Affordable lifeline for emerging artists

Six low-cost live/work artist studios are up for grabs next year thanks to a popular City of Sydney initiative.

The one-bedroom apartments in William Street, Darlinghurst are part of the City’s Creative Spaces program, which provides subsidised accommodation and workspaces for creative professionals in central Sydney.

Previous occupants include visual artists and curators, fashion and production designers and filmmakers.

“Sydney’s artists struggle to find suitable affordable spaces in the centre of town, so the City’s William Street live/work studios are a practical way we can support our vital creative sector,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We’re putting out the call for the next generation of talented artists to live and work in these studios, as the current tenants will graduate to bigger things next year.

“Past William Street residents have won national acclaim and built successful creative enterprises, so the next round of successful applicants will have big shoes to fill.”

The six live/work units at 113-115 William Street in Darlinghurst feature a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and artist-in-residence work space. The rent the artists pay is substantially below established rates for the area.

Current William Street tenant, artist, curator and broadcaster, Frances Barrett, said the Creative Spaces program has provided her with a great opportunity to expand her creative practice.

“As an artist-curator-broadcaster, my practice operates outside of usual hours – the apartment has afforded me a flexibility and grounding to be able to work like this. It is my meeting place, my sanctuary, my thinking space, my work space,” Ms Barrett said.

“The Creative Spaces program enables me to connect with and contribute to the Sydney arts community. It’s been a really positive experience and I would recommend other Sydney artists apply.”

Since moving into her live/work unit in William Street Ms Barrett has presented new work at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and participated in the Kaldor Public Arts Projects’ Australian Artist Residency Program with internationally renowned artist, Marina Abramovic. She is currently working on a number of projects and is a presenter on FBI Radio’s weekly arts program, ‘Canvas’.

Expressions of interest will be assessed by an expert panel who will look not only at the artistic merit of the applicants, but also their potential for collaboration and the benefits to the community that could arise from their work during the tenancy.

More information on how to submit an Expression of Interest for the City’s William Street Creative Spaces, including information about an information session at the Darlinghurst property on 23 November, is available at http://bit.ly/1PdFAiB

The deadline for submissions is midnight on Friday 11 December 2015.

For more information on how the City supports creative businesses, including information on the City’s other Creative Spaces in William Street and Glebe, visit http://bit.ly/1PdFAiB

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Liz Stephens.

Phone 02 9265 9106 or email [email protected]

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matt Levinson.

Phone 0499 319 385 or email [email protected]