The boundaries of my small home studio (i.e. the living room floor) have been tested this last month as I began creating pieces for an outdoor installation at Gasworks Arts Park. The exhibition showcased the creativity of 37 artists forming an arts trail that wound around the bushland of this public park.
The exhibition brief was to imagine:
What would happen next if the energy and vitality of the park grew in self expression so that new forms became apparent, DNA began to change and evolve and surprising structures of transient beauty were made manifest?
Using materials gathered from my local beach environment, and with generous donations from artist friends I envisaged creating a series of beauty spots arising from the soil or skin of mother earth. I wanted each spot to hold a different energy and to form a mandala or symbol of wholeness. I also wanted the installation to be a circle of reflection and contemplation where viewers could be invited to become centred and calm.
Here are some photos of the process and the finished work.
Well, spring is finally here after the coldest and dullest winter in Victoria for 40 years. Each sunny day seems a small miracle. The trees are growing leaves overnight and the pulse of life is palpable. Creatures are unwinding slowly from hibernation and blinking in the light. I can see why the spring equinox in times past was such a time of celebration. The night is past and the earth abundant again.
So, with a spirit full of hope and rejuvenation, I share my gratitude for the return of spring with you. An attitude of gratitude opens our hearts to the beauty of our life here and now. And it’s good for the serotonin and dopamine levels in our brain which are the chemicals that promote feelings of happiness and well being. With repeated practice we can actually change the neuro circuitry of our brains and become happier people.
As a daily practice, I am choosing to think of 3 things for which I am grateful. We all have basic things to be grateful for starters– waking up alive, having a body that is continually working to maintain equilibrium, a friend that supports us in difficult times. Count them for yourself and see how abundant your life is!
Feel free to print this out and put it somewhere as a daily reminder to rejoice in what you have!
We’re still waiting for spring after a particularly cold winter. Sitting on the threshold so to speak. All this winter gloom has been great for indoorsy, creative experimentation.
With thanks to Lyn Belisle for the tutorial on face making and Cas Holmes for inspiration.
making a clay mould
eco dyeing on silk using eucalyptus
collection of shells
clay mould face
mark making on different papers
wax crayon rubbings
clay face mould
eucalyptus prints on calico
“[Sacred space] is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen”. ~ Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth