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Image: Michelle Roger, Baw Baw Artist in Residence 2019

Artists in Residence 2019

In May each year, Creative Gippsland hosts an Artist in Residence program.  A town in each Shire across Gippsland partners with an artist.  The artist could work on any art form.  This is an opportunity for an artist to spend 10-14 days in a small town to create work in response to the environment and the host community.

For the host communities, it is an opportunity to spend time with an artist with new ideas and ways of looking at their world. They will learn skills and acquire a deeper knowledge of an art form or artistic practice.

The residency could be akin to planting a creative seed in the town – the outcomes are different for each artist and community. The intention behind these residencies is to develop new cultural networks, share skills and inspiration while encouraging collaboration between different people and communities.

Warragul, Baw Baw - Michelle Roger

The Warragul Community House was the host for Baw Baw 2019 Artist in Residence project and they were so pleased to welcome Michelle Roger
Michelle is a Gippsland Writer and Digital Artist. She devised the project

Since 2015 Michelle has run an Instagram project under the #UpAndDressed hashtag. This project has been used to celebrate the simple victory of getting up and dressed when you have a complex chronic illness. The project has grown over time to allow her to explore digital visual narratives around disability, primarily through the context of fashion with photos taken predominantly in Michelle’s backyard and around her home town of Sale. This project has pushed personal boundaries for composition and content creation with recent pieces having allowed the merging of art practice with visual digital platforms and to engage with various issues affecting the disability community.

The concept behind the Augury and Aether project was partially influenced by the award-winning work of Japanese disabled artist Mari Katamayama and her work as a living sculpture and photographer in her exploration of the self. Michelle said “I want to build upon this concept with the creations of a digital art project that allows for such visual imagery to be complemented by text expanding upon the photographic image and tapping into my writing background. I will bring my background in writing, photography, and performance together for the project.”

The project was hugely successful and drew praise from Michelle’s wide and diverse online audience, who were invited to contribute words to accompany the images created. Striking images of Michelle were linked to profound words contributed by writers and poets.

I Belong

Strong and assured
Rising above the cold cruel world
I command my self
proclaim my peace and independence
beauty and breath my companions
my soul feeds
I have beauty
I am peace

Margot le Page (example of contribution by writer)