Bridget Kennedy: upcoming artist-in-residence

Bridget Kennedy in her workshop, 2016

Sydney based artist Bridget Kennedy has a background as a painter and contemporary jeweller. She works with diverse, non-precious and organic materials combined with traditionally precious materials. Her exhibition work is an ongoing enquiry into environmental fragility, impermanence, choice, social expectations and value. Bridget's emphasis on materials and exploration allows the physical act of making to partly drive the outcome. 

Bridget Kennedy, It’s as simple as…white, 2015, 
beeswax, pigments, handspung co0on cord

Bridget began studying painting in the 1980s, before diverting a corporate career and then returning to pursue her art practice full time in 2003, completing an Advanced Diploma in Jewellery and Object Design in 2005. The following year she was the inaugural recipient of the Enmore Design Centre's Jewellery and Object Design Award. In 2008 Bridget co-founded Studio 20/17, a contemporary jewellery gallery and workshop based in Waterloo, Sydney. She has been an active member of Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia (JMGA) over the past five years, holding various roles of treasurer and secretary. Last year Bridget co-ordinated the 2015 JMGA conference held at Sydney College of the Arts. She has been a finalist in the Toowoomba Contemporary Wearables Biennial Jewellery Award and was awarded first prize in Graduate Metal X. In 2010 she was artist-in-residence at Bundanoon Trust NSW and at Hill End NSW in 2015. Bridget has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in group shows around Australia and in Thailand, New Zealand, USA, and Japan. In 2015 she completed her Masters in Studio Art at Sydney College of the Arts.

Bridget Kennedy, choice mate, 2015, beeswax, pigments, soil, found objects, 
gold leaf, fools gold and an ounce of gold

I am intrigued by the social interstice between audience and object and the potential of the participatory object to act as a mediating role in developing human relationships and social action, specifically in the area of social and environmental impacts of resource usage and sustainability. My practice aims to explore this through ideas of impermanence and materiality, the cultural and material value we attach to objects and the potential for the object to navigate both the public and private spheres. I am interested in using the residency to take these ideas further. My time at Gunyah would be spent reading various theoretical texts and consolidating the research areas that I’ve been exposed to recently. Time would be spent sitting quietly in the bush, listening and observing. I would use the time to explore the local environment and make silicone moulds of various flora in the local environment to be later used for creating beeswax elements of a larger work.

Bridget Kennedy, in memory of bees, 2012, beeswax, 18ct gold

To find out more about Bridget's practice and see more of her work please go to her website

Tracey Coutts: artist-in-residence June 2016

The Gunyah residency was a much needed time out and escape from the weekday school drop off/pick up, weekend extracurricular activity run arounds and the daily maintenance of accumulated mess that a family of four can too easily make.  A solo drive from Geelong to North Arm Cove was surprising easy, I found a café in Bargo that had great pies, the hills and trees around Sydney were a pleasing contrast to the flats around Melbourne and the craziness of Sydney drivers equally reflecting Melbournians on the approach to city turn offs, making me feel right at home.

Tracey Coutts, Gunyah jetty - looking out, June 2016

The first week of my Gunyah residency I had to myself, a very peaceful and clarifying experience.  My time coincided with the July 2, 2016 election battle in full swing, with an early submission I could switch off and focus, no TV or Wi-Fi distractions, not even FM radio.  I had with me a collection of five CDs loaded in the CD stacker, two albums in particular I hadn’t listened to much at home bring me back to the evening log fires relaxing after dinner in the lounge, there was no background noise to drown out the array of intricate instrumental sounds, you could hear the full, layered textures of the music.

Tracey Coutts, Surface tension, digital drawing,  June 2016

Set up in the studio downstairs I found it to be a very productive atmosphere, a light, open space.  The clouds rarely hung around for long, sweeping across the sky.  There were a couple of visits from wallabies in the back garden, the birds were particularly chirpy during the day, and the sunshine was a welcomed change to the drab grey that had set-in back home in southern Victoria. 

Tracey Coutts, Great inspiration, photograph, June 2016

The water in the bay caught most of my creative attention, more than I had expected.  Some days it was rather choppy with a few dolphin sightings that kept you looking out for more. Other days were calm and still but between these varying degrees when the tension on the water was only slight, I could see the idea of the tension affecting a gridded surface.  Pressures from the air pushing in one direction, the currents beneath stirring up in another.  

Tracey Coutts, Tension square series, digital drawing,  June 2016

With this idea I hit the studio pretty hard and focused on a range of five sequences that could ‘program’ a sea of change across a grid to varying degrees.  Using a smaller grid I had played with the pulling of nodes across connecting lines to instigate the push/pull action.  Spending a couple of solid days to nut out these ideas and arranging formats to use with additional software cleared a bit of time to spend with my partner and daughters during the last four days exploring the local area.  I am pleased to have visited Stockton beach which is the biggest beach I have ever seen, topped off with a nice coffee, ice cream and a bit of whale watching at the café there.  The work I have been able to achieve will continue, finalizing prints and expanding of the ideas further.  The Gunyah has been a great creative experience and a wonderful sight-seeing venture to a rather unique area of our coast.

Tracey Coutts
Gunyah residency report
 June 2016

To see more of Tracey's work please visit

Dean Cross: upcoming artist-in-residence

Dean Cross, Repose (reclining man with sandwich), 2015, image credit Kai Wasikowski

Dean Cross is a descendant of the Worimi nation and currently based in Sydney studying a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts. Dean's visual arts practice builds on his extensive international career as a contemporary dance choreographer and performer. Now his work encompasses video, performance, painting, print-making, photography and sculpture in the expanded field. Dean’s work looks to investigate, comprehend and critique the world we live in, addressing socio-political and cultural norms while reinvigorating them with contemporary understanding. His work often draws on his Indigenous ancestry to interrogate our post–colonial epoch, with a burning desire to understand what it means to be a 21st Century Australian. Last year Dean was a finalist in the Konica Minolta Redlands Art Prize, and his work Right Lands was awarded the 2015 Macquarie Group Highly Commended Emerging Artist Prize judged by the eminent Australian artist Joan Ross. This year Dean has been selected as a finalist in The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize.

Dean Cross, The things I’ll never do, and Structures and Sadness, 2015
Gouache, felt tip pen and stickers on archival cotton paper, 51x35.5cm each

During my residency at Gunyah I intend to create a series of mono-prints and gouache paintings which investigate and embody tidal rhythms. I will use time and tide as meta-motifs for the continually changing cultural and socio-political environments both locally and globally. Also, I will begin preparatory and explorative research into new video work examining my ancestral roots within the Worimi Nation. This will include drawing on my background in contemporary dance to create video-portraits where the distinction between country and person is erased, as is common within Indigenous culture. This residency will provide a unique opportunity for me to create on country, and begin to undo the trauma of displacement and disconnect. I will be able to re-connect with my deepest roots and, through art, commune with ancestors long since past.

Dean Cross, 18 Stanger’s and a Long Lost Aunty, 2014, HD video still, 18:34, view the full video here

See more of Dean's work on his website -