IN JUNE when taking part in a group show at Percolator Gallery in Paddington I was offered the opportunity to take up residency in a studio below the gallery from around August through to the end of the year. Helena Lloyd, the gallery owner, had heard an artist talk I presented previous to this and was interested in the work being carried out for the Homage to the Seed project... having already considered offering the 'studio residency' format for the purpose of fostering an artist's project that had a social/political/community dimension to it of value to her way of thinking.
Being approached by Helena with this offer was indeed both timely and fortuitous as the work I was doing was only getting more complex, busy, and the space for working I had at home, 30 minutes form the gardens, was insufficient to say the least. In February when commencing as Artist-in-residence at the Botanic Gardens my information of the availability of a studio space had turned out to be incorrect. I was aware of the fact there was no funding for the residency but in contrast the studio situation had been omitted from the application material allowing me to assume that my source for knowing of a studio was correct.
Being very much a studio based artist for many years working with a variety of research material of all kinds is quite the foundation of my art practice. Undertaking a particular residency project that connects with the seed lab, library, stories, people as well as literally seeds and pods did strike me as a critical challenge when not able to access an actual studio on the grounds where not only space but the capacity to be on site in a regular way - rain, hail or shine was a given.
The images of the Percolator studio below were taken today after the intial phase of setting up some work areas - the agenda for today!
The white support column in the photos above block the view of the double doors which open out onto a wide verandah that looks over the garden and view of surrounding houses, streets and across the city a short way. The generous spaces and storage areas, the views, the deck and the fact a breeze will be accessible on the hot days make this the perfect studio for the 5 months remaining of the Botanic Gardens residency.
With the Gardens less than 10 minutes away its going to be quite a simple task to set up painting for the day - go across to the gardens to check in on any number of things there... and back again to keep painting. The studio and gallery is very well-located...a short bus-ride to the city and close to chops, bookstores and cafes. years ago I day dreamed of spending some time in this area... so today setting up and getting the paints out was a great event!
Seeds, pods and various things I like to have on hand are shelved near where I can set up a desk. I have made a point to put up a whole series of works on paper at the moment from several years ago mostly so that I can go back over these ideas and dwell with them for awhile...
Below: large paintings needing my contemplation
I shall no doubt be adding many photos to these few added here tonight.