In the park: Georges River Artist in Residence 2020 – Helen Amanatiadis

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.

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

Is this the first residency you have undertaken?

No, this is my second residency. I did a residency at ‘Culture at Work’ in Pyrmont in 2016, with a focus on art, science and technology. It was also a three month residency, although it was more intense as I had an exhibition planned at the end of it. During that residency I created my works “Shifting into Consciousness 1 – 4”, which were a really important development in my practice. It was a great experience that gave me the opportunity to incorporate coding and electronics into my textile based work.

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

As my first residency was very beneficial to my practice, I had been on the lookout for other residency opportunities.  I heard about the Carss Park residency through my friend Glenn Locklee, who had previously stayed at the artist’s cottage. He highly recommended it, so I looked into it and decided to apply.  The benefits that the residency offered were very appealing, including the chance to stay in an amazing studio cottage in the Carss Park bush area overlooking the Georges River (which must be the only residency of its kind in the Sydney metropolitan area) and the unstructured time to focus on and develop my practice without the pressure of an outcome at the end of the residency.

Would you recommend this or other residencies to other artists?

I would highly recommend the Carss Park residency to both local and non-local artists. The cottage is a wonderful place stay with a great atmosphere that, for me, enabled fresh perspectives and clear thoughts to develop about my practice. Whilst my outcome was not as prolific as I would have liked, it gave me a lot of time to think alongside making and was instrumental in clarifying my thoughts about my practice. I would also recommend any residency for the same reasons, including the ‘Culture at Work’ residency for practices that engage with science and technology.

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

Definitely the location and working in the wonderful artists cottage! Also, importantly, the residency offered the opportunity to contribute to the artistic community and programs of my local area, having grown up in Hurstville and now living in Monterey. As part of my contribution to the community I gave a presentation about my practice and an introductory weaving workshop for local school students. Additionally, the chance to develop connections with the team at the Hurstville Museum & Gallery led to other valuable opportunities including creating designs for the Georges River Council signal box project through Art Pharmacy, developing new interactive work for the post covid lockdown group exhibition “Artbomb: connect + create”, and the opportunity to exhibit the outcomes of my residency with fellow residency artists in the “In the Park” exhibition.

Helen’s creative space in the Artist in Residence cottage

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

You can find out more about Helen’s work on Instagram: @helenamanatiadis

Please feel free to contact Hurstville Museum & Gallery for further information on 02 9330 6444 or museumgallery@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Photos courtesy of Helen Amanatiadis.

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