Inner West Council

 2017/2018 Round - Applications now open!

The Inner West Council is seeking artists to participate in the 2017/2018 Artist in Residence program. The program is open to all art forms and disciplines. Artists must reside outside of the Sydney Metropolitan Area and international artists are also welcome to apply.

Self contained accommodation is provided in the historic two storey ‘Thirning Villa’ that is located in Pratten Park, Ashfield New South Wales, Australia.  Ashfield provides a rich cultural environment for artists to develop their practice and to work with the community to further the artistic strengths of the Inner West of Sydney. 

Since 2003, over 40 artists from all over Australia and around the world have participated in this unique program.  Painters, poets, sculptors, dancers, film makers, puppeteers and songwriters have visited Ashfield and stayed at Thirning Villa.

The Inner West Council is committed to the vitality of the cultural life of the Inner West and continues to support and lead projects, developments and strategies that support and enhance the growth of a creative, artistic and culturally diverse community.

There are four residencies available between May 2017 and April 2018. 

The closing date for applications is midnight Sunday 14th August 2016. 

For further information click here and to download an application form click Application form

Enquiries to Anthia Hart: phone 61 2 9716 1866 or email

Images:  The Villa & the studio/exhibition space

Current Artist in Residence - Marlene Plunkett

Inner West Council is very excited to announce the arrival on Monday 8 August of artist Marlene Plunkett from Walla Walla near Albury-Wodonga.  Marlene is the first Aboriginal artist to be awarded a residency at Thirning Villa, Ashfield and will be holding open studios and workshops during her three month stay. 

Artist statement: 

Marlene's grandmother was from the tribal lands of Bunganditj, also known as the Boandik Nation, Mt Gambier area in South Australia.  Marlene now lives in the community of the Waradjuri Nation in Albury-Wodonga area and is one of 4 children with 6 children of her own and 10 grandchildren.

Current practice is acrylic paintings and has also done some work in pebble mosaic and sculpture.  Marlene is a full time artist and has had many highlights including her design of the NAIDOC flag for Wodonga. 

'I have a passion for my culture which I display through my paintings, which I like to paint not only the tradtiional stories but also paintings highlighting issues both in the community and from a political view of the slow destruction of my culture since first settlement.  I also enjoy teaching art and culture to non Aboriginal people to give them an insight in to a very old and proud culture.  I have taught pre schools, primary schools, high schools and adults.  I am a trained youth wrker so over the years have enjoyed working with disengaged youth through my art and culture, engaging both Aboriginal and non Aboriginal youth.'

You can meet the artist in a relaxed atmosphere and observe her at work at the following open studio opportunities:

Days & dates:
Thursday, 18th August 2016
Thursday, 22nd September 2016
Thursday, 13th October 2016

Time:  10am to 2pm

Where:  40 Arthur Street Ashfield 2131

For more information please contact Anthia Hart: phone 61 2 9716 1866 or email

What is the Artist in Residence Program?

The Artist in Residence (AIR) program has played an integral role of the Ashfield cultural community for more than 10 years with over 30 participating artists staying at the historic Thirning Villa in Pratten Park.  Established in 2003, the first artist was Andrew Hull from Bourke in North West New South Wales.  Andrew set the tone of the program with workshops for children and generous engagement with the community.  Initially the program was for Australian artists only, but has since expanded to accept international artists as well.

Since the inception of the program, Ashfield Council has hosted painters, poets, songwriters, a puppeteer, film maker, photographers, sculptors, composer, musicians, textile artist, choreographer, writer, protrait artist, book maker, paper maker, letter cutter, choir master, traditional Chinese ink artist, weaver, printer and more. 

Ashfield residents and artists have benefitted greatly from the program by engaging in workshops, artist talks, demonstrations, exhibitions and installations.  The broader community continues to benefit from the ongoing development of the Council art collection with donations made by each artist. 

The program is open to all art forms including but not limited to; visual, photography, film, theatre, performance, experimental, multi-media, sculpture, music and the literary arts with the focus being to provide artists with the opportunity to develop their practice. 

The artist is to include a community development/engagement component in their residency program.

The AIR residency program is open to Australian artists who live outside the Sydney Metropolitan Area, and international artists.  For the purpose of this program, the boundaries of the Sydney Metropolitan Area are defined as the Hawkesbury/Nepean River in the north/north west, and then the outer boundaries of the City of Penrith, Cambed Council, the City of Campbelltown and Sutherland Shire.

For more information phone Anthia on 02 9716 1866 or email     

Past Artists in Residence

The following artists have participated in the Ashfield Council Artist in Residence program.

Please contact Ashfield Council for more information about the Artist in Residence program.