The HotHouse GreenHouse National Artist Residency is an opportunity for artists, all artists, to develop their creative practice in the countryside of Albury, New South Wales. I was lucky enough to be a recipient of the residency and made the 3.5 hour drive from Melbourne to create art on the lands of the Wiradjuri people.
Located in the heart of the Wonga Wetlands, the GreenHouse is surrounded by local fauna and flora, allowing artists to create from a more open space. It feels like you’re isolated from the rest of the world but in fact, you’re just 10 minutes away from HotHouse Theatre and Albury city centre.
I immersed myself in rural life, taking notes on all the things to see and do. My top tip? Soak everything in at a slower pace. That’s what being in the country is all about.
As the sun rises, I write. It could be a play or novel I’m working on, or just journaling a few pages. It’s the only way I start my day and I’m a much better person when I’ve penned a few paragraphs.
I follow up my writing with a swim, clearing my thoughts. The Albury Swim Centre is open every day. Not only are the pools well maintained, they have beautiful trees and grass surrounding, so you can take a dip and dry off under the Albury sun. Alternatively, take a dip in the Murray River that runs along beside it.
441 Wodonga Pl, Albury NSW 2640
Cross from NSW into Victoria and back again walking along the banks of the Murray River. Let your creative ideas flow with the water.
River Deck is the perfect spot to write, edit, draw and organise your creative projects over great coffee and a well-earned breakfast.
48 Noreuil Parade, South Albury NSW 2640
In the centre of the city is MAMA, Murray Art Museum Albury. It’s free entry and has an excellent layout to discover old and new art. Buy art and wares at the gift shop where local artists are well represented.
546 Dean St, Albury NSW 2640
Take a leisurely walk around the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Let your imagination run wild in the children’s garden, where there are dinosaurs and tree goblins to surprise and delight you.
Dean Street and, Wodonga Pl, Albury NSW 2640
Frankies is a 5 minute drive from the GreenHouse and my favourite place to eat out while I was staying in Albury. The burgers are big and juicy, the milkshakes thick and creamy, the coffee hot and strong. Don’t get me started on the pastries made in-house. I bought too many croissants to count!
836 Padman Dr, West Albury NSW 2640
The Wonga Wetlands is a must when you are living in the heart of it. With detailed signs about the local environment, all you need is your walking shoes. On the tracks between lagoons you’ll see special bird watching huts to spy on the local birdlife.
2377 Riverina Hwy, Splitters Creek NSW 2640
Stroll the Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk where nature and First Nations art come together. Signage describes stories of the art and artists, connecting you with nature and Country.
Kremur St, West Albury NSW 2640
I’m drawn to large bodies of water and the Hume Dam was no doubt going to be a favourite of mine. Known by locals as The Weir, the Hume Dam is the perfect place to meditate. I sat under a tree and meditated longer than anticipated, listening to the water rushing, the birds calling, the wind dancing through the leaves of the gum trees. A perfect place for some breathing space.
3 Little Mitta St, Lake Hume Village NSW 2640
Chase the Sunset
Take a walk up Monument Hill and see the sunset and stunning views of Albury from all angles.
La Maison is a old farmhouse with a new Mediterranean menu. Popular with weddings and birthday celebrations, be sure to book! An ideal place for dinner before a show at HotHouse Theatre.
40 Lincoln Causeway, Gateway Island VIC 3690
Aida is another dinner spot that has everyone singing its praises. New and very much on the pulse of tasty places to dine.
498 Dean St, Albury NSW 2640
HotHouse Theatre produce exciting work from all over the country. This year, HotHouse Theatre celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary – 25 Seasons of exceptional theatre on the border – a magnificent milestone that acknowledges the deep roots the company has made in
sharing the stories of Albury Wodonga.
Through HotHouse’s GreenHouse National Artist Residency, I was able to workshop my play Breakwater with local young theatre makers, which is what drew me to the program. HotHouse and Murray Arts connected me with the local artists in Albury so my play could be developed with young people for young people.
HotHouse hosted a reading of my play in their Butter Factory theatre. I was in awe of the love and support from both audience and artists and the strong sense of community.
Lincoln Causeway, Gateway Island, VIC 3690
Using local seasonal produce and ingredients, Monumental Ice-creamery make ice-cream and sorbet out back so you know it’s the freshest, coolest ice-cream in town! The only way to finish a day.
4/462 Dean St, David St, Albury NSW 2640
Albury is the ideal environment to inspire and I encourage all artists to apply for the next round of the GreenHouse National Artist Residency to create in this supportive and collaborative program. The GreenHouse National Artist Residency is a HotHouse Theatre and AlburyCity program, in association with Murray Arts. Applications open from April 2022.