Ramana Dienes-Browning: upcoming artist-in-residence

Ramana Dienes-Browning speaking at the 2014 Gilded Anarchy Film Festival

Ramana Dienes-Browning is a Blue Mountains based film maker, writer and photographer. Her art practice involves explorations of concepts of self, identity and how the individual often struggles to interact with society. Drawing on her unusual personal life experiences of being raised and indoctrinated in a religious cult, which she finally escaped in her mid-twenties, Ramana's work is deeply insightful, haunting and brave. Her most recent work, Julianne, is a 30 minute short film about a young woman whose true identity was trapped by her upbringing, only coming out when she sleep walked. Through meeting an insomniac during her walks her identity was validated and their connection begins to heal them both.

Ramana Dienes-Browning, Production still from Julianne, 2012

During her Gunyah residency, Ramana plans to work on Imra’s Ocean, the script for her first feature film. Imra’s Ocean is a heroic fantasy narrative about a young boy's journey to bring balance to a world troubled by patriarchy, fear and oppression. The young hero must save his ill sister by freeing the captive spirit of the ocean, bringing the feminine back into their world. In order to do this he must go against a childhood of brainwashing that the ocean spirit is evil and dangerous. 

Ramana Dienes-Browning, Child-bride, 2012, digital photograph

You can read an interview with Ramana here and see more of Ramana's work at facebook.com/gildedanarchy and vimeo

Bethany Wheeler: artist-in-residence June 2017

Bethany Wheeler, Fog on the Hume Highway 6 am

We set off for North Arm Cove from Melbourne at 4:30am, driving through fog we arrived at Gunyah just in time to see the last rays of sun reflecting off the water. 

Bethany Wheeler, 8am looking up North Arm Cove

We woke see the sun rise over the glass-like water of the Cove turning the moored yachts into silhouettes.  As the morning sun filled the house, the wooden interior started to glow and poured over the studio desks.

Bethany Wheeler, Sun pouring into the studio 8:24am

The country surrounding Gunyah was beautiful to explore.  We visited The Myall Lakes, The Grandis – tallest tree in NSW, Mungo Brush, the ocean beaches, their islands & the still waterways of Port Stephens.  We kayaked out into The Kaurah River stopping at secluded inlets - viewing the big sky & landscape from the water.

Bethany Wheeler, Mungo Brush 11:30am

The wildlife in the backyard was abundant with regular visits from wallabies, kookaburras & dolphins, we saw koalas at Hawks Nest & whales passing by at Anna Bay.  We spent time bush walking the dirt roads of North Arm Cove & visiting the Gooreenggai Aboriginal site.

Bethany Wheeler, From the land & from the sea

I began pressing & collating collected botanical specimens from the local area & spent time documenting & developing a sense of place through photography, drawing & engraving.
Bethany Wheeler, Engraving on the jetty

I spent time recording the ever-changing light of the cove through photography & began engraving landscapes, pressed botanicals & maps of North Arm Cove onto sheet glass.

Bethany Wheeler, Reflections on the Cove

My final days were spent creating glass sheet assemblages, accumulating layers of pressed botanicals, ash from the fire, salt form the cove & engraved silhouettes with copper & wood.

Bethany Wheeler, Layered pressed botanicals and engravings

Spending time at Gunyah allowed me time to focus on creative research & to explore the beginnings of a new body of work.

Bethany Wheeler, Pressed Acacia ash and engraved glass

Bethany Wheeler, 
Gunyah residency report June 2017