Vanessa Berry: upcoming artist-in-residence

Vanessa Berry is a writer and artist who works with memory, history and archives. She is the author of three books, most recently Mirror Sydney, a collection of essays and hand-drawn maps that investigate the city’s marginal places and undercurrents. Within the Mirror Sydney project Vanessa has used multiple formats - blog, book, hand-drawn maps, zines, guided walks - and she usually works in this way, drawing on variety of textual, visual and performative forms, around a central idea or theme.

Vanessa Berry with her book, Mirror Sydney (photo courtesy of Better Read Than Dead), published by Giramondo Publishing in 2017, 300 pages
Vanessa's work has been widely recognised: Mirror Sydney won the Mascara Avant Garde Literary Award, her visual artwork has been exhibited at major galleries such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and National Gallery of Australia, the hand-drawn maps she produced for Mirror Sydney were purchased by the State Library of NSW for their collection, and Vanessa's work has been commissioned by institutions such as the Powerhouse Museum and Museum of Sydney. 

Vanessa Berry, St Peters map (detail), 2017, A3 risoprint

At the heart of her creative work is an interest in the storied nature of everyday life, and a desire to investigate expressions of memory within the physical environment and material culture.

Time and Memory, Powerhouse Museum (includes essay Time Machines by Vanessa Berry).

"During my residency at Gunyah I'm going to continue working on my two current collections of essays. The first is about physical and symbolic relationships with animals, and the second is about chance, coincidence and objects. In both projects - considering human-animal relationships, and also the relationships we have with mundane and everyday objects - I consider the connections we build, sustain, and inherit, between ourselves and the world, and how encounters with animals, and with objects, can shape our lives and identities."

You can find more of Vanessa's work at