My residency at Nobbys-Whibayganba taught me many things about the nature of inspiration and the importance of nurturing my creativity. It was a chance to prioritise my creative work and dedicate one day a week to developing my ideas and experimenting with materials and techniques. It helped me to believe that my work as an artist is important enough to be worthy of that time.
As a Novocastrian, this residency was a unique opportunity to access a site that I have grown up with and gazed at from afar. I was able to observe my city from a different perspective, and after the extreme insularity of the COVID lockdowns, I found looking out at such vast expanses of sea and sky invigorating.
All eyes turn towards the lighthouse at Nobbys-Whibayganba, but to my surprise I found myself inspired by other aspects of the site. In the silence of the studios, it was the constant background roar of the ocean that formed the basis of my work. I was also inspired by the white brick walls that circle the buildings and make you feel like you are up in the turret of a castle. I loved the way they divided and defined every view and reflected the light in blinding contrast to the sea and sky.
During my residency I was able to work on a number of projects including weavings made with handspun yarn, embroidered line drawings, and a backstrap woven band using a technique called Baltic pick up. The structure of one day a week for six weeks was perfect for me. As a fibre artist who works with raw materials, it gave me the necessary time to develop a work from concept through to finished product.
I am extremely grateful to Lighthouse Arts for giving me this opportunity. I would strongly recommend this residency program to any artist. It is a chance to develop your work without distraction and to gain inspiration from an extraordinary and picturesque location.