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RESTART 2021: OUTBACK RESIDENCIES Menindee, White Cliffs, Wilcannia

West Darling Arts will kickstart 2021 with the program ‘Restart 2021: Outback Residencies’. Artists are invited to apply for one of three Residencies in our outback communities: Menindee, Wilcannia and White Cliffs in Far West NSW.

Residencies in Menindee and Wilcannia are for three weeks of your choice between 18 March and 26 May 2021. The Residency in White Cliffs is for two weeks from 13 to 26 May 2021.

Three artists will be awarded $8,000 to support their residency. Accommodation will be provided to the value of $2,000 in BnB style, self-contained accommodation.

Funds can be used to research or create new work; the only stipulation is that each artist does at least one community engagement event to benefit the local community. For example, the engagement can be a workshop, exhibition, performance, tour or talk, and will be supported by West Darling Arts staff.

Through the Restart 2021: Outback Residencies we hope to begin the process of re-engaging, reconnecting and enlivening our communities following the isolating effects of 2020.

This program is proudly funded by the NSW Government through Arts Restart.

How to Apply

Residencies are open to NSW artists working in any art form, including but not limited to: visual arts and crafts, literature, performance, film and music. Artists are encouraged to discuss their proposals prior to applying.

To apply send the following to rado@westdarlingarts.com.au by 5pm Wednesday March 3, 2021:

  1. Artist CV and contact details (1 page)

  2. Project Description: tell us your preferred location and what you hope to achieve through the residency /

    how you will spend your time (max 2 page).

  3. Budget: outline all costs including, but not limited to: transport, living costs, materials & equipment, and

    artist fee within the $8,000 stipend (please note accommodation is supplied).

  4. Dates: Residencies in Menindee and Wilcannia will be held over three weeks of your choice between 18

    March and 26 May 2021. The Residency in White Cliffs is for two weeks from 13 to 26 May 2021. Projects

    beyond this timeframe cannot be considered.

  5. Proposal for community engagement event: eg. workshop/ exhibition / performance etc. Additional

    funds may be available to cover expenses.

  6. Visual support material (images, video, website)

    1. Up to 10 images of previous work, including a list of images (titles, materials, dimensions, and relevance to project)

    2. AV materials should be provided in standard file format (JPG, MP4, etc)

  7. PLI Certificate of Currency (PLI can be purchased through Regional Arts NSW or NAVA if required)

  8. WWCC: If you intend to work with young people or schools as part of your project, a current NSW

    Working with Children Check is required

  9. Applicants will need to consider how the limitations of distance and accessibility of resources may influence their project, and address this in their application.


For further information or to discuss your application, please contact either:
Cathy Farry, Executive Director | rado@westdarlingarts.com.au | 0487 903 507 Jo Crase, Project Officer | projectofficer@westdarlingarts.com.au | 0429 185 108

Please note, for any accessibility requirements, contact Cathy or Jo to discuss.


Accommodation Residency 1: Menindee

  • Accommodation: Self-catering holiday shack at Sunset Strip, Menindee Lakes, NSW (20km from Menindee)

  • Dates: Residency available for three weeks of your choice between 18 March and 26 May 2021

    Residency 2: White Cliffs

  • Accommodation: Fossickers Den Dug-Out, self-catering accommodation

  • Dates: 13-26 May 2021. Please note that self-catering accommodation is not available in White Cliffs outside

    of these dates.

    Residency 3: Wilcannia

  • Accommodation: Queen’s Head Gallery and BnB, self-catering accommodation. Includes visiting artist studio, workspace and gallery.

  • Dates: Residency available for three weeks of your choice between 18 March and 26 May 2021

About the Communities

The communities are each located at least 11 hours’ drive from Sydney, and between one to three hours’ drive from Broken Hill, the nearest service town.

The selected communities are set amidst some of Australia’s most extraordinary and evocative landscapes. Our diverse National Parks (Mutawintji, Kinchega and Paroo-Darling) preserve these landscapes as a haven for mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and invertebrates.

The traditional owners of the region are the Barkindji Nation, encompassing eight language groups and with connection to Country for over 10,000 years. Explore the exquisitely preserved rock paintings at Mutawintji NP.

The expeditions of intrepid Colonial surveyors (including Major Sir Thomas Mitchell, Capt. Charles Sturt, and Burke & Wills) explored, mapped and claimed the region for NSW. Early settlement and unique agricultural practices followed, and are evidenced at the Woolshed archaeological site in Kinchega NP. Exploitation of mineral wealth had a huge impact on the development of the Far West, attracting new patterns of migration and resulting in harrowing tales of incredible boom and bust.

This background is intended only as a snapshot of the wealth of history and inspiration available in the Far West.

Each Residency project should seek to explore beyond this and respond to the unique communities and/or their environment.

Important Information

It is important to understand that these are remote, isolated communities. Access to basic provisions can be limited. Artists will need to provide their own specialised studio equipment and art supplies.

Whilst each town has a small shop selling basic supplies, Broken Hill is the primary service town for the region. It has several supermarkets, medical services, airport/train/bus depot. Please be aware that pub meals in these small communities do not always cater to alternate dietary requirements.

Applicants are advised to drive or hire a reliable vehicle for the duration of their stay. Many roads are unsealed, especially within the National Parks. Whilst unsealed roads are generally fine for 2WD vehicles, roads can be subject to closure due to weather events and/or deterioration.

Public transport is extremely limited within outback communities with once-daily bus services between Broken Hill, Menindee and Wilcannia. It is not possible to access White Cliffs by public transport.

The autumn months are a good time to experience Far West NSW, as the climate is temperate with daytime averages in the mid-high 20s, though it can be quite cool overnight.

Art Supplies & Services:
Art supplies are limited in Broken Hill. Specialist services include: Spicer’s Office Choice Stationery; Willyama Visual Arts Centre (art supplies); Shutterbug Services (custom photographic printing); Willy Nilly Art (private gallery and art supplies); Broken Hill Potters Association.

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