Artists make themselves at home in creative hub

Artists make themselves at home in creative hub

Interactive electronic performances and drone photography are some of the projects emerging Sydney artists will focus on while in residence at low-cost studios in the heart of the city.

The City of Sydney has welcomed a fourth group of tenants to its affordable artist studios on William Street in Darlinghurst as part of its creative live/work spaces program.

For the next 12 months, the artists – who work across fields including music, writing, electronics and ceramics – will develop their own bodies of work and collaborate on projects with other members of Sydney’s creative community.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she was pleased to welcome a new group of artists to the creative live/work program.

“The number one thing our city’s creative community needs is space where they can experiment, test out their ideas and take risks, without fear of not being able to pay the rent,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Our live/work spaces on William Street offer just that – a chance to live among like-minded creative thinkers, space to develop your skills and opportunities to collaborate with some of Sydney’s most exciting emerging artists.

“Previous tenants in this program have gone on to achieve national acclaim and create influential bodies of work – I can’t wait to see what this new group of talented artists comes up with.”

The City received a record 46 applications for the 2017–18 program. An expert panel of creative industry representatives selected applicants based on their creative practice, the artistic merit of their work and the potential for collaboration with the other tenants and the broader creative community.

The artists are:

  • Rainbow Chan – a musician and visual artist whose performances and installations explore the intersections between mass culture, diaspora and globalisation. Rainbow, who won FBi Radio’s Northern Lights competition in 2011, is classically trained in saxophone, piano and choral music.
  • Pia van Gelder – Pia van Gelder – an electronic artist, researcher and curator who designs and builds electronic instruments that take shape as interactive installations and performances. Pia has completed residences in Indonesia and Japan and runs Dorkbot Sydney, a meeting for people ‘doing strange things with electricity’.
  • Tully Arnot – a visual and interdisciplinary artist who produces kinetic sculptures, installations, videos and photography that focus on the cultural effects of technology. Tully has shown work in exhibitions across Australia, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Italy, China, Russia, and New Zealand.
  • Giselle Stanborough – a multidisciplinary artist and performer whose works explore the relationship between connectivity and loneliness in today’s media landscape. Giselle’s latest work, which explores how dating apps are changing relationships, is on show at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • Candy Royalle – a performance artist and writer who blends storytelling, poetry and musical performance. Candy has performed at the Sydney Writer’s Festival and Australian Poetry Festival, and has toured across Australia, Europe, the US and the UK.
  • Amelia Dent – a ceramic artist and designer who handmakes both sculptural artworks and functional tableware, featuring with distinctive marbling effects and geometric patterns. Amelia’s work is available in design stores across Australia, as well as in the UK, Japan and Singapore.

New tenant Rainbow Chan plans to spend her time in residence on William Street developing an album and rehearsing a new live set, as well as expanding her practice to textile making.

“This program has been great so far as it’s provided me with a conveniently located space for composing and collaborating with others,” Rainbow said.

“Being a DIY musician and producer, having my studio in my living space has allowed me to be very productive and focused. I’m looking forward to the rest of my time here and honing my skills and artistic interests.”

The six studio units on William Street include a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and artist-in-residence workspace. Rent paid by the artists is substantially lower than commercial rates for the area.

Emma Ramsay, a participant in the previous round of the program, spent her tenancy developing an online radio station, Source Material.

“The residency gave me a year-long timeline to focus on taking my online radio project from an experiment to a collaborative, ongoing exploration,” Emma said.

“Living alongside other artists also gave me an insight into their practice, which I enjoyed – particularly the way they approach creative practice in a city with such exploitative rents.”

Other previous tenants have gone on to win major state and national awards, national and international scholarships, commercial representation, international residencies and work with internationally acclaimed contemporary artists.

The six live/work spaces are part of the City’s William Street creative hub, which also houses the Australian Design Centre, Hub Sydney and 500 square metres of top-floor creative office and work space, with new tenants soon to be announced.

For more information on creative spaces in the City of Sydney, visit

For media inquiries or images, contact Media Team Leader Keeley Irvin. Phone 0448 005 718 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, phone 02 8974 4165 or email