The Creative Path
It’s a pleasure to be asked by Bee to contribute to her Curio blog. I have long admired her art & design work from near & far, as well as her commitment to the creative life thru her business & personal endeavours.
I relish a project and I am kind of excited to indulge in sharing with you my own creative path, focusing on recent years as a nice way to reflect, as I move, as we all move into 2014. Selfie snap-I am typing on a laptop in a Glebe Cafe, in very net friendly hipster space on a Friday morning. Which bless me, I have taken off this year’s work calendar, for My Project: Which is committing to art all FRI-day in view of future exhibitions and collaboration’s. I have found a Glebe Art Studio to paint in Friday afternoons, so I am beside myself with excitement about going there this afternoon.
I seem to have been always searching and moving since I was a child. Transferring to Sydney 4years ago when a job offer came my way, gave me pause before I found the belonging place. That is living in Glebe. A still village like fusion of cultures & vultures/ dreamers & lovers, where I could feel safe and a part of a community. Still like all people I longed for intimate close group of friends here and that’s not always easy to find. Just when my loneliness had become too solid I saw a tiny hand drawn pamphlet advising a night of intentional community with a speaker on travel in St Johns’ Road and a new door opened.
This is still my haven after 3years, a space of womb like lounges to sink into and be enfolded by, with different thought provoking speakers and discussions to stimulate, stretch & strengthen. Meeting beautiful people I have camped with, partied with, dined with, and enjoyed live music with ever since.
I mention them as they become a strong part of my current creative story. In 2012 I ran a series of workshops called ‘artspace’ there, over a 3mth period with another artist-Michelle. We alternated between a free art making and guided projects from ‘the artist way’ to help us along. The group drank wine and ate cheese & dips around the table together. As we painted we shared our week, worries and wisdom. For a time it became my succour filling me with women’s voices & hearts helping each other.
I had run art therapy workshops in the Melbourne after training with a private collage called the phoenix institute- which I loved! I had created more structured style of meditation/ therapy & art making. In collaborating with Michelle, a softer organic healing took place that naturally arose as we worked. Stories of gender we had two transgender members, of job loss & homelessness and of corporate life with no home time.
My haven was dropping in numbers so they decided to advertise themselves using one of my works on paper images in a postcard at the Glebe Street Fair (the money was timely).
Last year saw a wind change and an acknowledgement that for this community to move forward there needed to be a celebration of the past 16 years and a rebooting with new name & fresh new values & purpose. That’s where I came in. I was asked to curate an art exhibition inviting all past members to show, emote & create a piece of art that reflected their time with the group.
With some curatorship experience behind me as a youth project worker: Xhibit01- art works all created by young people in Camberwell/Canterbury/Hawthorn area of Melbourne, shown in multiple cafes & businesses in 1999, opened by the Lord Mayor of the time. Later on I was given the opportunity to join an artist collective & become a committee member with Synergy Gallery in Northcote, Victoria. We organised a show called ‘Recovery’ for artist’s who had experienced illness & loss and who had used art as a way to express this journey. I had 7 pieces included which were my creation story series. It was apart of High St Festival 2009 where all the galleries had openingson the same night, so people went up & down the street attending them, lots of wine glasses travelled with them . Selling “Venus Rising” an artwork I am proud of was a personal hit.
Having enjoyed these experiences l dived head first into this new adventure.
“Celebrate Cafechurch Art Exhibition was born March 2013, with an art team of 3 (including myself) working tirelessly behind the scenes; as I was also a member I contributed to the show with some of my art pieces.
It was a big success with artworks coming from all over Australia and overseas including published books, archives, poetry, installations, paintings, drawings, video diary, music composed during that regime. The opening also celebrated the musicians from the group playing in different sets and poets with performances. There were tears from some as memories of betrayals, broken friendships and the sheer hard work of seeing what you had created be acknowledged and see its ending noted. I did a fair bit of counselling with people leading up to the show and afterwards as this was the healing art therapy side to it all.
I spent my adolescence and university days in Newcastle and it has a strong pull on my heart. I was chuffed to be included in the magazine, with two of my works on paper in the publican “Keeping Newy Weird” project, which opened with much fun in the, ‘This Is Not Art’ festival there. I loved having this connection over the year with the project as it keep me close to Newcastle and the opening was a great excuse to have a weekend away, catch up with old friends even an old flame and well as go to the great progressive theatre that was on.
I took my friend Matt to the launch, as my date. He is the editor of “Skive” a men’s zine that had been going for 10years to his credit. I had published a love/ erotic poem with it years ago (issue 12), that I had written from the male perspective. So when he decided to wrap up the zine after a decade, I was asked along with all the other contributors to submit. The topic was death & grief and I sent of a women comforting another with a broken heart & a drawing of Orsisos-Eypytan God killed by his brother.
I ended the year on a personal creative high as a Guest Speaker, giving a talk on Art & Spirituality- with the focus on my journey exploring the divine feminine thru art&poetry. It was so confronting to share about something so important to me but that almost made it all the more important to express.
Thanks Bee & friends of curio…I am off to buy oils for my paint class now. Kisses & hugs