Five creatives selected for Gastronomy Residency Program

Five talented creatives have been selected for a Creative Gastronomy Residency Program at five local businesses and organisations that represent some of the region’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy diverse offerings.

Natalie Ryan, Andre Sardone, Paul Fletcher, Aleshia Ng and Anne Tweed have been selected to complete a workplace based creative residency at Silver Spoon Estate, Bridgeward Grove, the Food and Fibre Centre for Excellence at Bendigo TAFE, PepperGreen Farm and the Bendigo Agricultural Show Society respectively.

Bendigo and the region became Australia’s first designated UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2019 in recognition of its diverse food culture and commitment to local, sustainable, delicious and creative produce.

City of Greater Bendigo Director Strategy and Growth Steve Hamilton said each organisation represented the diversity of Bendigo’s UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy region with residencies offering the opportunity for skill and knowledge sharing across industries.

“I wish to congratulate the five creatives who have been selected for the City-funded residencies at these inspiring businesses and organisations,” Mr Hamilton said.

“These residencies, over a one to three-month timeframe, will focus on creative projects that explore a variety of ideas in food and farming, working across diverse creative mediums including design, drawing, paste-ups, sculpture, installation, experimental film and digital technology.

“The Creative Gastronomy Residency Program has been designed to nurture the region’s creative talent providing time, space, mentorship, financial support and professional development for the creation of new work, research and to produce creative projects in collaboration with local businesses and organisations.

“The City’s Greater CREATIVE Bendigo strategy identified a need to grow partnerships between the creative and business sectors and I am delighted that PepperGreen Farm, Bridgeward Grove, Silver Spoon Estate, the Food and Fibre Centre for Excellence at Bendigo TAFE and the Bendigo Agricultural Show Society have come on board to take part in this innovative program.

“Creatives can stimulate creative design thinking, promote positive organisational culture and assist businesses to connect with their communities in unique and innovative ways.

“I look forward to seeing the creative output from this year’s residencies and the opportunity to learn more about farming, food and creative industries from a different and exciting artistic perspective.” 

Background on the creatives involved in the program

Natalie Ryan’s Creative Gastronomy Residency at Silver Spoon Estate  

Natalie Ryan operates her own creative business developing textile designs and freelance illustration projects under the brand Meander Designs. Her hand drawn and painted designs are inspired by botanical traditions and are digitally transferred to fabric.  Natalie will partner with Silver Spoon Estate, a family owned and operated boutique winery focusing on the production of premium quality wines. Located just outside of Heathcote in Mt Camel, Silver Spoon Estate is 100% off-grid, fully sustainable, with dry-grown vineyards. The property has a rich history and story that Natalie intends to explore through foraged pigments created from the rich Cambrian soil and surrounding landscape.

Andre Sardone’s Creative Gastronomy Residency at Bridgeward Grove

Andre Sardone creates unique sculptures predominately using waste and reclaimed materials. Andre is a keen observer of nature and his artworks are usually a response to the environment around him. Having transitioned from roof plumber to full time creative, Andre accesses his practical skills to create magical worlds that expand thinking about waste and consumption. Andre will work with Bridgeward Grove, a family owned olive grove, farm gate, art space and venue located in Goornong. It’s a fifth-generation agriculture enterprise specialising in lamb, cereals, legumes, oil seed crops and olive production. Andre is keen to learn about olive production and the paddock to plate experience, observing the rhythms of farming and being on country and translating this through the development of three- dimensional forms.

Paul Fletcher’s Creative Gastronomy Residency at the Food and Fibre Centre for Excellence at Bendigo TAFE

Paul Fletcher creates soundscapes, experimental films, animations and more recently augmented reality immersive and evocative experiences for audiences. His films have been screened locally and internationally and his soundscapes included award-winning productions and screen-based works. With a Master’s in Film and Television, Paul now lectures in Animation for Film and Television at the Victorian College of the Arts. As a trained horticulturalist, he has a keen passion for growing and producing edible gardens and permaculture. As resident creative at the Food and Fibre Centre for Excellence at the Bendigo TAFE, Paul will explore some of his key areas of research interests including the abundance and diversity in home grown produce, translating tiny signals from plants into sound and moving image and the use of augmented reality and moving image. This is an opportunity for the horticulture faculty and students to see how creative practice can be applied to their industry.

Aleshia Ng’s Creative Gastronomy Residency at PepperGreen Farm

After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts, Aleshia Ng set up a studio-based practice of painting, printmaking, collage and installation where she predominantly examines the relationship between nature and the human spirit.

As a second generation Australian growing up in the country, Aleshia explores her Australian-Chinese cultural heritage and is interested in the history and use of traditional Chinese symbols and motifs of luck, good fortune and protection. Aleshia will complete her residency with PepperGreen Farm, a social enterprise of Access Australia Group.

PepperGreen Farm is home to the oldest Chinese kiln outside of Asia and the original Chinese market gardens of Bendigo. PepperGreen Farm offers unique opportunities for skill development across a range of areas including microbusiness, horticulture, retail, tourism, hospitality and creative manufacturing and the enterprise is passionate about growing fresh produce and showcasing the culture and heritage unique to central Victoria, through tours and workshops. This residency will enable Aleshia to research the contribution that Chinese market gardeners made on the cultural landscape, and how food symbols are used in traditional Chinese art and craft.

Anne Tweed’s Creative Gastronomy Residency at Bendigo Agricultural Show Society

Anne Tweed is a visual artist who creates large scale watercolour and pencil artworks notable for their colour, realism and tenderness towards their subject. Anne lives on a farm and has her studio is set in this rural idyll, where she creates her artworks. Paddock to Plate is a recent body of drawings that capture the rituals and work of growing, picking and preparing food for the table. Inspired by a newspaper article highlighting how disconnected we have become to the source of what we eat, Anne began to record the process of butchering, plucking, trimming, basting and the experimentation in preparing food.

Since 1859, the Bendigo Agricultural Show Society has been organising an annual spring show, a celebration of farming and farming culture in the region. Located at Bendigo’s Prince of Wales Showgrounds on an 18-hectare site, the showgrounds are one of the largest in Victoria. Anne will work with the Agricultural Show Society to develop ideas for presentation and further expansion of the Paddock to Plate project.

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