I’m on a residency in glass walled building suspended on the side of a mountain, with an adjoining commercial kitchen.


This space was designed for special functions. The owners would like to open it up for weddings, and it really would be an amazing place for such things. The owners generously offered this residency as part of an award I won last year. The building is at the far end of their property up a very steep windy private road.  The drive up is a reminder that it is wonderfully isolated. Once you are here you want to stay.


With the great kitchen facilities I can’t help but find myself pacing my days by what we will next cook and next eat. I arrived here after an intensively busy year and am finding the relative isolation of the property, the extraordinary views and the uninterrupted day, a welcome challenge to the pace I have been leading.


I have time to think, read and reflect.  This is day 3 and I am getting the swing of it, I think. Frustratingly, but perhaps intentionally, I forgot the charger for my mobile phone. I did bring a lot of books (I have finished one and started 2 more), my laptop, music, food, some wax and wax tools, sketchbook and my partner Nick (also an artist).


There is something quite special about being located away from my usual demands. I somewhat guiltily left my colleagues to help the graduates pack up their final exhibition. Thank you Cath and Katie.


Did I mention there is no TV? The sun shines in from just after 4am and so that seems like a good time to wake. As of yesterday we have watched fires from a thankfully safe distance. 

Based on previous experience, my ideas through the residency will flow and develop and it won't be until I am back in my own studio that I will really make sense of the experience.

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Comment by Paola Raggo on December 12, 2013 at 10:48pm

That would be lovely!  But this last days will by busy busy for me, I'm dismantling my house and packing everything.

Are you in south bank next week? I'll try to visit you before I go.

Comment by elizabeth shaw on December 11, 2013 at 7:53pm

Hi Paola

I have been meaning to ask you the same question - when are you leaving? We want to have you and your family around for a meal before you go. I'm conscious that this year has gone quickly and I have been ridiculously busy so we haven't had as many chances to catch up as I'd hoped. Our year of building is almost over, and the house and studio are less work site, more finished, so it is a good time to visit.

Comment by Paola Raggo on December 11, 2013 at 5:18pm

Fantastic experience Liz!! I can imagine the big challenge this might be for you.

Enjoy and treasure every minute, it can be your own inner paradise in your most demanding days.

When are you returning? sorry to disturb you with this question in  this moment so precious.  

But I'm leaving Australia and I wanted to say good bye and thank you for receiving me and introduce me to the lovely Brisbanian jewellery community.

I'm really going to miss you all.

Comment by elizabeth shaw on December 11, 2013 at 4:46pm

OK, the award I won was the 2012 Sunshine Coast Art Prize 3D award. It is an annual Australian national award run by the Noosa Regional Gallery. The prize I received in 2012 was AU$15,000 + a  1 month residency.

I've had a busy year and I was struggling to find 1 clear month, fortunately the owners of the residency venue were happy for me to split the 1 month.  So I am here for an initial week and will come back in the new year.

The residency is high on the side of a mountain overlooking the Queensland Sunshine Coast.

Comment by Brigitte Martin on December 11, 2013 at 7:56am

Good post, Elizabeth. Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experience!

Could you maybe share what award you won, where you currently are and how long your residency will be - I promise, we won't all come down there to disturb you ;-)

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