Artist residency at Caboolture Hub

The Creative Studios at Caboolture Hub provides local artists and creative industry professionals access to low-cost studio space to develop their creative business in a professional and supportive atmosphere. The Creative Studios aim to support the continued growth and development of arts and culture within the Moreton Bay Region and showcase the region's talented and diverse creative community. Four studios are available, each specifically designed to act as a business incubator giving local artists an opportunity to develop their creative business in a professional and supportive atmosphere. 
- Moreton Bay Regional Council Site Induction Checklist

I began a 5 month Creative Residency at Caboolture Hub this week and I'm excited! It feels like a space full of potential and light, a space to go to focus on art making outside a sometimes crazy life and a space for connection. On Tuesday 2nd February, I met with Melissa Western, the Cultural Programs Officer at Moreton Bay Council for an orientation to the place: she showed me around, gave me the swipe card key to my studio, told me how it all works, gave me the lowdown on parking (very important!), air-conditioning (need to bring my polar fleece) and I signed a bunch of forms. I also waded through a long and dreary computer induction course that covered such essential topics as bomb threats, electrical outages and workplace health and safety. Caboolture Hub is a "learning and business centre" and has an art gallery (closed for renovations over the next few months unfortunately but it feels good to be so close to a dedicated venue), a library, seminar and workshop rooms, a recording studio (currently closed due to Covid restrictions but WOW), a concert venue (called The Vault, amazing acoustics... kind of like a half amphitheatre indoors and outdoors with a giant glass door that opens fully) and a cafe. I can use the studio during library opening hours and my plan at this stage is to be there Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays creating um... something (no idea what yet).

Since last week, I've been organising logistics and setting up my new studio (number 5). It's well used, there's paint on the floor and the walls and Melissa said they could clean it and paint it for me but I said not to worry - I'd get too precious about making a mess if it was pristine when I moved in. And this way, I don't have to do an exhaustive clean when the residency is over. Basically, the studio is a cement box fish bowl that feels empty and full of potential. I moved in some furniture (trestle table, chair, comfy contemplation lounge and lamp), a few books and all my art materials, bought some tea and a mug from home and some cheap blinds from IKEA that stick to the windows. The latter was a priority as the studio is on the ground floor with folks walking past and it feels too exposed for any deep inner exploration. I met the three other artists working from the Hub and checked out their studios and we had several cups of tea together: Rhonda paints landscapes in oil, Gavin photographs the Glass House Mountains and people in black and white and Sean is a cartoonist turning his hand at painting. Definitely lots of opportunity for nourishing chats around the water cooler (don't get that at home!). Pictures below (note to self: parking restrictions are VERY important. Everyone I've met thus far has warned me about it and each time I've been to the Hub I've seen the guys in fluoro vests out marking tires so I'll set an alarm move my car every 3 hours. A $72 parking fine would suck).

On my inner process, I've been finding myself feeling varying degrees of fear around my ability to commit to showing up to my studio. It's been several years since I've worked outside the home and outside the academic world of the full-time student and I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it. It's an hour drive to Caboolture in the morning and an hour home again in the afternoon. There's time-management, logistics and things like packing a lunch to think about and plan. There's family to organise. There's rediscovering skills of focus and boundaries to create the routine of my "job" in the studio. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed about the intensity and volume of the work ahead with all these events coming out of my ears. Will I drop any balls?? Which ones?? New ground. I'll see what happens. On top of this, I'm also feeling grateful and excited to have been given this opportunity to step into a professional and productive space and a professional and productive sense of self as an artist :)

The write up about me that went out in the Moreton Bay Artsnews this week.