Gary Freemantle has arrived!

International artist, Gary Freemantle has arrived in Ashfield, and will be staying at Thirning Villa until the first week of 2015.  Gary hails from Aotearoa, more commonly known as New Zealand.

The main project that the artist wants to undertake is to create new artworks and paintings using the natural coloured earth oxides that exist in this region.  Gary has already created a body of work using materials collected on a trip to Mt Victoria and Blackheath in the Blue Mountains.


A showing of this work will be held at Thirning Villa from Wednesday 10th December 2014 to Saturday 13th December 2014.  

Open studio

The next open studios will be held on Saturday 15th November 2014, 1pm to 3pm and Tuesday 25th November 2014, 11am to 2pm.  


There is also a workshop planned for Sunday 23rd November 2014 from 1pm to 4pm at Thirning Villa, 40 Arthur Street Ashfield.

This painting class will help you free up with paint and make discoveries that will surprise you.  Our main objective will be to have fun and learn something new.  

Gary has many years teaching experience where he has helped to draw out from students creative new ways of working that enable them to produce spontaneous, colourful and exciting paintings.

Working together as a group we also gain much from other things people are doing in the class and from demonstrations or examples provided from Gary.

All levels of experience are welcome.  Please bring with you photo examples of your work and drawings or reference material of things that interest you.  

Any level of experience is welcome from beginners to advanced.  All that's needed is an open mind.  Materials provided.

Bookings for this workshop are essential:

Eventbrite - Action Painting - Your Way

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 02 9716 1866 or email