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Ballara Art & Lifestyle Retreat - Artist Residency Program

2019 Residents

Belinda Eckermann - Visual Arts - February/March

Belinda Eckermann lives and works in Victoria’s Mallee Region. Her current practice is intrinsically tied to her local environment. In 2013 she undertook her Masters in Visual Arts, during which she developed an interest in genetics and notions of the hybrid into an exploration of the invasive white snail, commonly encountered in her agricultural community. Her work with the snail shifted her practice toward drawing and a focus on drawing as installation, culminating in her use of the snails as medium. She is currently investigating the native Bardi Grub and Ghost Moth and modes of incorporating their natural interventions with their environment into her creative practice. Eckermann has exhibited regularly throughout regional Victoria since 2009 and was shortlisted for the People’s Choice Award at the 2016 Mission to Seafarers exhibition in Melbourne, where she was also awarded the Bendigo Emerging Artists Judge’s Special Commendation. Eckermann’s practice is concerned with layering, drawing as installation and the immersion of audience. She aims to broaden societal perspectives through her work.

Currently taking 'rolling' applications on a case-by-case basis for 2023 - 2024.


  • To provide the time, space and support required to encourage, inspire, nurture and celebrate the creative process for developing, emerging, established and/or practising artists.


  • To support the importance, relevance and validity of the Arts to society, education, and the community.


  • To encourage community, collaboration, artistic growth and impactful ideas.


  • To challenge and create conversation around the notion of urban/rural connection through the Arts.


Ballara Art & Lifestyle Retreat - Artist Residency Program is a program of short-term, intensive, ongoing (rolling) residential opportunities for Artists, Makers and Creative Thinkers of any and all disciplines, created to provide the time and space required to encourage, inspire, nurture and celebrate the creative process. 


The Artist Residency Program is open to artists across any and all disciplines - including, but not limited to: all visual and fine arts, music and composition, theatre and performing arts, dance, mixed media, writing, and filmmaking and/or screenwriting, as well as arts scholars, researchers, scientists, activists, educators and all creative thinkers - to commence, develop, continue or conclude a project, idea or concept. Time spent during the Residency is artist-led, with priority given to those applicants who express interest in working with and/or contributing to the local community through short-term projects and/or innovative ideas, or are willing to publicly share elements of their creative process during their stay and engage with the community.


Ballara supports emerging, mid-career, and established artists. Up to 4 individual artists may be in residence at any one time (configured as Room 1: 1x queen bed, Room 2: 1x double bed, Room 3: 2x single beds, plus shared bathroom) or residency periods may overlap. Groups with collaborative projects (up to 4 people) are strongly encouraged to apply.


Artists with a disability are strongly encouraged to apply. However, please note that due to the age of the property, artists with a disability are required to travel with a companion or carer for the duration of their residency.


The attendance of partners and/or children is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


All applicants are expected to hold current Public Liability Insurance within Australia and are expected to provide proof in the form of a PLI certificate. No exceptions will be made.


The all-inclusive fee is AUD$650 per week per resident for residency periods of between 1 - 4 weeks, and includes exclusive use of the entire Ballara grounds and homestead, access to a large separate studio space for freeform use, linen, and Internet services. Participants are required to cover costs of ALL travel and transport to and from Ballara, food, and any and all artistic materials. No laundry service - there is a fully equipped laundry and you are encouraged to make Ballara very much your ‘home’.   


Please note: a car is essential for the journey to and from Ballara, and for general access to the surrounding area/s.


Ballara Art & Lifestyle Retreat is a century-old property located on the Main Street of the small town of Warooka, on Southern Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. Set on equivalent of four town blocks of beautiful cottage gardens with a lush lawn, sculptural found-object ornaments and a spectacular view across the surrounding agricultural land to the ocean beyond, the large stone homestead features a grand hallway, 3 large bedrooms (configured as Room 1: 1x queen bed, Room 2: 1x double bed, Room 3: 2x single beds), fully equipped kitchen, the ‘parlour’ with a piano and communal table, and shared bathroom with an original claw-foot bath. There are 2 separate toilets on the property. A large, covered porch (patio) area extends from the back of the homestead, with ample seating and many areas available to support quiet contemplation and creation.


Ballara is an approximately 3-hour drive from the closest major metropolitan city of Adelaide (and Adelaide International Airport). Southern Yorke Peninsula is widely known for its spectacular coastal scenery and unique landscapes, which we encourage you to explore to enrich your residency experience. A car is essential for the journey and for local access and is the responsibility of the artist.


The custodian of the property is Steph Ball, a life-long resident of the Warooka area. Built by Steph’s paternal grandfather in 1910, Ballara has remained within the family for four generations. The Ballara Art & Lifestyle Retreat - Artist Residency Program was conceived and developed by Steph’s daughter, Holly, a musician and youth arts engagement worker. 

Application Process

The Artist Residency Program is ‘artist-led’, with Ballara providing the essential creative tools of time and expansive space to Artists and Creative Thinkers for their personal use.

Participants are required to provide a short statement (one to two pages) upon conclusion of their residency stay, and are kindly asked to credit Ballara Art & Lifestyle Retreat - Artist Residency Program within publicity and advertising of any resulting artwork/s and/or public coverage of their project and/or experience.

** All applicants must hold current Public Liability Insurance in Australia and must be able to provide proof of this via a PLI certificate. No exceptions will be made. We recommend for artists.

We encourage applicants to explore avenues such as grants, private funding, etc, whilst we work towards our goal of offering sponsored residencies in future.

A project proposal is a part of the application process, and will be reviewed by the Ballara team.

The ideal applicant is self-motivated, self-sufficient, focussed and adaptable. Show us your personality and how you plan to use your time, space and opportunity at Ballara.

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