Blue Sky

Project info

We support artists working across art forms to research new place-led work, and develop connections and relationships with place and community.

Blue Sky is an artist-in-residence community engagement model that seeds new work connected to place. Participating artists are actively provoked not to deliver on a project or idea or to make a work during the residency. Rather, they are encouraged to be in process and fruit ideas through meaningful conversation and connection.

The residency is an opportunity for artists to sit – perhaps uncomfortably – in the space of listening, watching and experiencing the place without having to present something at the end of the project.

The inaugural Blue Sky Laboratory took place over two weeks in November 2019 on Chevron Island. We documented the artists’ thoughts and research during the residency.

In March 2021, six local artists were invited to a one-week Blue Sky Lab where they embedded themselves in the Coolangatta community on the Gold Coast. As part of their process, the artists immersed themselves in place – walking the streets, meeting locals and listening to their stories. As well as supporting the artists’ practice, it was an opportunity for community engagement through situating art-making in place.

For Placemakers*, Blue Sky is an opportunity to build relationships with artists and invest in their creative process, in line with our purpose and vision as a professional arts company. We are committed to supporting and growing the cultural ecology on the Gold Coast for professional practising artists.

Interview with 2020 artists, Ngoc Phan and Kate Harman about the Blue Sky residency process.

Interview with Corrina Bonshek about her experience of the Blue Sky residency.


Ngoc Phan and Kate Harman | Image: Jorge Serra
Blue Sky Lab 2021 artists at Coolangatta Scout Den | Image: City of Gold Coast
Blue Sky 2019 | Video: Jorge Serra
Interviews with Corrina Bonshek, Lenine Bourke and Nathan Stoneham | Video: Jorge Serra