Introducing our RESIDENCE program – designed to provide a supportive environment for independent artists, collectives, and small to medium-sized organisations to cultivate a vibrant artistic community in the western suburbs.
Within our historic Henderson House studios, artists can elevate their artistic practice and embark on new creative endeavours.
So we sat down with program participants Steffie Yee (Animation Director & Illustrator) and Gurmeet Kaur to further explore their experience in our RESIDENCE program and how it has impacted them as creatives.
What has been a highlight from your time as an artist in residence?
Steffie Yee: A highlight from my time as an artist in residence is having access to a space dedicated to focusing on my projects. Sharing a space with other artists has also opened up new friendships and conversations with inspiring people doing interesting things.
Gurmeet Kaur: As a local, it was great to have the studio within walking distance. I could come in when I had free time around other commitments as well as have dedicated days of reading and writing. To have a physical space to come to was a game changer for my writing; it gave me the permission to slow down my practice without feeling guilty about having to write every day.
How has Footscray Community Arts empowered you as an artist and transformed your practice?
Gurmeet Kaur: Meeting other artists helped me to connect with others in the local community. Having someone to talk to at Footscray Arts about my works in progress also made me see what’s possible and experiment with ideas too.
Steffie Yee: Having moved to Victoria from New South Wales, Footscray Community Arts has provided a window for me to see the vast and diverse community of artists that Naarm/Melbourne has to offer.
Footscray Community Arts has introduced me to a unique array of voices and creative pursuits from local artists, whether it be through the exhibitions held onsite, or through the conversations I’ve had with the staff and fellow artists at the arts centre.
Advice for artists or creatives thinking about taking the leap and joining the RESIDENCE program?
Gurmeet Kaur: Footscray Community Arts is an inclusive, open and welcoming place that gives you the time and space to play and have fun with a project idea. Unlike other residencies, there is no pressure to be here a certain number of days or complete the project within a set time. This gave me the flexibility to continue working on the project over a longer period.
Steffie Yee: I would recommend anyone to take a leap and join the RESIDENCE program (don’t worry if you have imposter syndrome – just apply anyway!). RESIDENCE opens opportunities for ideas, connections, creative opportunities, and friendships.