In the park: Georges River Artist in Residence 2020 – Sofie Dieu

Our current Dragons Lair Gallery exhibition, In the Park: Georges River Artist in Residence 2020 showcases the works of Helen Amanatiadis, Emma Davidson, Sofie Dieu and Tess Mehonoshen, who have all undertaken residencies at Carss Park over the past 12 months. The Carss Park Artist’s Cottage provides a studio and accommodation in a picturesque bush setting on the Georges River. The Artist in Residence program aims to foster connections and interactions between people, introducing artists, experiences and opportunities to the Georges River community.

Sofi recently took some time to answer some questions about her residency and her artistic practice.

Is this the first residency you have undertaken? 

It is indeed, in New South Wales, though in total it is the fifth one I have been invited to. I have been to residencies in Victoria and France otherwise.

Why did you decide to apply for this Carss Park residency?

I was immediately drawn by the location of the residency. For the last year and a half, I have been exploring water in my art. Being able to work for a month by the Georges River was very appealing as I was able to observe its different states, at different moments of the day, under various weather conditions. In the morning, I would wake up just before sunrise and would cross Carss park, sit on a rock and look at the river waking up. I also documented it throughout the day, and evening at sunset.

What also convinced me to apply to the residency was to be able to live and work from the same place. Having everything provided, receiving the amazing support from the fabulous Council team was a blessing and financially relieving. 

As I am Community driven, being able to share my practice with local residents at Hurstville Museum & Gallery was also attractive. Sharing my work from conception to exhibition is a big part of what I do.

Would you recommend this or other residencies to other artists?

I would definitely recommend this residency to other artists (and I already have!). Each residency has its own qualities and as far as I am concerned, it is good to mix it up a little. It opens up your horizon, in some cases you work with other artists and get to form friendship. With the Carss Park residency, as I was on my own, I used this opportunity to dive in my work and solely focus on it, with no distraction at all. This is a rare privilege, I made the most out of it.

What did you see as being one of the highlights of this residency?

Carss Park residency has the perfect balance between natural environment, city facility ease of reach, the sea shore close by. The cottage is well set up and very comfortable. I’d love to have the same amount of studio space back in Melbourne, with the same quality of light and view on the river! 

The highlight for me was being by the river and going on long walks at any time of the day and night. These were special moments. I would load up with inspiration and creativity and go straight back to the studio and pour it all on paper… how precious!

Sofie at work in the Artist in Residence cottage. Image by @elderlad.
A close up of Sofie’s work. Image by @elderlad.

In the Park: Georges River Artist in Residence 2020 is on exhibition from 3 – 25 October 2020

You can find out more about Sofie’s work at andon Instagram: @sofiedieu

Please feel free to contact Hurstville Museum & Gallery for further information on 02 9330 6444 or


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