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Expression of interest

An Expression of Interest for the 2024 ARTIST IN RESIDENCE at The Fibre Makers Space at Brough House, in Maitland, NSW is now being invited from artists who incorporate fibre in the art practices. The residency is of four month duration and has a stipend of $2,000 AUD. The EOI ends at close of business on 1st November, 2023. 

AIR (Artist in Residence) 2024 Artistic Program is in assoiciation with the Natioanl Trust and developed and managed by
the Friends of Grossmann and Brough Houses (FOGBH)


The Friends of Grossmann and Brough Houses (FOGBH), a committee of the National Trust NSW invites artists who incorporate textiles in their practice to submit a proposal for a 4 month residency at the Fibre Makers Space, Brough House, Church Street, Maitland. The residency will commence at the beginning of February 2024 and is to be completed at the end of May 2024. It will be followed by an exhibition of work completed by the artist during their residency.



Grossmann House was built in 1870-71 by the merchant Isaac Beckett. It adjoins Brough House, built as a mirror image by Beckett’s business partner, Samuel Owen. Housed within is an extensive collection of 19th century costumes and textiles related to local life and industry.

Between 1892 and 1963, Grossmann House was Maitland Girls’ High School, one of the first four public high schools established in New South Wales. Brough House was the hostel for the country girls until 1969. Subsequently Grossmann House was restored by the National Trust to be a Victorian Period house museum and Brough House became Maitland’s Art Gallery between 1974 and 2003. Since then, Brough house been managed by the National Trust through the Friends of Grossmann and Brough Houses.


In 2016, The Friends of Grossmann and Brough Houses (FOGBH) were offered two vintage looms c1920s through the Petherbridge family (a family with extensive connections to the Maitland area). Also gifted were woven textiles executed by the original owner, Lily Petherbridge, two books on weaving which include patterns etc. 

The Petherbridge looms were successfully acquired and accessioned by the National Trust for the Grossmann Textile Collection in 2016 on condition that they be used. The Grossmann Textile collection also houses a wedding gown and other items belonging to the Petherbridge family which strengthens the link between the looms and textiles in the Grossmann House collection. Along with locally provenanced clothing and other textiles such as shawls and various cloths used in the home, the Grossmann Textile Collection also has extensive examples of lace, as well as a French bobbin lace pillow with work attached. All these examples illustrate the diverse range of technologies used by women in a domestic setting to produce decorative and practical textiles for the home. During 2017 the looms were reassembled, repaired, refurbished, and restored to working order which took place onsite on the enclosed Barden Balcony of Brough House.

The looms have remained on the enclosed Balcony with example works woven on each. The looms are currently being used to create woven textiles and have attracted local weavers and creatives to the space.

Brough House is being established as a creative hub and played host to the Inaugural AIR Program in 2022. 

A community weaving project has taken form with the generous donation of a Saori loom, the completed fabric will be used in the community. 


A.I.R., Fibre Makers Space, Brough House

The Textile Artist in Residence (AIR) is scheduled for a 4-month period, from February 2nd to May 31st, 2024. There is a dedicated studio situated on the first floor of Brough House, adjacent to the Ellis Space and the Barden Balcony. 

FOGBH will encourage the artist in residence to engage with the history of the properties, the significant textile collection housed in Grossmann House, the history of weaving and the heritage looms. 

The artist will spend the month of February becoming familiar with the premises and collection and gaining some direction. From March until May there will be an open studio situation where visitors to the Fibre Makers Space will see work in progress and hear about the Artist’s methods and preferred materials, and artistic processes. At the end of the residency there will be a month’s break.  The artist will have an exhibition at the end of the one-month break for the duration of 4-6 weeks in the Cecily Mitchell exhibition space of Brough House.

This project provides a textile artist the opportunity to develop new works in an environment free from day-to-day distractions. The artist will be able to promote their work through the open studio and scheduled events, leveraging networks with local artists and the visiting public and grow their audience base.

Commitment from the Artist

  • Develop and create a body of work based on their interpretation of the Grossmann House textile collection, the history of the Grossmann/Brough houses and/or the environment of Grossmann/Brough houses. To exhibit that body of work at the end of the residency.

  • Present those works ready to hang and be exhibited.

  • Attend the open studio 2 days a week. Days to be negotiated in discussion with A.I.R. Committee.

  • Be in attendance on scheduled open day, 2nd Sunday of each month (this could be included as one of the scheduled open studio days).

  • Present a one-day workshop based on the techniques used during the residency. The workshop will be scheduled during the Autumn Workshops (April/May 2024) at the Fibre Makers Space. The artist will be paid for the workshop. To be negotiated with the AIR Committee.

  • Attend the opening of the A.I.R. Program to be scheduled for International Women’s Day in 2024.

  • Attend the opening of the A.I.R. Program exhibition.

  • Present an Artists talk, the date to be decided in discussion with the AIR Committee.

  • Agree to promote the AIR program on their business/Artist social media pages and further marketing platforms as agreed by both parties. 

  • Sign a residency agreement with the FOGBH.

A small committee has been established as the A.I.R. Program Committee, to work with and support the artist.


Commitment from the A.I.R. Committee

  • Provide a stipend of $2,000 in total. $1,000 to be paid on invoice at the beginning of the residency and $1,000 to be paid on invoice at the end, on the understanding that the stipend will be used for materials, travel and exhibition costs incurred as part of the residency.

  • To support the artists’ residency through the provision of research material, and a secure studio and workshop space.

  • Provide access to textile collection as arranged with FOGH Volunteer Coordinator.

  • Be on call to the artist during the residency.

  • Permit scheduled access for the artist to the site, outside of listed public access times, for a guided tour and information sessions in the lead up to the AIR commencing.

  • Publicise and promote the A.I.R. program and the artist via social media (Facebook etc.) and NT print publications, (subject to print deadlines).

  • Provide Letter of Support to funding body to which Artist is submitting for optional Grant for Residency period. Assistance in submission process.

  • Facilitate collaboration with the National Trust staff to engage or develop new audiences for the project.

  • Enable opportunities for artists, visitors, and workshop participants to see heritage looms in use.

  • Advertise Workshops and Exhibition.


Desired outcomes: 

  • Create an arts hub for established and emerging textile artists to showcase skills and new textile art in Maitland.

  • Raise the profile of historic Grossmann and Brough Houses and the Grossmann textile collection, by providing opportunities to create spotlights on the significant textile collection as well as its relevance to a contemporary society. 

  • Diversify the audience who visits the heritage properties, by introducing a new living element to an otherwise static building.

  • Educate our audience on a rare skill/trade and its contemporary value. 

  • Embrace the rich history of textile making in the Maitland area, linking the home-made product with manufacturing, such as National Textiles in Rutherford.



Artist-in-Residency Proposal Submissions are assessed by the A.I.R. Committee in consultation with FOGBH and in accordance with policy objectives and guidelines. Artist’s work is assessed on artistic merit, originality, and its potential relationship with the Fibre Makers Space programs and the objections of the FOGBH.

Only those applications which address each of the selection criteria and are received by 1st November 2023 will be considered for selection. 

A short list of applicants will be notified by email no later than 29th December 2023 to attend a meeting at Brough House during January 2024.

If shortlisted you should be able to attend Brough House, 73 Church Street, Maitland (unless circumstances mean that a video call has to be made).

 Unsuccessful applicants will be also notified by email.

The A.I.R. for 2024 will be notified in by the end of January 2024 at a date to be decided.



The following information should be submitted with each proposal:

  1. Contact details including name, phone number, email address, address. Website (if you have one) and/or social media contacts (Instagram, Facebook etc.)

  2. A statement of intent (no longer than 2 pages, typed) which may include.

  • An outline of your practice to date

  • Reasons you would like to be artist in residence at the Fibre Makers Space, Brough House.

  • A brief description of how you will contribute to the objectives of FOGBH.

  1. A current CV (no longer than 2 pages)

  2. Up to 10 examples of work as jpeg or pdf (No larger than 4MB in total).

Email your EOI to attention Ellen Howell


If you would like to post your EOI please supply the above with the following:

  1. Hard copy prints (300dpi High Resolution no larger than A4)

  2. Image files on CD (.jpeg file format, 300dpi High Resolution)

Send your EOI to Ellen Howell, Coordinator AIR Program, FOGBH, 71-73 Church Street, Maitland NSW 2320 Australia

This residency is open to all artists that incorporate textiles in their practice. Whether you are early, late, or mid-career, if you are excited by the chance to interpret history and place, to have it be relevant to a mixed audience in 2024 and into the future, then we want you to apply.

We encourage artists in the Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, and Lake Macquarie regions to apply.


Important dates and details.

1st November 2023 Applications close at end of business 

29th November 2023 Shortlist of applicants notified of interviews                              

Unsuccessful applicants notified January 2024      

Shortlist interviews in Maitland, NSW. January 2024      

End of January 2024 if not before, next AIR informed


Applications should be sent to:


Attention: Ellen Howell        


Fibre Makers Space, Brough House, 73 Church Street, Maitland NSW 2320

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