Curtin Springs Paper – Artist in Residence Program

Upcoming Artists

Have a look at the list of incredible artists that are coming to spend some time here as part of our Artist in Residence Program. Plan to visit us during their stays!

Please support the artists and their work by liking or following them on social media, saying hello and coming to a workshop or artist talk, and tag Curtin Springs Paper in your post about your experience!

Keep up to date with the happenings through the residencies in Our News, and on our social media pages.


Karen McCrone – 16th to 31st March 2019

Artform – Eco dyeing and book making

On a recent Central Australian trip I collected the odd leaf or two from the ground, and ‘pressed’ them in the novel I was reading.  On my return to Tasmania I had a dyeing day and remembered my leaf collection from the Centre.  Wow.  The colours and patterns produced most vibrant and different to my usual cool climate foliage.

Dyeing results differ significantly when using rain water as against sea water.  I wonder what effects and differences might be attained using the waters from the variety of bores on Curtin Springs station?



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Sally Baldwin – March 2019

Artform – Textile and Collage

I am a textile, collage and fine artist, and my work takes its inspiration from natural forms – landscape, flowers, botanical structures. I enjoy working both two and three dimensionally and  am interested in colour, texture, changing light, layers and lace like structures. I usually work in papers and silks, using stitch, fabric manipulation techniques and collage. I have developed a technique of stitching paper to create flower and plant forms, which I then apply to backgrounds of coloured and manipulated papers to make flower collages. I also use hand coloured silks and papers to build up layers and impressions of distance and receding horizons in landscape pieces.

I originally worked in fashion, setting up my own label of silk and fine cotton lingerie and nightwear. I later returned to education and spent fifteen years teaching Art/Textiles in Further Education but I now concentrate on my own work, exhibiting and running occasional workshops. I am lucky enough to to live and work in Devon in the beautiful South West of the UK where the landscape, gardens, hedgerows and footpaths  are a constant source of  inspiration.  However I also enjoy travelling, and love the plants and landscape of the Mediterranean and Australia.

I am really looking forward to spending time in the extraordinary landscape around Curtin Springs, so different to what I am used to – in scale, remoteness, light, temperature, and flora and fauna.   I am very interested in the paper making process, and love the idea of this as a farm diversification project.  I have lots of ideas about how to incorporate some of the Curtin Springs papers into my own work, whilst also introducing some of my processes to Curtin Springs visitors.  The opportunity to be able to work here as a visiting artist, meeting the Severin family,  all their visitors to the farm, and other artists, as well as gaining an understanding of how the farm works, is wonderful.’


Isabelle Arciero-Mahier – March 2019

Artform – Visual Artist Textile Designer Poet

As a French visual artist, painter, and textile designer of silk cocoon laces «metamorphoses » and also as a poet (and extensive traveler and curator of international exhibition) my creative work and artistic research go through moments of volcanics outbursts ; they reflect my inner emotions and they need to express themselves through what I name my own « Texte Île » (the island text) and then turn to the words and lines of my poetry making them an intricate part of the image : this can be through exhibitions, workshops, fashion show…including the 5 senses to open art to everyone. Scented books of cocoon petals and sculptures in cocoon paper and silk threads are disseminated all along my personnal paper path which started in 1995 with the complicity of the Richard de Bas Mill House (a 15th century museum) which faithfully accompany my work wherever i go.
My mission consists in making the link with other creators, with children, adults
whoever they are and wherever they live, so as to stage magical moments of dicovery.
Tradition, innovation, passion for the respect of every culture and the nature.

Art has this elevating capacity to break limits and boundaries ; one has to just try, dare and has to cross the paper and silk’s roads of other people weaving along.
« Weaving » a paper from Richard de Bas from Ambert in France to the Curtin Springs
Paper from Curtin Springs in Australia is a new story to tell full of poetry to come alive with a special perfume : the universal art language….by sharing our culture through new creations inspired by a fantastic environment to come »
I am really looking forward to it.

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Heather Matthew – 12th April to 29th April 2019

Artform – Papermaker and mixed media artist

I am a papermaker and mixed media artist whose work explores material and environmental resonance, vibrations both visible and invisible which connect humans with each other and the non human world. These are expressed through prints, artist books and multi media installations.

My existing papermaking practice primarily uses banana plant fibre as well as recycled cotton, linen and hemp clothing. These papers are determined by my current projects, including community paper and print workshops. I am drawn to projects which explore interconnection, between people, places and the cosmos.

Paper is itself an active material, providing its own sounds and images. I interact with paper through making it, handling it, walking on it, printing on it, moulding it into forms or entering into a collaboration with the material and environment to create marks.

For many years I created a small paper collage every day, stitching scraps of paper and paper ephemera like train tickets, torn posters, old prints and repurposed book pages onto a 10cm square piece of paper. A year of these stitched collages was exhibited at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in Murwillumbah in 2011.

More recently I have recorded sounds made during the process of making paper and the subsequent images created from playing these sounds into water. As an offshoot of this research I am now focused on translating the sounds of birdsong and human speech into visual graphics and incorporating these into woven paper artist books.

Kneading and crinkling handmade paper using a Japanese momigami technique has extended my paper art into 3D forms which are also an exciting new direction for my arts practice.

I am looking forward to interacting with the people and desert flora of central Australia to create a stitched and momigamied paper rug connecting fibre, people and the local environment.  I am also especially looking forward to being in residence at the same time as another fibre artist, to share ideas and to learn about papermaking with the papermakers of Curtain Springs. This will give me a great opportunity to experience how Australian native grasses can be incorporated into my own work.

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Samantha Tannous – 12th April to 29th April 2019

Artform – Sculpture, fibre art 

I am a fibre artist living and working on the pristine NSW South Coast. The Australian bush and coastal landscapes are an intrinsic part of our identity, informing our lifestyles, and influencing our notions of light and colour. The bush and the sea undergo constant transformation, revealing new sights and treasures for those who look. My bowerbird nature comes to the fore and is evident in the bowl of banksia cones, the vase of stones, the pile of metallic, translucent shells and the driftwood that sits by the front door, continuing to bleach and age.

Currently inspired by all of that and more, my fibre sculptures aim to capture moments of beauty and transition in the Australian landscape. The textures, the rich colour palette and the complex forms are both a challenge and a natural fit for felt and fibre, which are blended, shaped and manipulated into abstract representations to evoke a memory of our landscape.

As a feltmaker primarily, I am also interested in incorporating other natural fibres into my works, by experimenting with the relationship that wool forms with other materials – such as the plants that form the basis of the Curtin Springs paper products, and indeed the papers themselves.

Instagram – curiousweaver

Kaz Madigan – Curiousweaver Studio

1st to 15th September 2019

Artform – Handweaving and constructed textiles

I have been weaving for most of my life, continually fascinated by threads that interlace and twist. But my curiousity has been greatest in discovering why people weave in such different ways and with such different tools around our world. I’m always astounded by human ingenuity.   Humans weave to make life more comfortable or meaningful . Textiles are mostly flexible, warm, cooling, functional or decorative…they are the good things in life and continue to be.

I now focus on Saori free weaving. This is an approach to weaving which originated in Japan and emphasises the human spirit and it’s innate ability to create. It gives us permission, if we need it, to utterly immerse ourselves in creating with yarns and fibres. I guide weavers in this approach while maintaining my love and exploration of all woven structures…historic and contemporary.

I am the author of the Australian Weaving Book and have written for many craft magazines over the past 30 years.  I continue to teach and share my passion for the woven cloth.

I am looking forward to the colours, textures, space, people and culture…  all woven together in the middle of Australia.

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Janina Liddell – September 2019

Artform – Mixed Media

I make work that ranges from abstract interpretations to representational work.   When working on more abstract work,  I believe it is important not to control too much but to allow an intuitive response to the unexpected and to keep the energy alive in the painting.  I am trying to communicate feelings and experiences, memories, colours.   When working on representational work my style can vary depending on the subject and the desired outcome.

Currently I am working on a series of abstract works and developing some drawing research for a series of nudes.  I also work on commissions eg currently I am working on a portrait,  prior to this commission I worked on a painting of someone’s house and garden and before this a painting for a couple who had been married for 50 years and wanted an abstract interpretation of their union and their offspring.

I mainly work in acrylics and mixed media – at times using collage elements and embedding objects and paper and glass into my work.  I work on a variety of subjects from landscape to florals to still life to abstracts with an occasional portrait.  I also work on clay sculptures at least annually.

I would like to connect with a part of Australia that I have not experienced before.  I wish to respond to this environment and produce artwork stimulated by and with this new environment for me.  I would like to learn and grow my art practice, drawing from within me and to use some of the local papers and grasses in my artwork – to push me into a new direction and to share my work and processes with others.

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Tamara Russell – 2019

Artform – Textile Artist

Tamara Russell is a Textile Artist specialising in free machine embroidery and hand stitching based in Brunswick, Melbourne.

I explore my surroundings and interpret what I see through the medium of embroidery. In my works composition, I combine light, colour, shape and texture to recreate images that inspire me. I consider myself a painter using thread, an artist painting with a needle. My work has been exhibited in the United Kingdom and Australia.

My practice engages with the natural environment recreating the images and shapes in my embroidered works in both 2D and 3D form. I am not primarily a photographer but my photos are invaluable to me as a record of composition, colour and detail, supported by my sketches. Photos are my starting point as I explore my subject matter directly onto fabric, painting with a needle and thread.

Each piece uses photography, watercolour painting, beading, fabric, soluble backing, machine stitch and/or hand stitch, either alone or in combination. This creates depth, perspective and richness to the work and combines effectively to give detail and texture.

During my residency at Curtin Springs I am looking forward to learn the papermaking process, gaining an insight into local culture and meeting and working with local artists and to gain skills to incorporate into my own arts practice.

I am also looking forward to creating new work and collecting images and stories to bring home and use to create work reflecting my time spent in Central Australian. I always enjoy opportunities to learn, collaborate and share with other artists.

Previously hosted artists as part of the Curtin Springs Paper Artist in Residence Program

Anna Austin – October/Nov 2018

Artform – Printmaker

I am a printmaker living in Adelaide.I use different processes, like mezzotint, etching and linocut, to create still life images. In 2016 I received funding from Arts SA to attend a papermaking workshop at the Awagami Factory in Japan. I am attending another of their workshops in 2018. It is this interest in making paper from ‘scratch’ that led me to Curtin Springs.

I am looking forward to making paper in the Australian landscape.

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Rachel Anne Buch – October/Nov 2018

Artform – Mixed Media

Rachel Anne Buch is a Sydney based artist practicing in primarily sculptural, installation and performance based work. Her work often focuses on experience as a methodology of appreciating art and explores themes of empathy, desire and emotional connections to childhood, in a range of mediums from ceramics to colourful performance based installations.

Buch graduated from the  National Art School in 2014, with a BFA, majoring in ceramics. Since then she developed her own projects as both artist and curator, including works and exhibitions for spaces such as the Bondi Pavilion, Glebe Markets, Perry Lane and Gaffa.

I am so excited to be able to visit and work with Curtin Springs Paper. It is a dream come true to be able to work for a short period in Central Australia and to be inspired by the nature and landscape. I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to learn the paper making craft from such talented artists and artisans that reside in CSP.

Facebook – Rhonda Campbell Australian Artist & Printmaker

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Rhonda Campbell- September 2018

I was so delighted to have been offered the residency at Curtin Springs & this great opportunity to learn the skill of paper making with the natural grasses on the station.I found the whole process amazing & loved using the papers in works I created while in the residency.I very much enjoyed your generosity with the time you spent taking me around the station to the many fascinating sites ,such as the clay pans,salt lakes & the trip around Mt.Conner…I feel very privileged to have had this wonderful experience in the beautiful Australian outback.I have returned back to my studios (painting & printmaking)very enthused to make new works for my upcoming solo exhibition at Orange Regional Gallery in 2019.

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Sandra Pearce – July/Aug 2018

From the moment the plane landed at Ayers Rock Airport, my world changed.  Colour, colour, colour – a wonderful change from the blandness of my urban landscape in Brisbane, Queensland.

The timing for my Artist in Residence meant that I was given the opportunity to be involved in cattle property activities, giving me a unique hands-on experience that most ‘city-slickers’ like me will never have.   I gained some new and valuable perspectives on the operations of the property, although a lost a little of my ‘hands-on’ time with my art, so my planned artist book wasn’t finalised during my stay.

I did find time to work in my sketchbook – recording plants, birds and the landscape of Curtin Springs.  I enjoyed working outdoors, sitting on my folding stool, feeling the freedom and the silence.  I’m still day-dreaming of all those lovely Desert Oaks……

The salt lakes and Mt Conner were definitely highlights of my trip.  The family was generous in sharing these natural features of the property with me.  Meeting Peter (Poppa) and spending time with him during his daily routine was also a privilege.  My memories of the hospitality and routine of life at the Homestead will stay with me forever.

So now that the red dust has faded from my boots, its time to get back to my artist book and printing the plates I made during my residency………

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Ann Meyer – August  2018

Being an artist in residence at Curtin Springs was an amazing and inspiring experience!  Every day there was something new to see or do.  I enjoyed the colors, the space, the beautiful sky, the deep red of Mt. Conner at sunrise, everything!  We hiked over several of the salt lakes and saw an incredible view of the stars at night.  Not to mention being able to sketch Mt. Conner from Paddy’s Place and participate in making handmade paper from the local grasses.  The fact that Curtin Springs is a working cattle station was, in my view, one of the things I loved best about the experience:  we were able to ride along in the truck during several trips around the station and we saw a feral camel, emu, a dingo, and a kangaroo (not something we see in the U.S.).  I think one of the most memorable moments was sitting around a campfire on the last night and hearing the wild horses coming in to get water:  it was too dark to see them but we could hear their hoofbeats in the distance.  It was incredible.  All of this has left me with wonderful memories of the outback and inspiration that will stay with me long after the residence is over.

When I look at my artwork now, after the residency, there is a definite “before” and “after” look:  the work is more focused and substantial now–not at all what I was expecting.  I knew that working in ink on the handmade paper would be a wonderful challenge (and it was), and I knew that it would give the drawings a more organic look.  I also knew that my palette would change dramatically from the cool greens and blues of my Wisconsin home to the red earth and sage colored greens of the outback.  But what I wasn’t expecting was the greater substance that the imagery seems to have now, and the greater atmospheric clarity.  I think being in such an incredible and vast landscape, and having the time to focus on art and the surrounding area alone, has given me a greater appreciation for subject in a composition, like Mt. Conner: Mt. Conner really was a strong visual element in one of my more recent drawings.  The artist in residence experience also helped me appreciate the effect of light and shadow–such as late afternoon or early evening light–on mood within the landscape itself.

Overall it was an experience of a lifetime.  I understand now why so many American painters, like Georgia O’Keefe, went to the American west and southwest to paint in the early 1900s.  It was so vast and remote, and beautiful for that reason!  I definitely hope to come back and spend more time in the Australian outback sometime soon. I can’t thank Amee, Lyndee, Ash, Peter, and the entire staff, enough for giving me the opportunity to live and work, very briefly, at Curtin Springs station.

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Ruby Purple – May/June 2018

How was the experience? Life changing!

What was good? What wasn’t haha oh maybe the chapped lips!

Highlights were talking to Poppa about his life, how he constructed the homestead from the Mt Conner Rim Rock, fascinated with the craftsmanship and longevity of his work you all know I am!

The Sunset and moonrise over Swansons salt lake is an unbelievable experience! The textures in the salt, the movement, the surroundings, the stories and information delivery.

The adventures we took were amazing and we always had cake! Everyone loves cake! Every day thinking this can’t get more amazing and then thanking you for another AMAZING day! Just unbelievable!

Being accepted to work as well as create, having the opportunity to shadow and really see how things work and operate on a daily basis.

The overall major highlight is in the way you all talk about your home, such excitement, enthusiasm and respect for the treasures you have and your dedication to its sustainability. Getting to know you all was an absolute pleasure and one I’ll always treasure.

What was unexpected? The sense of place surprised me, I felt so connected. Having time to see, observe, learn, the opportunity to create, and to appreciate this outstanding part of our country.

Was it what you thought it would be?  No, it was so very much more! The experiences, the people, the students, adventures, the food, loved saying ‘What’s for dinner’, the harshness of the land yes this was as I thought it would be although quite a lot more grasses than I’d expected, there’s just something unexplainable about Curtin Springs.

Having done the residency how do you think your art will be impacted by your stay at Curtin Springs? With a practising ethos of ‘Preservation of our Environment’ my Curtin Springs experience has added depth of understanding and been very refreshing and insightful. Future Ruby Purple creations will have connection to the stillness I found amongst the everyday demands of running a cattle station, paper making facility and tourist accommodation. I felt at home, a sense of place, space and a core connection. I aim to convey this grounding in all my future works.

Or anything else you would like to say about what you did, or the experience in general. My residency included a bit, projects with the students, learning paper making and creating a body of works to tour regional Queensland. You could say quite a lot to get through in a couple of weeks!

Working with the students was a highlight, I find great reward in seeing student faces light up as they create, become part of something more, and as they connect.

Creating with paper you’ve made yourself from the cutting of the grasses to scaping handmade paper from the drying boards gives you a genuine connection to the works you produce, and an appreciation of the Curtin Springs desert treasures on offer!


Follow the ‘Outback Connections’ journey as these works visit Queensland regional galleries


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Susan Hoy – April/May 2018

I found the experience ‘all encompassing’ – not just gaining knowledge of the
process of paper making but also of Curtin Springs Station in all its entirety, the
history, the daily running, the cattle, the tourism, managing the fragile landscape
and the daily challenges faced by the people who live there.
As a visual artist with a keen interest in three-dimensional paper sculpture, it
was extremely beneficial to me to learn the process of paper making from the
collection of plants in the landscape to the finished product.
Before I arrived, I was hopeful of utilizing some of the pulp in the mill to
experiment with and this was easily attainable. With the use of the space and
materials in the paper mill and the equipment I had brought with me I was able
to create three-dimensional works on a small scale, which revealed the potential
of both the plant fibres and pulp and other inclusions.
The use of the paper room was valuable as a dry area to work with the Curtin
Springs papers. It takes time to experiment when using new materials and to see
their potential and to progress inspiration and ideas.
I acknowledge and am grateful for the amount of time generously given to show
me around the Station and talk about the landscape, and to stop and look and
take photographs. This has had a huge impact and will be vital to subsequent
work I produce.
Highlights include the Full Moon Walk on Swanson’s Salt Lake, the bbq at Amery
with the sunset over the south west of Mt Conner and the starry sky, stopping at
the Half Way Tree, and the various tours around the Station including the sunset
on the rim rock and alternative views of Mt Conner, also the sunset from the
sand dune and textures in the ‘supermarket’.
Watching and learning from the cattle drafting have helped me understand some
of the hard work and dedication involved in the industry and although
challenging for me at times has given me a deep respect for the way of life.
On the whole, it was a much more intense experience than I had imagined it
would be. The environment and style of living was totally different to my way of
life and I did feel complete overwhelm at times. However, being able to step into
the daily life of the Station – and not just see it as a tourist – has been a privilege.
During the Residency I was able to do a lot of experimenting with the Curtin
Springs papers, interpreting my inspiration from the local landscape using
techniques I already knew and some new ones (eg. rust transfer and stitching
using the bangtails). I will now go on to develop my ideas further into finished
artworks. The three dimensional vessels I created at Curtin Springs will be
finished pieces once sealed.
The colour palette is very different from my work to date and this will be
reflected in some gouache paintings, which I will be creating from my sketches
and photographs taken on site.
I will be promoting my work created as a result of my Residency at Curtin
Springs by way of an exhibition, which I am planning in 2019.
After the residency, I now see myself experimenting with the process of papermaking
from raw materials in addition to re-cycled ones. I am especially
interested in cooking the raw materials to the stage of fibres and incorporating
these into my current three-dimensional work.
I am also interested in developing my printing skills using both the Curtin
Springs papers and perhaps papers I may create from raw materials myself.

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Veronica Hodges – March 2018

The overall experience of this residency was an amazing opportunity to get away to a unique area of Australia I have only briefly encountered before. The gorgeous colours, textures and dry climate in remoteness is the first obvious sign of difference. Kathy Carter of Recycle me Cards (my co-artist-in-residence companion and fellow
papermaker) and I were warmly met by Amee Porter and co-Artist-in-Residence and artist Jasmine Jan and given a private tour of Ayers Rock, the cultural centre and a few stops along the way to begin exploring the grasses of the desert which are used for Curtin Springs Paper. The following days discovering the environs of
the area, more of Curtin Springs Station, the Moon Walk and sense of tranquillity which can be experienced here far away from the demands and rigours of modern living which was so rewarding and rejuvenating.

The air conditioned accommodation was generous, private with ensuite, a double bed and a spare single bed for laying out art supplies! A fold out table enabled late night private workings and a space to let things dry untouched. The caterings of Mr Ram, Trisha and staff in the kitchen was more than expected with tasty different meals provided daily. The staff were lovely and helpful. The Severin family was generous in their time taking us around the station to check on bores, stock and give plenty of opportunity for photos of this rich, vast unique land. The flies being my only negative so bring a fly net, swaggy hat with corks or whatever works!

Amee was giving in her time to show us her processes of bead making both rolled variety, round and rusting techniques. We also learnt her ways of rusting techniques which was interesting and compliments the textures of the landscape for future work.

The views while out harvesting the grasses, the diversity of the environment, the textures and colours, all enriched my stay and experience. The papermaking processes, fibres used and workshop experience all different to my own style which was interesting. The papermaking experience differing as it is part of the tourist industry which is fast paced and constant. Each artist is different and I can see huge potential for the mill, the
processes and developments which could further enrich the experience and education of people to reduce, reuse and rethink everyday items with a view to conservation and regeneration of our resources which is a message I share with my students and my workshop attendees.

The natural gifts of the region abound with wild flowers, fauna like the dingo below and many bird species in their natural environment co-existing happily with a large cattle station living off the land together. A unique experience was to collect the bones of feral camels to be repurposed to the Territory Wildlife Park for the children’s Megafauna playground with Jasmine Jan. As part of the Territory Wildlife Park’s Artist in the Park
for 2018 also, I look forward to seeing this develop and use the bones for some future inspired artworks.

I enjoyed the opportunity to create a few small pieces while there and had the chance to use Curtin Springs Paper to create a lampshade, greeting cards, bowl and a keepsake book. With the hundreds of photos taken while there, I can use the photo references to incorporate more Red Centre pieces for a group exhibition in 2019 to express a small part of the beauty of the region. The whole experience was hugely worthwhile,
rewarding and enriching to my own practice. Thanks Amee, family and Staff of Curtin Springs for this great opportunity to share your home.

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Kathy Carter – March 2018

The Artist in Residence experience was an amazing opportunity to see how a cattle station in the desert country near Ayers Rock is managed. That was unexpected; I did not think we would see so much of the property and how it operates. The colours of the landscape, the birds, animals and reptiles were amazing and made for great photo opportunities. To learn about the diversity of Curtin Springs Station that includes not only paper making using the native grasses but guided tours of their property and the facilities and accommodation options available as well in such a remote location was truly remarkable.

Some of the highlights for me were the crunchy walk over the salt lakes to watch the full moon rise, the close up views of Mount Conner, the special BBQ dinner at one of the outstations and just enjoying and observing the busy daily life of the homestead.

The accommodation and meals were wonderful and it was great to have our own room and space at the end of the day to just relax and reflect on the day and the experiences and ideas and what you had achieved or where yet to produce.
On the artistic side being involved with the whole paper making process from harvesting the native grasses, cooking up the grasses and peeling off the finished paper product was rewarding. Using the old abattoir for paper making, and recycling much of the equipment used in this process, shows just how clever and adaptive people on the land can be.

Amee was generous with her time and craft supplies, demonstrating paper rusting and beading techniques, allowing us to use Curtin Springs resources to experiment with additions to our paper making and to produce our own beads, paper, greeting cards, sculptures and even lamp shades. I particularly enjoyed spending creative time with fellow artists in residence artisans, Veronica Hodges and Jasmine Jan from Darwin. Jasmine taught me some simple drawing techniques and Veronica and I spent time experimenting with eco dyeing, using such things as leaves and seeds collected on the property. Veronica and I also produced some nice jelly prints on Curtin Springs paper.

The artist in residence has enabled me to see a completely different landscape and lifestyle to the tropical north where I live. This landscape has provided further ideas, colours and images to incorporate into my greeting cards for my market business Recycle Me Cards and perhaps to diversify into making paper beads as well. I am keen to experiment more with the rusting and bead techniques with my own recycled paper. Seeing on display what other interstate artists and Amee had produced at Curtin Springs at other times was also really inspiring. For instance I would never have thought to include cow bung tails in my recycled paper but I will now!
Thank you to the Severin family and all the staff that work so hard to make Curtin Springs the wonderful and successful place it is and for this artist in residence opportunity.

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Jasmine Jan – March 2018

My two week experience at Curtin Springs station was amazing and too short. I was just getting into the groove and then sadly it was time to go home. The desert landscape is just so foreign and completely exotic for someone who has lived their entire life in the wet/dry tropics. The colours, textures and patterns are just so delicious and will provide me with lots of inspiration for the development of a collection of glass beads based on Curtin Springs Station. I am hoping to incorporate the grass paper beads that I made during my stay at Curtin Springs into the jewellery that I plan to make. I will also be preparing a small collection of watercolour sketches on the beautifully textured Curtin Springs Paper to add to your collection of works using the paper.

Amee, Lyndee, Ash, Poppa and Emma Daisy were all incredibly warm and generous with their time and their knowledge and made me feel like I was part of the Curtin Springs Station family. I felt so privileged and special that I got to see so many incredible places around the station and both Lyndee and Amee provided such detailed information about all the places, the landscapes, the plants, animals, history and stories about the station. It truly felt like an epic adventure. It was fantastic that I got to share the experience with some fellow artists from Darwin (Veronica Hodges and Kathy Carter) it was great to get to know them both a lot better and I look forward to reconnecting with them both back in Darwin and we can reminisce about our Curtin Springs adventure.

Best part of the Residency was seeing the Saltpans, seeing the ever changing face of Mt Conner (it rained while I was at Curtin Springs…..a rare event), visiting the dam, having the bbq at the outstation, seeing wild Bourkes parrots, Major Mitchells AND Budgerigars in full flight, discovering all the amazing plants and animals that live in the desert, learning how to make paper from the grasses at Curtin Springs, exploring Curtin Springs supermarket, visiting the March of the Quandongs, learning about how the cattle station operates and watching as the cattle were released from the water trap yards but most of all discovering the camel graveyard. I am excited at the prospect of building a “Paddysaurus” fossil to be incorporated into the Nature Playground at the Territory Wildlife Park. It will be a beautiful reminder of my time at Curtin Springs and will bring a little bit of the desert to the Top End.

Curtin Springs Station is an amazing place to visit and immerse yourself into a stunning and ever changing landscape. It is a huge privilege to be able the experience this and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.

Deborah Clarke – November 2017

I have been working with Curtin Springs Paper since late 2014, the year the paper mill opened. Curtin Springs Paper featured largely in my 2016 exhibition ‘Flora’. As Artist in Residence at Curtin Springs I was able to carry out some paper experiments I had wanted to do for some time. I am practiced at the process of natural dyeing and eco printing on silk and wool but I was keen to see what results I would get on the hand made paper. So I set up a little studio/lab under cover, outdoors, where I could safely boil up natural dyes and eucalyptus leaves on a camp stove. These were then applied to the hand made paper. The results were fascinating though not always brilliant. So being first and foremost a ‘plein air’ practitioner I turned my attention back to working in the landscape. It was very hot however, being November, not a comfortable time in the landscape really, so I rose early to beat the heat and flies, drawing upon the beautiful dawn colours using pastel pencils (Pitt Pencils) on spinifex paper.  The big skies always delight me at Curtin Springs and we were blessed with some spectacular storms. So I worked each day on drawings of Mt Connor and the so-called ’Halfway Tree’, a singular Desert Oak of magnificent proportions and significance. With tourism being such an important part of the Curtin Springs stable I played with the notions of postcards and narrative, developing a couple of concertina books using handmade paper, that bear reference to old fashioned fold out post cards. I will continue to develop more of these over time. As always I took lots of photos and reveled in the good creative company at Curtin Springs. I worked with Amee helping her develop concepts for textiles and clothing for her entry in Eco Fashion Week in Perth, it was fun! Amee is a courageous creative and it’s always a pleasure to work along side her.

**Deb also has a business called Larapinta Creative Camps, running week long art camps into remarkable and unique places in Central Australia. To have a look at upcoming camps and images and stories from previous camps have a look at the website