Article content

Sydney Olympic Park Residency Announcement

Sydney Olympic Park Artist Residency Announced

Jan 11, 2022

In partnership with Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Accessible Arts is delighted to announce Sharon Degeling as the talented artist selected for the four-week residency extended to NSW and ACT artists with disability or who are d/Deaf. 

Sharon is a practicing artist from the Central West. With a background in education, she currently runs The Art and Craft Room from her studio in rural NSW, delivering workshops in both art and craft practice. Sharon’s own practice includes free motion sewing, as well as the incorporation of printing techniques and dyeing fabrics. Sharon’s work explores the hidden aspects of our lives, the fragments we reveal and the pretending when living with an invisible illness. Having recently completed a Certificate 4 in Mental Health, Sharon is committed to the incorporation of art and health within her community.

This residency at the heritage-listed Newington Armory will provide a unique opportunity to work on her project ‘Invisible Illness’. This project will be about the challenges of living with an invisible illness, that perhaps only those closest to us see. It will explore the smiles we put on for the rest of the world even though we may be drowning in the complexities of our condition, and grieving the loss of functionality, the loss of life and the feeling of brokenness. This project is also about becoming visible, exposing perhaps what we’d rather hide, overcoming the silent screams of ‘I am here!’ even though I am one of the millions missing.

The Newington Armory is a beautiful heritage estate in Sydney Olympic Park. It’s a former naval armaments depot that has been adapted for re-use as an arts, education and heritage tourism venue. The Sydney Olympic Park Authority operates a residency program for artists and has hosted almost 300 artists from 19 countries working across many different disciplines. This is the second residency specifically offered to an artist with disability or who is d/Deaf. 

Accessible Arts Interim CEO Liz Martin says “The facilities provide a range of options for artists with disability to focus on creating art, as well as developing their creative practice. We’re delighted to be working with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority to deliver this valuable opportunity for Sharon.

“We’re absolutely delighted to continue our commitment to access and inclusion in all that we do at Sydney Olympic Park,” said Susan Skuodas, Director, Place Management, Sydney Olympic Park Authority. “Working with our partners at Accessible Arts NSW, we are happy to provide real opportunities for artists with a disability to develop their practice in the context of our existing Artists at the Armory program.” 

Image description: Two earth-toned, free motion sewing artworks are either side of a photo of Sharon. She has long dark hair and stands smiling with her arms folded, surrounded by green, leafy trees.

ENDS