Artsbox Artist-in-Residence Program


Artsbox is a vibrant, intimate and creative converted shipping container based outside the Footscray library. It is a versatile space for emerging, mid-career and professional artists to create new work, test and explore ideas, and further develop their arts practice. The short-term residencies are suited to the development of new work, testing and exploring ideas or the development of your arts practice.

Artists of all genres and mediums are welcome to apply. There is no requirement for you to be a resident of the City of Maribyrnong. Applicants are strongly encouraged to engage with the local community - engagement is really easy and can be as simple as keeping the doors open while you work, chatting to local visitors about your practice, or offering an opportunity for the public to see what you’re developing through a workshop or activity. The Footscray library is also available to utilise for larger engagement activities that may not fit inside the Artsbox space.

2021 ArtsBox Artists in Residence

February - Opal Onyx

Artist OpalOnyx's practice revolves around engaging the overlooked and "childish". They have an obsession with puppetry and relish in using forms of expression typically reserved for children. Using the naive and simple, they express more profound concepts in a palatable and understandable way. Sometimes starting the conversation is difficult, and they hope that their work will give people a jumping-off point to start asking questions. During their residency, Opal will research and create a series of hand-stitched banners out of the world's oldest textile; FELT. Each flag will attempt to explore and highlight issues at the forefront of social justice. Inspired by protestors' signs, they will revolve around the themes of climate justice, indigenous land rights, queer liberation and the imprisonment of refugees.

March - Fiona Waters

Local artist, Fiona Waters, works in watercolour, ink, pencil and ceramics to reflect her own intuitive, playful, cathartic and emotional desires. Her drawings and objects are unique, fluid with organic shapes, often focused on bodies, or lumpy amorphous shapes, colours and textures. For her ArtsBox residency Fiona will make a series of ceramics and drawings that respond to the ceramics books from the Maribyrnong Library Catalogue. 

April - Maxime Banks

Maxime Banks is an award-winning, interdisciplinary artist, a time-traveller of the Black-American Diaspora with Chicago and Mississippi roots. Her work intersects science, visual art and creative technology with a sense of otherness across Afrofuture anamnesis, collage, multimedia, poetry, textiles and painting. Her self-portraits, both literal and psychological, are constellations of her journey as a Black woman emigrant.

Maxime is creating an Afro-galactic archive of Black portraiture, writing and identity. Maxime’s art practice explores Black portraiture, quantum poetics and more.

May - Andy Robertson

In drawings, paintings, videos and installations Andy Robertson collects, examines and reorganises the mundane minutia of everyday life to suggest unexpected or overlooked narratives, while at the same time toying with the viewer’s expectations by introducing elements that are farcical or surreal.

He recently completed a public art commission as part of Maribyrnong City Council’s StopMOTION program, which can be seen on the traffic signal box on the corner of Droop and Donald Streets, Footscray.

June/July - Frances Loriente

Frances Loriente seeks to combine her visual arts practice with her writing and work in the music industry. For her residency at Artsbox Frances wishes to experiment further with this medium to create a animated tale beginning with an Indigenous story of how the whale walked on the land and became the dingo, and a contemporary tale of a wandering dog that ends up in Footscray.

August - Gurmeet Kaur

Gurmeet Kaur (she/her) is a writer and educator from London, currently living on the Kulin Nation (Melbourne). Her work has appeared in Rewrite Reads, Dynamis Journal and Sweet and Sour Zine. Gurmeet is an alumni of Left to Write: Poetry development program with Express Media.

During her ArtsBox residency, she will be exploring family, language and displacement in her poetry project, as well as researching local migration history at the Footscray Library. 

September - Fiona Barbetti

As a cross-disciplinary artist Fiona explores concepts of identity, female fertility and everyday experience. A major thread throughout her work has been the exploration of female identity through concepts of home, nostalgia, and the personal journey through infertility into parenthood.

During her residency Fiona will continue to navigate her identity as female and mother through drawing, photography and collage. These works will form part of a greater body of work, The Female of the Species, where she is creating hybrid feminine creatures. The outcome of the residency will be a new body of work that will be used for an exhibition.

October/November - Matto Lucas

Matto Lucas is a local WeFo-based artist, photographer, designer, lecturer, curator, arts facilitator, producer and podcaster. During this residency, Lucas will attempt to combine his arts practice, photography and love of Footscray to create a series of portraits that celebrate the various faces of the municipality. By turning the Artsbox into an impromptu photo studio, residents are invited to drop in to sit for a portrait and contribute to this multi-media portrait series


Apply for a residency

Applications for the 2021 Artsbox Artist-in-Residence Program are now closed. Applications for the 2022 program will open in August 2021 - subscribe to our Art Bytes newsletter for future updates on the program. 

Things to note:

  • All disciplines are welcome
  • Artists receive a stipend of $500 towards costs for the month of their residency
  • Applications are welcome from artists from City Maribyrnong, City of Hobsons Bay, City of Moonee Valley, City of Brimbank and City of Wyndham
  • Artists must hold public liability insurance (discuss with us if you don’t already have it)
  • Projects that involve using the Footscray Library Collection are encouraged but not compulsory

Any queries at all contact us at

Creative residencies are also offered at the Bluestone Church Arts Space.