Wow, being an artist is such a mixture of joy and anxiety but I am very excited about my latest project! It also involves a bunch of fabulous people who are sharing their creativity, skills, and knowledge- something I am so enriched by and grateful for (big love to my mentors Erin McCuskey at Yum Studio and Barry Wemyss at Red Echidna Studios).
I have loved books, reading, and writing for as long as I can remember so in a way this is a very personal work, but I think the great thing is how universal the joy of reading is too. I will look forward to posting some more images and things when I get the chance but for now, here are the details, as well as a whole programme of events happening over the two week exhibition period you can check out on the Weave Length Productions site. Enjoy!
Last week I was invited to speak to a great group of Year 9 students from Ballarat High about happiness and some of the things I do in the local arts community. An introductory exercise was run where everyone wrote down something that made them happy, put it in a balloon, blew it up, then passed along to someone else to pop. Imagine my joy when I received this!
Am working away on my next project- an exhibition/installation/extravaganza all about books and reading. Follow along here and as my childhood diary used to faithfully sign off- WML (wish me luck!) ; )
Since I was young I have always kept a journal and at the moment this blog might be seen as its equivalent. When I had neglected my diary I would apologise to the paper like it was a being that could be hurt, that I could also rejoice with etc. When I was in Germany recently I re-read the diary of Anne Frank– an intensified case of this, the diary as friend and confidant. How strange to think that for her, it became such a significant, public document (sadly she never got to see its profound influence) and for me/us in our times, our confidants are spread across the world, both known and unknown persons, reaching across the wires, out across the seas.
But all that is all a round-about way of saying- I’m sorry I haven’t written for so long!!
I am spurred on by the great Lily Mae Martin at Berlin Domestic, with the reminder that things will happen “all in good time” and also Siohban Melise at Surrendering Youth and the wise words of Max Ehrmann to “be gentle with yourself.” Since I was young I have always found peace and resonance in his Desiderata.
So, I have been busy working away on projects like Ballarat Heritage Weekend, Art Sparks, and a new exhibition or two and look forward to sharing more here as I bumble through. I have also been taking lots if photos that I will try to organise when I get time! Here is a pic taken by PH (beloved philosopher husband) having some autumn fun outside Red Brick Gallery yesterday.
I have always loved houses, each one like a person with its own character (hence one reason for my passionate dislike for housing estates where all are the same!). Whether it’s wandering in a new neighbourhood-
Or getting lost in your own hometown! I have no idea where I just was, but it was cool. I love Ballarat, such an odd mesh of new and old-
And now for some Chet Baker. Enjoy!
I went to an event last night, a great fundraiser for independent theatre, and someone asked me if I was a writer. I didn’t know what to say. I fussed and flailed. Flailed! I despaired to a friend later on and found a strange peace in his knowing response. “You’ve gotta stop flailing. Your arms get tired.”
Why was it so hard to say? I just spent all day writing, but I still feel like a fraud. And I miss thinking in poetry. I found this in my drawer the other day:
There were days when I thought and dreamt in poetry
Each thought winged, garlanded,
daisy chain word train,
Not like these words,
drawn like teeth [these metal tools LAID OUT]
or the miracle of two golden sounds, clutched in a cloth,
kept for safe keeping
under my pillow.
A few weeks out from my 29th birthday and with some pretty big years behind me (house-buying, creative projects, masters, travel etc), I feel like looking back a bit before I can move forward. Really, how strange it is to grow from birth to death, inhabiting this same body and heart as they bumble through.
As a kid, while I always had friends, I also loved getting out on my own in nature. As you can see: I have always been into cool forms of transport and sharp dressing ; )
Now I have the Black Hill area at my backdoor, but back then Darebin Parklands was my playground: climbing trees, looking for creatures in the creek, riding my bike fast down bumpy hills, writing in my diary.
Not much has changed really! That funny, anxious, creative little soul.
Yesterday I passed along my long neglected drum kit to my friend’s daughter who is about the same age as me when I first got them. Our band was called Pretty and Pink and we had all the merchandise organised, unfortunately not the talent. Don’t let it happen to you! When I think of those days, growing up, yikes! I certainly wouldn’t want to go back, but there is something magical in the constant discovery, learning about yourself and the world for the first time.
-clubhouses and the elaborate games and rituals of primary school
-getting my first period the day of a swimming pool party in Year 7
-getting up in front of the whole of Year 9 and singing ‘Everybody wants something, they’ll never give up’ from Degrassi High
-jumping out of a cake on my 18th birthday after orchestrating a crazy moving feast of ‘site-related theatre’- before I knew such a thing existed
-love and the pain of losing love
Another ten years on and I’ve been quite busy, always growing, hopefully learning! And I feel so much love for my family and friends and amazing mentors that encourage and inspire me. Life can be tough and most of the time I just feel varying forms of confusion, but to know that I can jump on my bike and ride alongside beautiful trees, or explore crazy ideas and turn them into artworks, and enjoy food and fun with my loved ones is sweet, and good to remember on the dark days.
So, here I am raising an icecream to my younger self, and sending all my best wishes to the Curnow girls for their garage band. Good times lie ahead. x
I am very much thinking about writing forms today… from a text message, to an email, to a blog post, to a short story, to a poem, to a personal handwritten letter, to a thesis, to a book chapter. Working across them all and my brain squeezes and expands, wavers and weaves, hits walls and takes flight. What fits where? How do thoughts translate into words?