In the park: Georges River Artist in Residence 2020 – Tess Mehonoshen

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.

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

Is this the first residency you have undertaken? 

I’ve previously undertaken residencies at House Conspiracy (QLD, 2017), Hill End (NSW, 2018) and Fremantle Arts Centre (WA, 2020).

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

As an emerging artist all the residencies I’ve undertaken have been self funded, so applying for council run/supported programs is really important as there aren’t additional fees attached which would make the opportunity unobtainable. They are also generally well structured and organised, with helpful and friendly staff that are willing to support the artist, and the Carss Park Residency was no exception. The Carss Park program really appealed to me as it had such a unique natural location, being in a bush parkland but also located close to a major city, so you could experience both worlds within the one residency period.

Would you recommend this or other residencies to other artists?

I’d absolutely recommend this residency- it really exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I completely fell in love with the peaceful and beautiful park surrounds, and the staff at the council were beyond supportive to my practice and creative intentions. It was a really crucial time where I could connect to the environment and really focus on making. 

I feel very fortunate that all the residencies I’ve done so far have proved to be amazing opportunities and have really furthered my practice in so many different ways, so I’d recommend them all, particularly Hill End. 

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

I really enjoyed being allowed the opportunity to work in the local community buildings – Carss Cottage, Carss Lifesavers Hall and Kogarah School of Arts to create larger scale works. Access to these kinds of facilities can be very difficult to arrange for time consuming works such as mine, so having the option to create installations on such a large scale was a new and really rewarding experience. It was an avenue I hadn’t considered prior to my time at Carss Park. 

Tess installing her work in the Carss Park Lifesavers Hall. 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 Tess’ work at http://www.tessmehonoshen.com and on Instagram: @tessmehonoshenart

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

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