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 - Ajay Sharma and Stephanie Snider (8 July to 23 July 2016)

Ajay Sharma:  a freelance artist and master Mughal miniature painter of the Rajasthan School who has been supervising a studio of employees and students in Jaipur, India, since 1984.  From 1979 until 1984 he was apprenticed under the direct tutelage of Master Painter Mahendra Sharma in Jaipur, India.

Ajay is an expert in the field of Mughal miniature painting, conservation and copy work.  He has formidable knowledge in the research, preparation and practice in pigments, composition and drawing, brushes and gold leaf.  He specialises in all types of miniature and mural painting including Tantra painting, Rajput Painting, Kota School and Jaipur School, Rajput and his practice spans new creations, collaborations, traditional style, portrait painting and commission work.  His major preservation and conservation projects include the Heritage Hotel Samode Palace and the Multan Estate in Jaipur, India.

On Saturday 23 July 10am-1pm Ajay will run a painting demonstration in the Ashfield Library 260 Liverpool Road Ashfield at the table in adult fiction. He will also show a series of miniature paintings at various stages of completion. Ajay will be assisted by Francine Haywood, a long term student of his.

You are also welcome to come to a Chai and Cheerio at AirSpace Projects from 3pm-5pm 10 Junction Street, Marrickville on the same day

Stephanie Snider:  an artist and American academic who aims to create works that envelop and project the viewer into a hypothetical place, much like a literary work.  These fictional places are meant to evoke a physical landscape as well as a psychological state.  She sees her sculptural projects as a hybrid of architecture, furniture and theatre design, employing references from diverse sources such as romantic landscape traditions, fairy tales, historical decorative arts and theatre.  Her paintings and drawing/collages also tap into similar imagery, often affecting a two-way transit between media, allowing each form to be influenced by and informed by the other.  

Both artists will be exhibiting at AirSpace Projects 10 Junction Street Marrickville from 8 July to 23 July 2016.  The opening will be held on Friday 8 July, 6pm to 8pm visit

Enquiries to 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.