I have been thinking a lot about the role of art in everyday lives. My life is a little skewed on this perspective, given ‘arting’ is my profession! And also given that for the past 5 months I have been fully immersed in creating a new body of work, which means many journeys down tricky pathways that can lead to wondrous discoveries (or really really dodgy ones, such is the nature of creativity!).
I’m speaking of course of Layers of Light, my current exhibition of new paintings and pots.
This exhibition is only one of many that are part of the collective event called Mundaring Hills Open Studios (or ART IN THE HILLS) – an event that has grown a lot in the last few years and attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the Perth hills.
There is a great outpouring of goodwill, fellowship and community spirit during this period, as artists (65 this year!) of every discipline open their doors and welcome the public into their creative spaces. Such a gathering of hearts and souls bathed in the light of creativity is a truly wonderful phenomenon!
While this event is part of my professional life, I also see it as part of a collective offering of love to the community at large. It is a huge logistical and emotional undertaking, made possible only because of the efforts of caring friends, relatives and students who volunteer their time. I am so grateful to every one of them.
But what if you are the sort that ponders the bigger questions – like Why make art? Why share it? Aren’t there more important things to do in this complex world? Aren’t there more pressing concerns than making a pot, making a painting, attending an art class, going to an exhibition…
I think that when life is extra challenging, it is even more important than ever to seek out experiences that may nourish our spirits. In the words of one of my favourite authors, Susan Cain,
“I can offer you a place to remember the good side of humanity … I can offer you a place to draw strength from your continuing quest for knowledge and beauty – even when other things seem sooo much more important.”
So, let’s keep turning to knowledge, beauty and … art. This weekend is the last chance to partake of ART IN THE HILLS, and my studio is open from 10-5 both Sat and Sun Oct 28-29. If you popped over last weekend, I hope we got to chat, and I’m so grateful you took the time! If you haven’t yet, (and live in Perth), it would mean so much to me if you came. In the midst of your busy life, come pause for a moment, enjoy my backyard forest, the birds and flowers and the things I made from my heart for you.
Let’s gather and celebrate fellowship and creativity if we can, because even though there is much sorrow in this world, humans are capable of many things, and many of them are lovely.
“The transformative power of art is in the sharing. Without connection or collective engagement, what we hear is simply a caged song of sorrow and despair. … it’s the sharing of art that whispers ‘you’re not alone’. “
For details of my studio venue, and to view the entire catalogue of paintings click here:
LAYERS OF LIGHT.
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