generated from fossicking on the beach. Having the bush and the sea at my doorstep at Gunyah will indulge my love of collecting things and examining details to use in my work by taking photos and make sketches too refer to back in my studio. I'm looking forward to immersing myself in this new environment, and am excited to see how this residency impacts my work.

Julie Pennington, Leaf sculpture, 2015, Glazed Porcelain

To see more of Julie's work please visit her website - juliepenningtonceramics.net

Michele Morcos: artist-in-residence March 2016

When one paintbrush just isn't enough! Michele Morcos painting at the Gunyah studio
photo credit: Tina Fox

2016 seems to have its high performance running shoes on - and be moving at warp speed. Every year has a momentum of its own. But this year feels different. Every day, every occasion, every catch-up seems to be blending into one another - to the point where there is no pause, no deep breath, no moments of reflection. That's exactly what I was experiencing this year UNTIL I went to Gunyah - and took a deep breath.

Michele Morcos, Triptych on wood, 2016

The Gunyah artist-in-residence program, organised by Sydney based artist Kath Fries is like no other. It is part holiday retreat, part nature wildlife sanctuary, and part artist think tank. Artists' who are lucky enough to be awarded with a 12 day residency have the use of a lovely house on the waters edge of North Arm Cove, and a studio with views of the bush and water. So yes - it is a pretty special place.

Michele Morcos in the Gunyah studiophoto credit: Tina Fox

When I arrived I had a million ideas of what I wanted to achieve, and packed my car with a plethora of materials for any and every project. Paints, pencils, paper, canvases, wood panels, ink, oil pastels. But - as I quickly discovered - the property of Gunyah sets the rules and the pace.

So I rested, reflected, swam, explored ... and THEN I started to work in the studio space.

My work took on a lighter, more airy feel - inspired by where I was and how I was feeling.

And I knew - twelve days was not going to be enough.

The beautiful shoreline, Michele Morcos

What my time on this recent residency showed me was that I need to stop more, reflect more, and pay heed to what my surroundings are trying to communicate. The way the world slows down at Gunyah was such a treat to experience - like the way the clouds and water change in form and colour as dusk takes hold. That's how much I had slowed down by my last day on the property, I was watching the wind, clouds and water at dusk - while listening to the birds and wallabies rustle around the trees surrounding the house!

Michele Morcos, By the crescent moon, 2016

Looking now at my completed artworks that I have just unpacked in my studio in Camperdown I can truly feel and see that quiet breath that I took on my residency, in a beautiful and inspiring place called Gunyah. And I hope I can carry this feeling through the rest of my year, and the artworks that are yet to come...

Reflections of outside looking into the studio, Michele Morcos Gunyah 2016
photo credit: Tina Fox

Thank you to Kath Fries and all the organisers and custodians of the Gunyah artist residency at North Arm Cove. Thank you for this amazing opportunity to think, to reflect, to dream and experience the beautiful place. A big thank must also be given to Cath Derksema and Tina Fox for visiting and taking such lovely photos.

Michele Morcos,  March 2016

Michele Morcos, Atmospheric thoughts, 2016