BigCi | Bilpin, Australia

BigCi is an independent, artist-run, not for profit artist residency program focusing on artists’ professional development and facilitating their projects.

BigCi has been established and run by Rae Bolotin, a practicing artist, and Yuri Bolotin, environmentalist and wilderness explorer.
We are situated on the edge of Wollemi National Park within the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains, one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots. Due to our location and the knowledge base of our team, many of our resident artists are particularly interested in projects that explore environmental or ecological issues, although many others use our outstanding natural surroundings as a source of creativity for a variety of different artistic pursuits.

All residents have opportunities to take part in bushwalks conducted by Yuri Bolotin, an experienced mountain guide and author, and to learn first-hand about the unique biodiversity and geodiversity of the area.
The natural landscape of BigCi provides a unique venue for staging a wide variety of creative events in the strikingly beautiful environment of rocks, native plants, flowers, trees, dams and creeks.

Artists-in-residence can present their work during a BigCi Open Day that takes place at the end of their stay.



  1. Arte Laguna Prize Winner will receive 4 weeks free residency at mutually agreed dates. Four weeks cannot be split and must be taken within 12 months of the Award Winners announcement (ie before 11 March 2024), unless there are special circumstances. In that case, this period can be extended at BigCi’s discretion.
  2. Note that only projects that leave the environment unharmed will be considered for the Award.
  3.    The winner of the Award will have an opportunity to explore the Wollemi, the Blue Mountains and the Gardens of Stone National Parks on guided walks and will be given research assistance relevant to their project.
  4. Opportunity to present work and do an artist talk at BigCi Open Day exhibition at the end of the stay.
  5.    Possibility of performance, workshop or other special event during or at the end of the residency, as well as a representation on the BigCi website and social media.
  6. BigCi provides shared accommodation and work spaces for creative and professional development in a beautiful and tranquil environment, as well as artist support and project facilitation. The residency includes accommodation, work space, the use of shared living facilities, bathroom, kitchen, internet, electricity, water.
  7. Artists will be responsible for all other costs including food, transport, travel expenses, insurance and art materials. Notes on how to prepare for the BigCi residency will be provided in due course.
  8. Due to the remote location of BigCi, a car is strongly recommended. If this is not possible, we offer pick up from the nearest train station at Richmond and a weekly food shopping trip.
  9. No children are allowed into the residency.
  10. This award does not cover artistic collaborators. If collaboration is required by the nature of the project, the collaborating artists will need to submit separate applications for a self-funded BigCi residency, see http://bigci.org/artist-residency. Their residency must be undertaken at the same time as the winner’s.

Winner announcement date is 11 March 2023 (Arte Laguna Prizes Announcement).


Pavel Kiselev | Arte Laguna Prize

Pavel Kiselev
(Moscow, Russia)

Winner at 14th edition

Akihiko Sugiura | Arte Laguna Prize

Akihiko Sugiura
(Hyogo, Japan)

Winner at 13th edition


  • 4 weeks art residency for 1 artist

  • The residency includes:
  • - Accommodation in private studio in a purpose-built building
  • - Shared living facilities (bathroom, kitchen, internet, electricity, water)
  • - Workspace, in- door and outdoor undercover
  • - Library, including reference books for research
  • - Projection and video room
  • - 8 acres of the property’s bushland available for all kinds of initiatives
  • - Guided wilderness bushwalks in UNESCO World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains
  • - Assistance in facilitation of the projects
  • - BigCi Open Day exhibition at the end of the stay to present the work
  • - Each artist will have an opportunity to do an artist talk
  • - Possibility of a performance, workshop, or other special event during or at the end of the residency
  • - Representation on BigCi website and social media

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