In 2008 the Sydney Heritage Fleet in conjunction with the Australian Society of Marine Artists inaugurated an Artist in Residence programme. The Sydney Heritage Fleet museum recognises that Marine Art is an important adjunct to its core activities of the recording of maritime history and events and restoration and operation of historic vessels.
The selected artist spends three to four months at the Museum sites on a minimum basis of, say, three days per week. The museum provides secure studio space on the top deck of the historic Sydney harbour ferry Kanangra, which is berthed adjacent to the Museum’s restoration and maintenance yard in Blackwattle Bay. The artist is given freedom of the site as well as other museum locations, to choose and record activities and is given the opportunity to travel in museum ships when they are operating. They are interviewed for the Fleet’s magazine and the ASMA newsletter, and the ends with an exhibition of work produced during the tenure.
The aim is for the artist to feel a part of the Museum’s work force, which is generally made up from volunteers, and that he or she would involve them in the AIR programme and activities.
Artistic style and skills
The artist’s style and skills should be appropriate to the objectives of the programme. As a guide, the work should fall within the limits of representational and impressionistic art. Work of an extreme contemporary or abstract nature will not be favoured. Strong figure drawing skills will be highly regarded. It is expected that up to 80% of the completed work will depict Museum activities. The remaining 20% will reflect the artist’s choice of maritime subjects but not necessarily associated with the Museum.
Applicants may be of any age and initial selection will be by the scrutiny of three photographs* (see below) of recent work, together with a written submission of no more than 700 words, stating why you would like to take part, and how you intend to contribute to the success of the programme.
Whilst the applicant may submit a CV stating art background and awards, etc., final selection will be by an interview when the original work of the finalists will be viewed.
* Photographs must be of high resolution and no smaller that 10cmx15cm. No slides please. Do not include the frame and do not use flash when photographing.
At the conclusion of the residency the Museum will host an exhibition of the work produced and receive an agreed commission on sales. One painting will be retained by the museum for its own collection.