For Artists


Read more about Groundwork

An initiative to nurture, support & shelter artists

About Groundwork

Groundwork is a significant arts incubation, development and curatorium initiative working with artists to create new work, platform new work to audiences & engage in critical response and review. The initiative supports the development and presentation of multidisciplinary contemporary arts practice for 6 artists across a 3-month intensive incubation program, offering a safe space for artists to be nurtured, supported and sheltered. To empower them to embrace risk and engage in rigor.

Groundwork is a financially and creatively supported opportunity for artists to develop their creative practice & their arts business acumen while developing a body of work or at least the conception of a body of work. An outcome-based development program, recognising the need for support and opportunity to develop outcomes that can be celebrated and used as launch pads or stepping stones to secure additional pathways and opportunities. Each of the 6 artists will receive their own studio space and a weekly fee to support their participation for the duration of the program.

Groundwork is artist-led – it is for each artist to self-determine the outcome they seek and the current need in their creative practice. Groundwork is an outcome-based program however rather than presenting a set framework that can be limiting for artists, we are trusting artists to tell us what it is that they need next.

Groundwork has been developed in response to the significant gap within the Western Australian arts sector for structured outcome-based capacity building for artists across disciplines.


Groundwork offers real and meaningful organisational support around the creation of new work.


The safety and wellbeing of participating Groundwork artists is Fremantle Arts Centre’s first priority. As the host and key facilitator of the program FAC is ultimately responsible for checking in with each artist to ensure they are getting a quality experience.

An initial pre-Groundwork “consultation” will take place for each artist to develop a customised plan for their Groundwork program. Following this they will have scheduled weekly touch points with FAC Director and Curator and / or other FAC staff at artists request following the consultation and the specific support and expertise they require has been determined. This could be across arts business acumen, writing, profiling, platform creation, installation and construction, producing and presentation considerations.

In addition, across the three-month period of incubation each artist will have access to the following:

Socialising of space

The program will be curated to ensure multiple opportunities for Groundwork artists to engage with each other and the broader creative community at Fremantle Arts Centre. Artists will be offered multiple networking opportunities with other sector professionals throughout the program and at scheduled social and formal networking occasions.

Think Tanks

Local and national provocateurs will run collective think tanks. Each Groundwork artist will experience being at the centre of a “tank” at least once – immersed in a conversation about culture, politics, technology and our environment and reflecting on their work within this context. Developing dynamic and relevant practice and responding to environment.

FAC’s existing network of provocateurs is extraordinary from our amazing internal staff through to our state – and nation-wide connections. As part of their application artists will have the opportunity to nominate who they may like to work with as a provocateur – FAC and the selection panel will make the final decision dependent on the mix of artists and artforms selected. It is anticipated at least one provocateur will be engaged from outside WA depending on the COVID and border control environment.

 Connection to Country

All conversations, performance and development at Fremantle Arts Centre take place in Walyalup on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar. FAC is committed to ensuring all Groundwork artists are provided with access to custodians of Nyoongar culture to inform their practice and ensure they evolve as artists carrying with them the necessary knowledge and respect. At the commencement of the program FAC will facilitate a Welcome to Country and a culturally grounding experience to contextualise each artist on Country. Budget is set aside for additional cultural consultation and/or to provide additional support for participating First Nations artists as required.

Access for All

Fremantle Arts Centre celebrates difference and diversity. Groundwork artists will be provided with access to focus groups and/or industry practitioners to engage with them about how their work can be accessed, experienced and interpreted for all. Ultimately understanding how to communicate their work to people with different abilities.

Critical Response and Review

Recognising the importance of generating writing and scholarship around practice FAC will support one piece of long form writing in response to or around each artist’s practice and their work. The author may be one of the artist’s choosing or FAC can connect a writer to the artist. Informed critical writing about emerging arts practice is currently missing from our arts ecology, especially in Western Australia. FAC will work with the artist to locate the best author, engage the author and work with journals to find publishing opportunities.

While critical writing is also missing in the WA ecology, access to formalised critical review sessions is also missing to artists post-university or study. A collective critical review will take place each moth – comprising a monthly studio visit of 4 arts and culture professionals who would review and respond to the artist’s work in development. 6 pieces of published critical response is considered part of the 12 “creations of work” outlined in this application in addition to the 6 Groundwork artist outcomes.

FAC’s existing expertise in this area will also be offered to Groundwork artists via FAC’s specialist Communications and Marketing team.


Facilitated outcomes for Groundwork artists include:

Site and space

Supported by the City of Fremantle’s broader arts and cultural programs, artists are provided with the opportunity to work within the Fremantle Arts Centre site and across the city of Fremantle.

Digital Residency

Utilise the digital residency platform with the support of the FAC Marketing department.

Salon opportunities

Opting to engage in a salon opportunity such as solo exhibitions or sharing / showing opportunities across FAC controlled sites & spaces.

FAC will facilitate broad sector invitations to ensure representation from galleries, institutions, festivals, producers and artistic peers. Or the option for a larger group show with other Groundwork artists about contextualising practice

Digital portfolio

A packaged portfolio of photography, videography and critical writing that can be utilised to gain further opportunities.

Studio Program

We are committed to assisting each artist to secure pathways or support to progress their work. The purpose of Groundwork is to workshop ideas for a body of work – at the conclusion of their 3-month incubation artists could opt to apply for their own residency at FAC via our Studio Program – which is a standalone self-led residency program. Artists may secure space free of charge for a further 3, 6, 12 months subject to availability.

Application Process

Emerging or mid-career practising artists are encouraged to apply. All applicants are required to submit answers to a series of questions which can be submitted via video or written text. For more information on eligibility and application process please visit our FAQS.

Applications are now open

Please complete the application form.

If you require any assistance with your application please contact [email protected] or call (08) 9432 9555 so we can assist you.

Application Timeline

Applications open: Monday 4 April 2022
Applications close: 11:59pm Sunday 1 May 2022 *EXTENDED*
Successful applicants advised: Friday 6 May 2022
Groundwork program duration: September – November 2022


Click here for more information about eligibility and the application process.


Australia Council for the Arts logo

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.