Testing Grounds

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Testing Grounds

Testing Grounds

Testing Grounds Studio Program


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After supporting over 300 creative projects since 2017, we are excited to enter into our next phase of providing temporary infrastructure for creative practices – implementing a site-wide studio program.

We’re offering a dedicated cohort of artists nine free studios for six months between October 2019 – April 2020.

Read more below before filling out the Expression of Interest form.

Recognising what arises from artists with diverse creative practices being afforded the time and space to meet, discuss and interact, Testing Grounds is committed to establishing a supportive and productive creative culture. That’s why we’ve decided to offer spaces for you to dive deeper, think bigger, and give yourself an investment in your practice. 

In turn, this new program will allow us – the architects, operators and programmers of Testing Grounds – to experiment with different time scales and learn about how the infrastructure can support and enable creative practices in new ways.

The program is open to anyone who needs extended time and space to work on a major project. You might be working towards a big exhibition, a commission, a performance or festival project (or anything else significant – we are open to everything!). 

With your studio, you will also receive project management support, critical feedback and exposure to Melbourne’s arts community. You will also have access to the outdoor grounds and infrastructure to test and develop work outdoors. 

What you get

  • A rent-free studio for up to 6 months
  • 24 hours of access to the site
  • Free internet
  • Exposure to the arts precinct
  • Monthly opportunities to share your work in development with the other artists on site
  • Curatorial support and investment in your practice from Testing Sounds staff, including at least once a month studio visits
  • A desk and approximately 6 x 3 meters of studio space, plus outdoor space for testing work 
  • Some input about how your studio is designed

What we ask from you

  • Experiment, be site-responsive and courageous in what you are making
  • Be an active part of our community and use the studio and grounds regularly (a commitment of at least three days a week is expected)
  • Be generous with the other artists with your knowledge
  • Attend once a month get-together with the other artists on the site, facilitated by Testing Grounds 
  • A commitment to archiving your time with Testing Grounds throughout the studio program

What we get

  • Time to reflect on Testing Grounds as a temporary project, take it apart and think about how to potentially bring the many parts back together in new ways
  • A community of experimental, site-responsive and courageous artists to hang out with
  • Comprehensive documentation of the studio process for archive and future use as research


  • You can apply as a solo artist, as a collaboration or as a collective
  • You are:
    • working towards a major project in 2020-2021
    • not studying an arts degree at university between October 2019 – April 2020 
    • not working full-time in a job between October 2019 – April 2020 (other than being an artist!)
    • not working in another studio between October 2019-April 2020
    • not leaving Melbourne for longer than 2 weeks between October 2019-April 2020

Selection criteria

  • Information and details on a major project, including any supporting documentation
  • Evidence of a practice that benefits from having a dedicated studio and that the infrastructure will be used in interesting ways
  • Evidence of experimentation within your discipline
  • Artistic merit of the major project
  • Value of experience for the artist

Key dates

  • Applications open: 8 May 2019
  • Applications close: 15 June 2019
  • Shortlisted applications are interviewed from 29 June 2019
  • All applicants notified of the final outcome: 16 July 2019
  • The program commences: 1 October 2019
  • The program closes: 30 April 2020

Hot tips

  • Email arie@theprojects.com.au or phone 0437929617 to discuss your application with the program director and curator Arie
  • Testing Grounds is a temporary infrastructure project and is in a unique position to support projects that need a robust and flexible space. We probably won’t select practices that don’t need this
  • The application is open to all types of creative practice but the studio won’t be suitable as a space for indoor performance development, or rehearsals
  • Practices that use solvents or products that emit VOC fumes will be considered if the artist can show ways to mitigate their impact on others in a shared space
  • Artists that already have their major project confirmed with a venue, festival or equivalent, will be looked on favourably
  • Projects that will use the outdoor grounds and infrastructure for testing are encouraged