Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station


Artist's Retreat

The Ochre House Artist's Retreat: The Ochre House is situated in a remote gorge on the Station. The building is a single large space with bathroom and toilet facilities partitioned off and a generous balcony with gas barbecue. The House is powered by a 12V hybrid wind/photovoltaic system and has a recycling system for waste management.

The Ochre House provides an unique private and secluded experience in an especially scenic part of the Station with a riot of Outback colours and varied landforms guaranteed to inspire artists. The Station supports an Artist in Residence Program managed by Arc@UNSW. Artists must contact Arc, not Fowlers Gap, to access this program.





Other studios: A further self-contained and larger studio (The Green House) has been constructed in view of the homestead complex to support the research of COFA Postgraduate students. This studio may be available to other parties when not in use by COFA. A further studio (Project X) is planned on a quartzite ridge overlooking Freislich Dam, the Station’s main water supply, with sweeping views along the Barrier Range. We expect the third studio to become operational in mid-2009.

Please note: The retreats/studios do not have any active cooling because of small renewable energy supplies. The buildings are insulated but not recommended for use in the austral summer (December-February) due to extreme high temperatures.

ABC Open
By ABC Open Illawarra producer Sean O'Brien

Not the Way Home, an artist expedition to the far west


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13 artists are travelling from the coast to the Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station in far west NSW, for a 14 day arts laboratory. Viewers will be able to follow the journey daily through the project blog.

Not the Way Home is the apt title for an artist expedition that has just kicked off. 13 Australian artists, many from the Illawarra, south-coast, and southern Sydney region, are travelling out to the Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station north-west of Broken Hill for a 14 day arts laboratory. The artists, a mixture of ages, backgrounds, and arts practices, will be reacting to and creatively interpreting the arid landscape. Their work from the field will be uploaded daily to a blog, allowing viewers to follow their journey, at

In this short video, expedition leader Idris Murphy talks about his love of painting, colour, and the desert. He introduces the Not the Way Home expedition.

Renowned artists in the expedition include Elisabeth Cummings, Euan Macleod, Joe Frost, Peter Sharp, Amanda Penrose Hart, Guy Warren, and Steve Lopes.

ABC Open Illawarra producer Sean O'Brien will be along for the ride, to assist the artists to produce content for the blog. Expect videos, audio, images, sketches, paintings, and stories. Hope you can join us.