Abbotsford Convent Studio Residency Program

At the Convent, we aim to transform people’s lives through diverse cultural experiences and our precinct’s striking landscape. In our quest to be renowned for stimulating community engagement and cultural exchange, we launched the Abbotsford Convent Studio Residency Program in 2017, and are thrilled to be offering it again in 2021.

The Abbotsford Convent Studio Residency Program focuses on supporting artists to investigate site-specific and/or site-responsive practice. Artistic investigations undertaken through the studio residency will be presented throughout our precinct to foster delight and dialogue, as well as encourage engagement between our site, urban landscape, artistic community and audiences.

The residency offers a unique opportunity to have time, space and support to undertake site specific or responsive research, investigation and consideration. It offers you an opportunity to invest in your own artistic practice and at the same time build your professional network and share your work with diverse audiences.

The Convent, with its many buildings, generous landscapes, many and diverse people, and textured history is fascinating and layered. However the continual change experienced across the history of our site combined with the spaces within and in between our built environment are delightfully porous and ripe for artistic investigation.

2021 Program EOI

We are inviting applications from artists and creative industry leaders to engage with our unique precinct and reshape the way our audiences experience art and place. This residency is designed for artists who want to be an active part of the Convent’s vibrant community and spend time immersing themselves in everything the place has to offer.

Please read on for more details, and download our FAQs here.

Applications are due by 11.59pm, Sunday 28 March 2021.

About the program

The 2021 Studio Residency Program will provide one artist with:

  • Six months of studio space (3 July – 31 December) with 24/7 access;
  • An honorarium of $2,500 to be invested in the studio residency project outcome;
  • Access to Convent staff for support and mentoring; and
  • Marketing and communications package to promote your studio residency and outcome.

The studio is a 10m2 office space located in the west wing on the second level of the Convent building. Facilities include: free wifi, power points, access to a wash-up sink, heating, shared kitchenette, bathrooms, shower and subsidised car parking and venue hire.

Please note that due to the heritage nature of the building, any intended use or practice that produces emissions or particles cannot be considered due to the sensitive nature of the fire and particle sensors located throughout the building; please refer to our FAQ document.

Information on the space

  • Space Type: Studio
  • Permitted uses: Writing, painting, digital, sound, visual arts, video (excluding practices that require heat, loud noise, sculpting or fumes). For performing artists the Studio is your office and we will work with you to find in and outdoor spaces that will enable physical work.
  • Studio Size: 10 square meters (small)
  • Building Location: Main Convent Building
  • Floor/Level: Level 1
  • Access permitted: 24/7
  • Please note that under normal circumstances the Convent’s opening hours to the general public are 7.30am-9.30pm daily.
  • Room facilities: Wifi, power points, phone point, hydronic heating
  • Flooring: Carpet
  • Surrounding Amenities: Kitchenette, toilets, shower (all shared)
  • Building Amenities: Lift, stairwell, security doors
  • Site Amenities: 300 space car park (requires payment), ATM, cafes, galleries, gardens, conference and meeting rooms (available for hire)


“As an Artist in Residence with ACF, I have been offered the key elements of all artistic practice which have enabled and strengthened both my practice and my resilience as an artist. SPACE within which to house and hold my work, SUPPORT to continue to build the courage to continue to make work in these demanding times and CONFIDENCE in my current projects and my place as an artist here in Australia.”
– Leisa Shelton

“My residency at the Convent gave me unprecedented freedom in my creative practice. The program was incredibly encouraging and flexible in terms of my creative outcomes, and providing spaces with which I could create. While COVID-19 restrictions meant I couldn’t complete my intended activity, I was able to develop and film several video works within the space that ensured my creative practice could continue during an incredibly challenging time. The staff’s continued support surrounding the eventual delivery of my main project goes above and beyond what I could ever have expected. I cherish my relationship with the Convent and it definitely made me feel a sense of support and community at a time I needed it most.”
– Hayley Tanzer

“Having the opportunity to be the artist-in-residence at the Abbotsford Convent has allowed me to widely expand what my arts practice looks like. This unique chance to have a large and dedicated, hands-on support network within the Convent itself while being able to keep my time there self-directed is something that I haven’t had access to with other programs in the past. Going forward, this residency has given me some new skill sets and a different approach to how I produce and curate large-scale work and continue to adapt my art to fit different spaces than the norm. I’m looking forward to continuing to make art with the Convent.”
– Acacia Christensen

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

We invite proposals for the Abbotsford Convent Studio Residency Program from Australian as well as International artist(s) who work in any media or form. For interstate and international applicants, please note that the Convent does not provide residential accommodation and cannot sponsor a visa for applicants where an additional cost is involved (please refer to the FAQs document). All applying artists must have the right to live and work in Australia for six months in order to receive the honorarium.

A selection panel will assess proposals based on applicants’ responses to the following selection criteria:

  • The commitment and capacity of the artist to use the opportunity to progress their artistic practice and makes good use of the studio space and Convent precinct through this site specific/responsive studio residency;
  • Demonstrated track record in successfully completing previous projects to the highest artistic standards; and
  • The potential of the artistic concept to add to the creative dynamic of the Convent and make an impact on our community.

A condition of applying for this Studio Residency Program is that the successful applicants will commit to delivering site responsive or site specific work / body of work/s and/or investigations as well as present an artist’s floor talk or other creative public programming activities.

How to apply

Please apply via the online form by Sunday 28 March 2021.

Applications must include:

  • CV/biography – including any exhibitions, grants, awards, reviews, etc.
  • Up to 12 images
  • A response to the above-listed selection criteria using the form below


If you have any questions about the Studio Residency Program, please contact Peter Quinn, Producer via email on

Previous Residents

2021 Studio Resident

Jacob Boehme is a Melbourne born and raised artist of the Narangga and Kaurna Nations, South Australia. Jacob is the founding Creative Director of Yirramboi Festival, recipient of the 2018 Green Room Award for Curatorial Contribution to Contemporary and Experimental Arts.

Jacob is a multi-disciplinary theatre maker and choreographer, creating work for stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals. Jacob has led the artistic direction of Tanderrum (Melbourne Festival), Boon Wurrung Ngargee (Yalukit Willam Festival), Thuwathu (Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair) and choreographed for the opening ceremonies of Dreamtime at the G, FINA World Swimming Championships and the Cricket World Cup. Jacob is the writer and performer of the critically acclaimed solo work Blood on the Dance Floor, recipient of the 2017 Green Room Award Best Independent Production. Jacob currently sits on the Board of Directors for Dance House and Polyglot Theatre and is a member of the Ministry of Culture Taiwan South East Asia Advisory Panel. Alumni of the Victorian College of the Arts, (MA in Arts – Playwriting, MA in Arts – Puppetry) Jacob is currently the recipient of the 2018 Australia Council for the Arts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship and the Artistic Director of Geelong After Dark.

2020 Studio Resident

Hayley Tanzer

2019 Studio Residents

Acacia Christensen
Leisa Shelton

2018 Studio Residents

Minna Gilligan
Luke George