UTS Library

Creative in Residence Program

UTS Library began its Artist-in-Residence Program in 2012. The program was initiated while construction of the new Library Retrieval System and planning for the new Library building in UTS Central (Building 2) was underway. The development of the program was to assist engagement with Library clients and community during a period of change, ensuring the Library remained a relevant, unique and innovative space for the future.

In 2019, the program – now re-named to Creative in Residence – continues to inspire playfulness, provoke curiosity, and encourage engagement with the UTS Library.

2020 Cherie Fahd

Cherine Fahd - Whispers in the Library Whispers in the Library was a weekly performance held over August and September by artist, academic and writer Cherine Fahd, Director of Photography at UTS. Cherine holds a doctorate (PhD) from Monash University, Melbourne and her work has been exhibited and collected by major public institutions in Australia and internationally. Most recently, Cherine was selected for The National 2019: New Australian Art and awarded a residency at The Clothing Store, both through Carriageworks.

Whispers in the Library responds to the scholarly and contemplative environment of the UTS Reading Room. The artist, Cherine Fahd, inhabits a designated desk space to annotate her musings on love, fear and life. Visitors are invited to take a reflection that speaks to them, insert it into a Library book, and return it to circulation until it eventually finds its receiver.

In a time of increased estrangement from one another, emphasized in the past months of isolation, it sometimes helps to be reminded of our shared existence and connectivity. Cherine’s performance seeks to provoke these reminders by creating moments of connection and recognition between us. Moments of compassion in which a person carefully selects a special thought for a stranger. Moments of warmth in which the unbeknownst reader finds a message of love or care. These potential moments will circulate through time and collection, until forces of fate connect message to receiver - a tangible message, considered and handwritten; an anonymous keepsake, carefully inserted into a knowing book, just for you.

Cherine Fahd Image 1  Cherine Fahd Image 2  

2019 Creative in Residents - Alexandra Crosby and Ilaria Vanni

2019 Creative in Residents - Alexandra Crosby and Ilaria VanniThe Planty Atlas of UTS

UTS Library presents our 2019 Creative in Residents -
Alexandra Crosby and Ilaria Vanni, from the research studio Mapping Edges.

The Planty Atlas of UTS is a socially engaged creative project consisting of a live plant installation alongside a multidisciplinary bookshelf on selected plants, a seed balls workshop and three mapping walks around the UTS precinct.

In preparation for the Library’s move to UTS Central in November, our residents are growing plants onsite, to then green our new spaces in Building 2.

The mapping walks aim to create new, plant inspired pathways around the precinct and produce mapping counterpoints that yield different and relational understandings of everyday places around the library buildings.

The Planty Atlas of UTS asks: how does our understanding of cultural, environmental and social histories and futures of place change if we let ourselves be guided by plants?

Want to learn more? Alexandra Crosby and Ilaria Vanni have published the findings of their 2019 project on OPUS: UTS's institutional repository opus.lib.uts.edu.au

The Walks

Walk #1 Observation, involves different forms of sensing and note taking such as writing, photographs, drawings, and maps generated through commonly used apps. This first walk helps us understand the landscape and its micro ecosystems.

Walk #2 Interaction, reconfigures the circulation of seeds made in a seed ball workshop and during the walk we ‘seed bomb’ the edges of streets and green spaces on campus.

Walk #3 Accept feedback, retraces our steps to document (through photography, notetaking and drawing) the evolution, or disappearance, success or failure of the seeds we scattered.

Join the #mappingedges conversation! Post your maps and photos of green encounters in the precinct using: #mappingedges #utslibrary and #utsengage

See the Mapping Edges website.

The Planty Atlas of UTS The Planty Atlas of UTS The Planty Atlas of UTS

2018 Artist-in-Residence - Natalya Hughes

Natalya Hughes Natalya Hughes is an artist who specialises in painting, digital media and installation. In 2018 Natalya was the director of the Photography undergraduate program (DAB) at UTS. Natalya completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane in 2001 and a PhD in Art Theory at the College of Fine Art (UNSW) in 2009. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2018 she was a finalist in the Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Mornington Peninsula Work on Paper Prize. Her works are held in public collections such as Artbank and the Queensland Art Gallery. 

Natalya’s 2018 residency at UTS Library was concerned with the ‘sleep zone’ under the rear stairs on Level 2. Natalya's work is consistently concerned with decorative and ornamental traditions and their association with the feminine, the body and excess. Her work often features existing imagery, reconfiguring it to decorative ends. In bringing the project to life, Natalya worked on her watercolours and digital pattern designs in the Special Collections Room. Natalya's UTS Library installation, titled Safe Sopor, was completed early in 2019.  

View some of Natalya’s previous works, installations and residency projects at natalyahughes.com.

Safe Sopor - Image 1 Safe Sopor - Image 2 Safe Sopor - Image 3  

2017 Artist-in-Residence - Timo Rissanen

Timo RissanenTimo Rissanen is an educator, artist and designer whose work centres on fashion, sustainability and communication. He is the Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons School of Design at The New School, New York. Timo completed his undergraduate and postgraduate study with UTS, graduating with a PhD from the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building (DAB) in 2013.

In this residency, Timo considers relationships between people, time, and the spaces and social contexts they inhabit. For nine weeks he was situated at the base of the central Library stairwell where he observed and interviewed Library staff and students, asking interviewees to think across time to deliver messages to the Library of the year 2117. These messages were incorporated in Timo's ever-evoliving artwork, taking the form of a hand-stitched letter.

The artwork involves a combination of cross-stitch and poetry based on interviews and observations he made during the time. The completed artwork will be on display in the Library from late 2017.   

Read Timo’s blog as he records his experience as the UTS Library Artist-in-Residence.

Timo Rissanen in Situ

2016 Artist-in-Residence - Adam Goodrum

Adam GoodrumAdam Goodrum grew up in Perth, but studied Industrial Design at UTS. He is both lecturer and member of the technical workshop team within the faculty of Design, Architecture and Building. Adam’s work is recognised both nationally and internationally working with companies including Veuve Clicquot, Alessi and Cappellini. Since graduating, he has won awards including the 'Young Designer of the Year Award' and the prestigious ‘Bombay Sapphire Design Award’. In 2015, Adam received the ‘Indesign Luminary Award’ and won the ‘NGV Riggs Prize’ for his installation ‘Unfolding’. In addition, he has also been awarded the ‘Vogue x Alessi Design Prize’ and the ‘Idea Awards Editor’s Medal’.

About Adam’s Work

Focusing on furniture, product and interior design, Adam’s work unifies functionality, aesthetics and a fascination for movement, geometry and bold colour. During Adam’s residency for UTS Library, he considered how daily visitors might engage with design objects within the Library. Adam’s residency focussed on furniture design for the UTS Future Library as a launch point. Adam reimagined a UTS reading room chair using traditional wood-working techniques. Passionate about the manufacture of quality design in Australia, Adam ensured the chairs were handmade in Australia by a local maker. The Library is delighted to include the residency outcome of the reading room chair to our Special Collections and hope to commission a larger number of the chairs to furnish the future Library reading areas.

Since Adam’s Artist-in-Residence, the Library has added a number of his works to our special collections.

2015 Artist-in-Residence - Zoë Sadokierski

Zoe Sadokierski The aim of Zoë Sadokierski’s residency was to come to a clearer understanding of what a book is. At a time when ‘books’ can be accessed on telephones via clouds, talk to us (in a voice of our choice), show us videos and demand that we interact with them, this is a more complicated question than it may first seem. 

Is a digital file that can be ‘re-flowed’ into a smart phone, an e-Reader and a desktop computer still a book? Is it the same book on each device? Can a video be a book? Or a series of tweets? Where do we draw the line between ‘interactive book’, ‘game’ and ‘app’? What does all of this mean for book designers and more importantly, for readers?

As a book designer, scholar of book culture and avid reader these questions are central to Zoë’s work and life. To address them she spent time reading and talking to contemporary book scholars and researched in libraries and archives to develop a historical perspective on similar moments of change in the publishing industry (primarily the artist’s book movement of the 1960-70s). She made a series of self-published books and ran a live book-making during the Sydney Writers’ Festival, where she produced The Book of Days: an illustrated anthology from the 2015 Sydney Writers' Festival. 

During the year, Zoë presented two exhibitions at UTS Library and gave a series of talks about the books she creates and her research outcomes. For more about the project see Zoë's Blog: The book is....

About Zoë's work

Zoë has designed more than 250 books for various publishers, is an executive editor of the Media Object book series, vice president of the Australian Book Designers Association, writes a column for The Conversation and publishes visual essays through Bookwork Press

Her writing has been published in the journals Visual CommunicationBook 2.0Heat and she has chapters in the Cambridge Scholars book The Language of Images (2013) and the Routledge Companion to Design Research (2014). Zoë has been invited to speak at the Sydney Writers' Festival (2010, 2012, 2015), the Emerging Writers' Festival, The Wheeler Centre, the National Library of Australia, the Mueum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of NSW.

Her books and works on paper are held in the collections of UTS Library, the National Library of Australia, the State Library of NSW and the State Library of Victoria.


2014 Artist-in-Residence - Elisa Lee and Adam Hinshaw

Elisa Lee and Adam Hinshaw are a creative partnership formed in the mid 90’s era of CD-Rom multimedia. Together they collaborate to create innovative and interactive digital media projects.

Their complementary skills in interaction design, visual communication, systems design and software development make for a strong creative, conceptual and technical partnership.

Elisa and Adam share a love for fun and immersive user experiences combining the newest of technologies with the most playful of concepts. They believe it has to look good, be easy to use and put a smile on your face.

Their recent commision, DataWall and Outside In, interactive installations for Sydney’s Royal Naval House, display the building’s real-time activity using engaging and poetic data visualisation.

Their work has been exhibited at Kaohsiung Design Festival, Taiwan, Art Futura, Barcelona, the Sydney Design Festival, Vivid Sydney and the Chinese Museum of Digital Art, Beijing.

Elisa currently tutors in the UTS School of Design running a project with Google Sydney.

UTS Library's Artists-in-Residence investigate the Library Retrieval System



Blog: An Investigation of the Library Retrieval System 

Elisa Lee   Adam Hinshaw

2013 Artist-in-Residence - Dr. Chris Caines

Dr Chris Caines

Dr. Chris Caines produces video, installations, music, software and text. He is a senior lecturer, Creative Practices in Media Arts, and Director of the Centre for Media Arts Innovation in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney.

About Chris’ work

Chris' installation Fog Warning, was a pair of back projected cubes placed into the modular bookcase in the stairwell area on the ground floor of the Library. This was inspired by Chris’ belief that the fundamental elements that make up the notion of the University are embodied in its library. He insists the rest of the institutional structure is in a continual process of either disseminating from or adding to the idea of the library.

To make work that engages with this process requires the use of narrative, the most basic cognitive tool we have for managing the relationship between consciousness and time - the fragments of voice that we use in the dialogues we have with others and in the monologues we conduct with ourselves.

2012 Artist-in-Residence - Chris Gaul

Chris GaulChris Gaul is a Sydney based designer and artist who works with everyday objects to create moments of mindfulness in everyday life. Chris studied Visual Communication Design and International Studies at UTS, graduating with first class honors. As a visual designer, Chris has worked with government, commercial and cultural groups, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, WWF International, the City of Sydney and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. His work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW, The Brooklyn Museum in New York and work from his recent project ‘The Art of Everyday Things’ was exhibited as part of Sydney Design Festival 2011. He currently teaches in the UTS School of Design.

About Chris’ work

Chris recognised that the nature of online interfaces and the storage of books in the Library Retrieval System changes the way we discover and stumble across information as we browse a library’s collection. Rather than being sterile and uninspiring, these interfaces can be creative tools that encourage playful exploration and serendipitous discovery. This was the inspiration for Chris’ Shelf Life Exhibition. You can find out more about theproject via his Blog.

What’s next?

Chris’ creative vision has allowed for opportunities to collaborate with Library staff. He worked with our designer to produce a new visual identity for the Library that helped us in the journey towards our Future Library.

Shelf Life explores different methods of discovery, centering on ways to visualize the entire Library Collection using the Dewey Decimal System. This has now been adopted as a multi-coloured band situated across the top of the Catalogue, with each colour representing number ranges from the Dewey Decimal System. This new design element holds more than just an aesthetic appeal, though. It allows the user to perform a search and then refine those results by subject area, simply by clicking on the multi-coloured band. The Collection Ribbon is a key feature designed to facilitate discovery, especially when part of the collection is stored in the Library Retrieval System. More about the fresh, new, look feature.