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