July 2016
Join us at the Exhibition Opening at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Katoomba, on 29 July 2016, 6pm-8pm. To be opened by Rae Bolotin, Artistic Director, BigCi.
Magda-Error Strategy Poster

July 2016
Open Day-100716 Poster

May 2016Awards Announcement

April 2016
Open Day-080516

March 2016
BigCi Environmental Awards 2016 Announced
DSC03741Australian and International Artists from various fields – visual art, installation, multimedia, performance, literature, music, photography, film making, curating – are invited to submit entries for the BigCi Environmental Awards 2016.
The two winning artists will each receive 4 free weeks of BigCi residency and AUD$2,000 spending money. In addition to that, up to AUD$2,000 ARTFLIGHT travel subsidy will be shared between the two winners. Submissions deadline is 11th OF APRIL 2016. There is no entry fee.
BigCi Environmental Award 2016 Submission Form

Environmental Award Judges Announced

Eva Rodriguez Riestra is a public art curator with a background in architecture, urban design and photography, and an ongoing involvement in academic research and education. For the last ten years Eva has been Public Art Program Manager at the City of Sydney, contributing to the cultural transformation of the city through commissioning temporary and permanent public art works and managing the significant collection. She is interested in community-focused, collaborative and participatory approaches to design; in understanding the relationships between people and place; in environmental sustainability and connection to nature; and in socially responsible and experimental art and architecture and their expanded fields of practice.
Alan Schacher is a performance creator based in the Blue Mountains. Alan has performed in Australia, Japan, Russia, France, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. His interdisciplinary practice incorporates dance, live art/performance art, and installation. Whether he works as director, choreographer, designer, performer or visual artist, his art is focussed on spatial experience and the implication of the body in diverse situations. Alan believes that successful art that excavates, engages with and highlights ethical, ecological and socially and culturally committed platforms is essential to maintaining the status of art as an agent of change in the contemporary milieu.
Peter Hannam is the environment editor at the Sydney Morning Herald, and his work on climate change and other environment issues is republished across the Fairfax Media network. Peter has also worked as a journalist in Mongolia, China, Singapore and Japan. He has grown ever fonder of the Blue Mountains but saves a special spot for his family’s bush property near Mansfield in north-eastern Victoria.

March 2016Invite

February 2016
Book Launch Invite

February 2016
Invite-Open Day 060216-10



















November 2015Open Day Invite-291115 - s


July 2015
BigCi Invite



June 2015
moody-blue-nov-2014-web-size_Ben Pearce





CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: World Heritage Artist in Residence Program

In recognition of the significance and outstanding beauty of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre launches the World Heritage Artist in Residence Program in June 2015. The World Heritage Artist in Residence Program consists of a 6-week artist residency at BigCi sponsored by the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, to create a new body of work in response to the World Heritage Area followed by an exhibition at the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery.

The World Heritage Residency program is designed for Australian and international artists, working in painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, video, ephemeral art, etc. It is not designed for performance, theatre, music or literature as the final outcome is an exhibition at the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery.

Call for Submissions: Mon, 1 June – Friday, 24 July 2015
Successful artists to be announced: Monday 17 August
Residency Dates (not flexible): 17 February – 29 March 2016
Exhibition Dates: 30 July – 11 September 2016

For more information and the APPLICATION FORM & GUIDELINES visit

May-June 2015

March 2015
BigCi Environmental Award 2015 Winners Announced

We are thrilled to announce the winners of BigCi Environmental Award 2015.

This year BigCi received a record number of submissions from different parts of Australia and from around the world: UK, Turkey, New Zealand, Poland, USA, Finland, India, Mongolia, Norway, Canada, Singapore, Mauritius, Indonesia, Germany, Uganda, Lithuania, Italy.

And the winners are:
Stuart Frost, Norway; Isabelle Hayeur, Canada;  Sonja Hinrichsen, USA.
The winner of the new Directors Choice Award 2015 is Vanessa Macedo, Australia.

Here is what the judges had to say about the winners:
Image 1Image 2The submissions came from a wide range of disciplines: painting, sculpture, photography, installation art, performance art, video/film making, multi-media art, sound art, edible art, wearable art, dance, writing/poetry, textile design, curatorial.

All award winners will take part in 3-week artist residency programs at BigCi. Their work will be showcased in a number of Open Day events throughout the year. Watch this space!!

Many thanks to our independent panel of judges for performing the hard task of choosing the winners. The judges were:
Greg Johns, sculptor with strong interest in the environment;
Jenny Pollak, multi-media artist, photographer and poet;
Lindie Ward, freelance curator, previously at the Powerhouse Museum; designer.

January 2015
BigCi Environmental Awards 2015 Announced
Australian and International Artists are invited to submit entries for the BigCi Environmental Awards 2015.
Thanks to private sponsorship, we are offering this year:
3 awards, each consisting of a free 3-week BigCi artist residency.
Submissions deadline is 10th of March 2015.
More information and the Application Form – here BigCi Environmental Award 2015

January 2015

Open Day 5 - February 2015 - cutNovember 2014
open-day-i 4 the ground cut

September 2014

A big crowd had gathered at BigCi on Sunday, 21 September, to take part in the Environmental Day activities.
Bob Carr, former Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, NSW Premier and a best-selling author, was the invited speaker of the day. Bob Carr is also a keen bushwalker and particularly loves the nature around the Greater Blue Mountains. Bob started his 20 minute address by launching ‘The Complete Wollemi North-South Traverse’ book written by explorers Yuri Bolotin (BigCi Development Director) and Michael Keats. He also spoke of the importance of nature conservation and of protecting the amazing wilderness areas we have around us within the Greater Blue Mountains. Bilpin, where BigCi is situated, is ideally positioned between two great national parks – Wollemi National Park and Blue Mountains National Park.
Bob Carr’s presentation was followed by talks by Michael Keats about Wollemi National Park, and Yuri Bolotin about their first ever complete traverse of the Wollemi Wilderness, now depicted in a new book.
The second part of the day had presentations by BigCi 2014 Environmental Award winners, the artists Han Qing (China) and Andy Webster (UK). Han Qing, who had just spent four weeks at BigCi creating a new body of work (which was exhibited during the day), made many interesting comments about the environmental issues in the area from a Chinese artist’s perspective.
The BigCi Environmental Day was a big success and was thoroughly enjoyed by everybody who came.

Photos: Jamie Andrei.

September 2014
bigci-environmental-day-invite[1] cut

July 2014
brand picture





My Cities, Your Identities
International video-art and photography festival
July 18-24, 2014

International ArtExpo, in collaboration with BigCi, is proud to announce the opening of My Cities, Your Identities, international art festival of photography and video art, which will be held at BigCi – Bilpin international ground for Creative initiatives artist residency on the edge of Wollemi National Park, Australia, from the 18th to the 24th of July 2014. The opening party of the event will be on July 19, 2014 at BigCi, starting from 2 PM to 4 PM (free entry).

organizer: International ArtExpo
curator: Luca Curci

venue: BigCi – Bilpin international ground for Creative initiatives, Bilpin, NSW, Australia.
opening: July 18, 2014 from 11.00 AM; opening party Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 2 PM to 4 PM.
RSVP for address to
dates: from the 18 to the 24 of July 2014; from 11 AM to 4 PM, free entry

The following artists were selected to exhibit at BigCi:

.video art
Gabriella Parisi . Italy | Mario F. Londoño Muñoz . Argentina | Nia Maria Moilanen & Chad Cogdill . Finland | Gregory Steel . USA | Lucia Flego . Italy | Debbie Davies . USA | Laurence Gartel . USA | Peter Trukenbrod & Barbara Ekström . Sweden | Pilar G. Calero . Spain | Christine Istad . Norway | Fred L’Epee . Switzerland | Candaş Şişman . Turkey | Kate MacDonald . Canada | Toni Simò . Spain | Shaun Wilson . Australia | Susan Yeung & Russell Morton . Singapore| Maggie Van der Toorn. Italy

Tatjana Leuzzi . Germany | Tobias D. Oggenfuss . USA | Malgorzata Basinska . Norway | Ivana Russo . Italy

Among all the selected artists for the exhibition, the winner of an art residency stay in BigCihas been selected, from the 14th to the 27th of July 2014: Shaun Wilson. Congratulations!

My Cities, Your Identities explores the parallel relationship between cities’ transformations and identities’ evolution: modern metropolis are often the result of the compound of different cities and cultures, as it is for contemporary identities. During this borderless time we have the possibility to live and experience a constant hybridization among cities, bodies, societies, cultures and new technologies, which shapes and regenerates our individualities. Our whole being evolves as well as contemporary cultures and modern cities do.

The exhibition is curated by Arch. Luca Curci (Founder of LUCA CURCI ARCHITECTS and It’s LIQUID Group).

International ArtExpo is an art organization that provides a significant forum for cultural dialogue between all artists from different cultures and countries. ArtExpo is grateful to all of the institutions, corporations, and individuals who support our artistic projects. We work with a number of national and international galleries as well as publishers, museums, curators and critics from all over the world. We help artists through solo and group exhibitions, gallery representation, magazine reviews and advertisements, press releases, internet promotion, as well as various curatorial projects.

June 2014

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May 2014
A ‘General Map of Caves’ Drawing Exhibition is on at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery

In preparation for this exhibition, curated by Tia McIntyre, the artists Locust Jones, Talitha Kennedy, Catherine O’Donnell and Kelly O’Dempsey did a group residency at BigCi in February this year – working, talking, walking and visiting some caves in the Wollemi.
The unique ‘whiteboard’ walls of the Art Shed became a giant canvas for the artists to draw on, using non-permanent ink pens. On the last night of the residency, they were joined by the dancer Tanya Voges, who did a series of amazing short performances inspired by each of the artist’s works. Matt Creswell’s film of the performance is part of the exhibition. The performance will be re-staged at the gallery – details to be advised.
Check out a few more of the short videos we took during the stunning performance by Tanya Voges, with projections by Kelly O’Dempsey:

March 2014
BigCi Environmental Award 2014 Winners Announced
BigCi received submissions that came from Australia and around the world: Indonesia, China, Sweden, Finland, Thailand, UK, Mauritius, Germany, USA. Due to the extremely high quality of the submissions, we have decided to give not one but two Awards this year. The independent panel of judges consisting of Tia McIntyre, Curator, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and Michael Keats, Author and Explorer selected the following Winners: Andy Webster from the UK and Han Qing from China. Both artists are coming to BigCi later this year to undertake their residencies. Here is what the judges had to say about the Winners:

“Andy Webster’s works combine playful expression with well-researched scientific data. He is able to transform ideas through art, communicating strong messages and complex concepts in a simple way. His work is multi-layered, engaging and has an immediacy about it. We are hoping his stay in the Blue Mountains will result in a work of art that can immediately engage with the audience, whilst at the same time having strong environmental messages in it.”


Han Qing“Han Qing’s work has a very strong research foundation. With his work, he wants to connect to the core of the tension between the minerals extracting industry in Australia and the manufacturing industry in China, and then in turn to their effect on the people in both countries. We are very interested to see what metaphors he will use to communicate these messages and what effect will the national park environment around BigCi have on his eventual body of work.”

January 2014
BigCi Environmental Award 2014 Announced
DSC00012We are delighted to announce the inaugural BigCi Environmental Award 2014 – 2 weeks of residency at BigCi – available to Australian and international artists from various creative fields. The submissions deadline is 3 March 2014. For more details and the application form, click here BigCi Environmental Award

December 2013
New Workshop Announced
On 7-9 March 2014, a new exciting workshop will take place at BigCi that combines Drawing and Yoga. For details, see here… 

November 2013
Upcycling Techniques – Zero Waste Art Workshop
DSC09254sThis workshop was conducted at the BigCi Art Shed by New Zealand artist in residence Anna Borrie. She taught the participants how to turn plastic food wrappers into beautiful art objects, as well as other upcycling techniques.

August 2013
Sincerely yours, is performed at BigCi Art Shed
The sincerely yours, Love Letters performance was presented at the BigCi Art Shed on 18 August by AñA Wojak, the recipient of Very Terry Reid Award, and Eve Klein, Blue Mountains based mezzo soprano and composer. This first performance at the Art Shed (still under construction at that time) attracted a big crowd of people of all ages, from nearby and far away.
See the amazing images here… from the performance.

August 2013
Announcing the winners – The Very Terry Reid Award
post office

– Anna Borrie (New Zealand)
– AñA Wojak (Australia)
The Very Terry Reid Award was made possible due to generosity and vision of the artist Terry Reid.
The Very Terry Reid Award  was also made possible due to generous support of Hadley Green Company.

January 2013
BigCi Korean Musicians Group Captures the Hearts of Sydney Audiences
A group of traditional Korean performance artists, Yessen, (click to see more), performed for a wide variety of audiences while on their BigCi residency.

This included a concert for the children at Bilpin Primary School, two collaborative and improvisational evenings at Sound Bites Lounge in Katoomba, an RBM 89.1 radio interview and presentation, a Red Cross party for 400, performances in Korean temples and churches, a Korean Society event, a gig at Sydney’s Now Now festival of contemporary music, a collaborative concert with Australian jazz musicians at the Hibernian House in Sydney, and even a performance during a concrete pour of the slab of the future BigCi pavilion.

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November 2012
BigCi Artistic Director Presents at Res Artis International Conference in Tokyo, Japan

In November 2012, Rae and Yuri Bolotin attended Res Artis conference in Tokyo, Japan. The conference lasted almost a week and attracted visitors representing artist residencies programs from around the world.  It was a most inspirational event. The speakers shared their views, ideas and vision about the ways residencies should be structured and run in order to support the latest in contemporary art practice.

Rae Bolotin, BigCi Artistic Director, did a talk at micro-residency session of the conference at Youkobo Art Space. She presented BigCi, what we have done so far and what we are planning to do in the future. She was humbled and excited by the enthusiastic feedback from the audience and is now even more inspired to make BigCi an amazing place for the artists to come to.

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September 2012
Yuri Completes
Full Wollemi National Park Traverse

Over 18 days in September 2012, Yuri Bolotin, one of BigCi Principals, together with two other fellow bushwalkers, has completed the first in history Wollemi Full North to South Traverse.  The Traverse took the group through the heart of Wollemi Wilderness, the largest declared wilderness area in Australia.  It is a harsh and unforgiving environment consisting of wild gorges, thick scrub, high cliffs, vast majority of it off track.

The overall objective was to walk from the northernmost point of Wollemi National Park, all the way to the southernmost point at Kurrajong (near BigCi), whilst always remaining within the Park boundaries.  Nearly 2 years went into preparation and planning of this adventure. The full Traverse took 279km in distance and 12,627m of ascent to complete.

Yuri is currently in the process of writing a book about this journey.  He is delighted to share some of his exploration experience and knowledge of the bush with BigCi residents interested in nature, environment and wild places.

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October 2012

Carlotta Brunetti’s Master Class A Big Success

On Sunday, 7th October 2012, BigCi ran a very special event: ‘Master Class – The Practice and Challenges of Site-Specific Land Art’ conducted by internationally renowned Italian born, German based land artist Carlotta Brunetti.

Carlotta is a recipient of numerous scholarships and prizes; she exhibited her work widely around the world including ‘Land Art and Contemporain’, France; I-Park, USA; Istanbul Biennale, Turkey; Guandu Nature Park, Taiwan; ‘Humus Park’ Land Art Meeting, Pordenone, Italy; Geumgang Nature Art Pre- Biennale, South Korea and many others.

Carlotta was artist-in-residence at BigCi at the beginning of 2012. She formed a special connection with this extraordinary land on the edge of the WollemiNational Park and created a site-specific work here.

Master Class presented a unique opportunity for the artists and art professionals to learn from her extraordinary knowledge of site-specific land art. It included both theory and hands on practical workshop on the beautiful grounds of BigCi.  The event was well attended by sculptors, land art educators and architects.

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April 2012
Inaugural Open Day
On the 1st of April 2012 BigCi (Bilpin international ground for Creative initiatives) held its first Open Day. Over 60 people came, many from far away, and it really felt like a very special event, a beginning of the vision to provide an inspirational place for artists and their creative initiatives.

Rae Bolotin, Creative Director of BigCi, shared with the audience how the idea of BigCi originated, what has been achieved so far and the plans for the future. She explained the criteria for artists to apply (see Application Form under Artist Residency) and how supporters can get involved (see Get Involved).

Carlotta Brunetti, a German/Italian land artist, delivered a highly visual lecture on light and colour in landscape. She also talked about the process of creating the site specific work for BigCi, how her preconceived ideas changed when she arrived here and the difficulties she experienced when faced with inclement weather and physical restrictions..

Wally McGregor, the winner of BigCi Scholarship for National Art School BFA (honours) graduate, spoke wittily about his experience during his artist residency program.

After the speeches, Yuri Bolotin took an enthusiastic group of explorers for a walk around the property and to see Carlotta’s work in situ.

The weather was in its most brilliant and the picnic that followed was most enjoyable.

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December 2011
 Museum International Artists Visit

untitledIn September this year Lindie Ward, Curator of the ‘International Lace Award’ at the Powerhouse Museum visited BigCi along with exhibiting artists from the exhibition – Ulrika Berge, Sweden; Andrea Eimke, Cook Islands; Noelle Hamlyn, Canada and Lauran Sundin, USA. Our visitors inspected the artist studio, mud brick house and surrounding property and were fascinated by the beautiful Australian bush landscape. Hopefully we will see them again as artists in residency at BigCi at some point in the future.

The ‘International Lace Award’ will be at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney until April 2012.

7 Responses to News

  1. deborah horner says:

    Hi Rae,
    Congratulations on your success with BigCi! We are back finally from Tonga and when I am next in Sydney it would be great to get up to Bilpin. All the best, Deborah

  2. Pingback: Slight backtrack: creativity and making stuff. part 2 « girt by sea textiles

  3. Robin Smith says:

    Hi Rae and Yuri,

    I loved your newsletter. It was great to hear about all of the artistic adventures coming from your beautiful Bilpin programs. Both of you are amazing!

    Robin Smith

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    Lover Letter
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  5. Hello good Night or good evening or good morning all good by
    Roberto Scala Mail Artist

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