A couple of months ago, I opened my studio for the first time with Nillumbik Artists Open Studios. It was weeks of hard work, mostly just getting my studio space uncluttered, painted, clean and organized. Producing the art was the easy part. That's always a joyful thing to do. Cleaning? Not so much!
So, I've caught the bug. This exhibiting thing. There's something about working with other artists, being responsible to them, and caring that my work (and the paperwork) is in on time that adds another dimension to my art practice.
Yesterday I bumped out of a group show with Thou Art Mum (TAM), a local art group consisting of women, who are mothers, that live and/or work in the Shire of Nillumbik and Banyule. My first exhibition with TAM was 'The Motherhood' @ Red Gallery in Fitzroy. I wasn't sure what to do. My children are all grown up and 'mostly' independent. What does motherhood mean to me now? I found a poem that resonated with me. Click here to read the poem that inspired my painting.
While I was there, I bumped in for 'Curve', a new exhibition with Creative Wild Co. This time a ceramic-encaustic sculptural piece that I've name 'Split'. Over the last year or so, I've transitioned into the second half of my life experience, post-menopause. And let me tell you, it's been quite the journey. 'Split' explores the experience of being split in two - of feeling both young and old, of navigating the transition of menopause, and the feeling of being held together by a thread.
My menopause journey didn't come out in my paintings. I'm still drawn to nature, to the flowers and leaves and scenes outside my studio door. But, as soon as my hands touched the clay, I began to mold a shape, a woman's shape. One with curves, and bumps, and bits that weren't there in my 20's, my 30's or damn even in my 40's! My sculptures have explained to me what I couldn't say in words. That it's ok to feel sad about change, or to be happy about it! But there will be change, no matter what we do or how hard we fight against it.
And last, but not last, I'll be bumping in a couple of my encaustic paintings into Gallery 7six5. Benny, my son and co-owner of Gallery 7six5 will be coming over to my studio to discuss and help me choose which pieces are going to hang on the walls.
Until I see you again, stay well and stay warm (if you're in Melbourne - hasn't it been cold!!)