Artist Residency - The Sunseeker
by Taylor Priebe·
The team at Braer Studio were very lucky to be invited to stay at the Sunseeker Hotel as artists in residency. Over the course of 3 days - we sunk into reflection as we revisited what inspires us creatively, together as a team.
We are constantly in awe of the infinitely diverse flora of this area. This residency allowed us to close, and more importantly re-open our eyes to the environment we are lucky to reside on: Bundjalung Country.
Our residency took place at the end of August. A month many of us know to be winter in the traditionally European 4 season calendar. The Arakwal people of Byron Bay are guided by a 6 season Calendar, changes led by the land.
Changes of season are not marked by the passing of specific dates. But rather, changes of season are influenced by rainfall, temperature and the behaviour of plants and animals. Subtle variations that are only marked when tuned to the land encompassing you.
August is during Yarrgehmbu (windy season). Listen here.
As part of our residency - we designed and created an installation for the Sunseeker Library. Foraging began roadside as we searched for sword grass / saw-sedge: Gahnia Sieberiana. A lush, bright green and whispy material we had access to in abundance. We chose this grass to echo the windy season upon us. This grass, native to swamps and low lying coastal areas, is extremely sharp and aptly named.
This grass has extensive functions. The white leaf bases are edible. The small red seeds (G. grandis) can be milled to produce flour. Dead leaves can be buffed to make tinder. Large bundles of leaves can be used as thatching for natural shelters. Lastly, large bundles were traditionally used to make floating pontoons and canoes.
One morning we collectively we walked around the property. We followed the quiet. We followed the noise. And we took a brief minute to acknowledge our place in the moment. We acknowledged our place on this land. We acknowledged our place in season.
One of my favourite Josef Pieper quotes reads:
"Furthermore, there is also a certain serenity in leisure. That serenity springs precisely from our inability to understand, from our recognition of the mysterious nature of the universe; it springs from the courage of deep confidence, so that we are content to let things take their course; and there is something about it which Konrad Weiss, the poet, called "confidence in the fragmentariness of life and history."
In celebration of the changing season and the end to our residency we organised a special edition of STILL LIFE - (BODIES) as a series finale. We worked with Hot Mess Studio to create a theatrical and surrealist evening of drawing bodies and plants. The effervescent Yaz Ward guided the event, introducing the myriad of incredible creative looks by Gabby of Hot Mess Studio.
Braer Still Life x Hott Mess Studios held in the library.
This event marked a gentle goodbye to our once weekly STILL LIFE. We have adored marvelling at the beauty of nature and dropping into flow these Saturdays. We look forward to hosting STILL LIFE yet again when the cooler months return.
A massive thank you to The Sunseeker for very generously hosting our residency - it was a dream.
Photos by @yaz_ward and words by Taylor Priebe.