The residency was an exciting opportunity to focus on my work away from home and the obvious distractions that this can bring. The quiet studios and magnificent views were highly inspiring and peaceful to gaze upon. The changing weather and working harbour were an inspiration to me.
My work at the moment is focused on novel writing and part of this piece is set in Newcastle between the years 1815-1822. I have spent a lot of time imagining the city in these earlier times, using paintings and maps from those days as inspiration. This residency experience was highly significant for my creative work. Being part of the program meant being able to re-imagine and reconstruct the city using the views, the weather, the skies and my imagination from my various studios at the Lighthouse. The sense of history overlapped into the present time and was a cathartic experience.
The residency also brought connections and networking experiences, and, as a creative, this is very important. When working alone as a writer, you can often be isolated. This placement really encouraged chats and special time with other creatives to share work and information about creative practice. This brought new ideas to the way I work and publish my writing.
I found the staff caring and interested in the artists and very helpful. It was one of the most delightful experiences I have ever had the privilege to be part of. For me, walking up to the venue each morning in rain or sunshine, and working silently without distraction, was highly enjoyable and improved my ability to focus and create quality writing. Watching the working harbour, the skies, and being alone with my thoughts brought inspiration and centred me on my writing.
I found the residency an incredible experience and would highly recommend it to any creatives in the future.