Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM) housed a record five artists during 2019's Studio Residency program, helping to build the creative capacity in the community.

The program, which has supported 15 artists since its inception in 2012, nurtures emerging contemporary artists to build a body of work in a comfortable and engaging environment.

Last year, artists Sarah Robertson, Annette Nykiel and Jane Whelan immersed themselves in the program, setting a new standard of sharing a single studio space within the gallery. Each artist worked independently during the week, then joined forces to collaborate on the Talking Place: Unfolding Conversations exhibition, held at the Alcoa Mandurah Art Gallery in May/June alongside three other artists.

Whelan enjoyed the residency opportunity so much - a quiet, dedicated place to contemplate, experiment and complete new work – that she reapplied for this year's program as a solo artist.

The two other artists in residency for 2019 were Alana Grant and Chelsea Turner. A 'passing of the keys' ceremony was held in January to farewell outgoing artists and welcome the new residents.

This year from January to March, Whelan is back in the studio, taking time to develop site-specific works for an up and coming exhibition. “Now as I work on site I am coming to the realisation that my subject is often not the object of focus but the sensory awareness of the space; the water and its response to the air around it,” she said.

Local emerging artist Amy Henderson will use her July to September residency time to showcase her work and have conversations with the community, learning more about the contemporary topics people are interested in. “Each subject has a story, as does each client, and I enjoy the opportunity to learn these stories and provide my own interpretation in art form,” she said.

Trev Blyth will finish off the year from October to December. Blyth is no stranger to the Mandurah creative community, and completed a 12-month artist residency at CASM in 2017, followed by his first solo exhibition, Primal Connection.

Having taken a break from his artwork practice for the last year, Blyth is excited to dust off his paint brushes and continue exploring his spiritual connection with nature, symbolism, mythology and the forces of the elements, with a focus on the Australian land and seascape.

The 2020 residency artists, plus a youth artist to be announced in March, will have the opportunity to exhibit their works in a shared exhibition at CASM in 2021.

In an exciting first for CASM, 12 artists who have been part of the residency program over the years will return this year for the Transition exhibition. This showcase will explore how the residency experience has changed their art practices, methods and concepts.

For more information of the Studio Residency program and CASM, go to or call the Gallery Development Officer on 9550 3989 during office hours of 9am – 4pm, Wednesday to Friday.