Emerging artists find creative spaces in Sydney

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A radio station, digital ‘watercolours’ and street-based dance are some of the six projects emerging Sydney artists will focus on after moving into low-cost studios in the heart of the city.

The City of Sydney has welcomed a third group of tenants to its affordable live/work artist studios on William Street in Darlinghurst, as part of its creative live/work program.

For the next 12 months, the artists – working in music, dance, performance, broadcast and digital media – will develop works that help build their practice and benefit Sydney’s growing cultural community.

The artists are:

  • Tom Smith – an artist, independent curator, musician and sound designer.
  • Amala Groom - a conceptual artist whose practice is informed by Indigenous methodologies and whose work reads as a social commentary on contemporary race relations.
  • Emma Ramsay – an artist and musician producing an independent broadcasting project 'Source Material'; an online radio space for performance, written text and exchange.
  • Nat Randall – a solo and collaborating artist working predominantly in contemporary performance across collectives Hissy Fit and Team MESS.
  • Marian Tubbs – an artist, writer and curator who has work held at the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
  • Vanessa Marian – an art director, performer, dancer, choreographer and producer whose work primarily focuses on street-based ‘slang’ dance.
“The number one thing our city’s creative community needs is space where they can afford to take risks,” City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone said.

“Previous tenants in our William Street creative live/work program have gone to on to achieve national acclaim and create influential bodies of work. I can’t wait to see what this new group of talented artists come up with.”

Kate Scardifield, a participant in the last round of the program, spent her tenancy developing new work for exhibitions in Sydney and interstate, while also preparing for an international project in Scotland.

“This really is a wonderful program. Having had the opportunity to live and work in affordable and central accommodation allowed me to focus on my practice and push my work into new territories,” Ms Scardifield said.

“The William Street tenancy also helped me to start thinking big. I’m currently in Scotland undertaking a research residency in Glasgow and preparing for my first international exhibition in 2017–18.”

The City received 39 applications for the 2016–17 program. An expert panel comprised of City and creative industry representatives selected applicants based on their creative practice, the artistic merit of their work and the potential for collaboration and community impacts.

The six studio units on William Street include a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and artist-in-residence workspace. Rent paid by the artists is substantially lower than commercial rates for the area.

New tenant Emma Ramsay said she is looking forward to leveraging her residency as an opportunity to build new mentorships and getting her radio venture off the ground.

“With years of ongoing collaboration experiences in art, music and broadcast, I feel I have the perfect tool kit for building an original radio station during my tenancy that will continue to service the sound arts community,” Ms Ramsay said.

“The relief of affordable studio rent will allow me the freedom to focus on the creative process in a city where my creative peers reside.”

Previous tenants have gone on to win major state and national awards, national and international scholarships, commercial representation, international residencies and work with internationally acclaimed contemporary artists.

Following the success of the William Street creative live/work program, the City is offering a similar opportunity in Waterloo, above the Waterloo Library.

For more information on the City’s creative live/work spaces, visit cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/arts-and-culture/opportunities-for-artists/creative-space/creative-live-work-spaces For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Media Specialist Keeley Irvin.

Phone 0448 005 718 or email kirvin@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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