Two artists, including a Mona Vale Public School teacher, have put together a fascinating exhibition made entirely from materials resourced from Kimbriki Tip

“Exploring a juxtaposition of discarded raw organic materials, collage and carefully constructed metals and plastics, this exhibition re-imagines elements of growth, memory and movement.” – Northern Beaches Council

When you think of art you would usually think of beauty. But how about working out of a tip for artistic inspiration?

Many residents may be unaware of the Kimbriki Artist in Residence program, run by Northern Beaches Council which comes with a proviso that artists re-purpose resources directly from ‘the tip’ for their creative works.

Kimbriki is full of treasures waiting to be repurposed
Image: Northern Beaches Council

Annually, Council invites submissions from talented local artists for their various Residency programs, whereby successful applicants are given use of their own residential studio space free of charge.

Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre in Terrey Hills provides a non-residential studio space for two chosen artists spanning 9 months of the year plus a $3,000 allowance for equipment and professional development opportunities

At the conclusion of the residency there is a joint exhibition from the artists, held at the council administrated Creative Space in Abbott Road, Curl Curl. The current 2019 Artists in Residence (AiR) Michelle Reed and Sarah Schmelzer have recently concluded their residence program and opened their exhibition last week at Creative Space.

Michelle describes her residency as a “very busy, yet very rewarding year” for her as she’s juggled her residency and part time employment teaching Art Classes at a local Aged Care facility, whereby she has recently been acknowledged with an award for her work in the sector.

2019 Artist in Residence Michelle Reed
Image: Northern Beaches Council

On top of this she also works regularly at Mona Vale Public School as one of the specialist Art teachers. Her time however, consisting of approximately four days a week, spent creating her works for the current exhibition, entitled “Collage & Performance” has been where she does her “relaxing” both physically and artistically.

Did she forage through the piles of waste to find what she needed? Not quite! “I would create a ‘wish list’ for the Resource Management team of the materials I was looking for – for example, old paper dress-making patterns for layering and collage”. “I like art with nature so I would request Tree Pods and Umbrella Palm branches from the vegetation cleanups”.

A trained Photographer, New Zealand born Michelle has been living on the Northern Beaches since her youth and tell us she considers it “home”.

Recent National Art School graduate Sarah Schmelzer is the second of the two Kimbriki AiR for 2019. Sarah’s interest lies in metal sculpture and attendees of the exhibition, which runs until Sunday October 13, can expect to see references to the history of ‘Kimbriki tip’ in her works.

2019 Artist in Residence Sarah Schmelzer
Image: Nothern Beaches Council

Meanwhile, applications are now open for the 2020 Kimbriki AiR program and will close midnight Sunday 10 November and further details can be obtained via Northern Beaches Council Arts and Cultural Development. Phone: 9942 2560 or Email:

Kimbriki 2019 Artists in Residence Exhibition: Thursday 3 – Sunday 13 October

Location: Creative Space 105 Abbott Road, Curl Curl

Opening hours: Daily 10am – 4pm, Sundays 10am – 2pm


Story by: Jade Fernandes Main image: Northern Beaches Council

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