ON "MAKING ART THE MAIN THING"
I've been building some lovely creative momentum over the last few months:
- I am now the Chief Artistic Officer at the School of Modern Meditation. As such, it's my privilege to create a programme of creative and artistic events at SOMM. I've put a couple of workshops on the 2022 agenda already and in 2023 there will be more workshops, exhibitions, artist encounters, and musical events.
- Our inaugural event is a workshop called Drawing Attention and it will be three lovely (and challenging) hours, simply drawing. We will draw in ways that allow us to invite happy accidents and release expectations about what "good" art is and who gets to make it. I will write another blog about this after the fact. It's my first time teaching in about twenty years and I'm excited AND scared (like most of my students).
- This year, I have been learning A LOT about how to live a portfolio working life. One of the biggest lessons is: dedicating chunks of time to creative projects is essential. I can't work in the cracks. I have decided to prioritise art-making in the month of October by doing another Residency at SOMM. I'm already feeling the positive effects of making Art the main thing and look forward to putting my work on the wall at SOMM in early November (opening night details tbc).
- Lastly, and this is BIG - I have gallery representation. Still can't quite believe it! I am very proud to have been invited to join the diverse stable of visual artists brought together under the banner of artfull.co.nz.
I reached out to Jess Agoston, the Co-Founder and Director of Artfull, while I was doing my first residency at SOMM. This was not to inquire about representation as such but just to say
"Hey, I'm an emerging artist - keep an eye on me. I'm serious about this pathway and I'm not stopping".
A bold move but one made with no strings attached. A month later, we had a coffee and she asked me if I wanted to be part of a group show and...if I wanted to join the Artfull crew. I said HELL YES to both.
Artfull is an online gallery (and fantastic book store) offering artwork for sale across the visual arts spectrum, from sculpture to photography to painting and more. They also have lots of IRL events planned so that our work can be seen in 3D. I am still working on my first collection so I’m not online just yet, however I AM in a couple of IRL group shows this October.
My first foray with my Artfull peeps is via Arcadia, an event being held inside the Queens Arcade during Art in the City in downtown Auckland, October 7-16. There are numerous exhibitions happening inside the Arcade and I'm in a group show called Confetti, featuring works on paper. From the vibrant intellect of Deborah Crowe's digital world to the full body contact of Mo Stewart's drawings, I'm in very happy company with my no-going-back ink work.
Halfway through this year, I was wondering what choice I would be making next year with my studies at Browne School. I had no idea I would be stepping into teacher and gallery mode so soon and my mind is still spinning to be honest. But these events are the realisation of dreams I have had for a long time. They feel just like landing a great acting agent (shout out to Auckland Actors!) back in 2003, when I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by pursuing a life in the Arts. It was either that or finally do my OE just as all of my mates were coming back home.
Where my C.A.O. role and this lovely Artfull association will take me, who knows. I'm excited. 2023 needs more teaching in it. And more work on walls. More exploration. Way more risk. To that end, I think I'm ready for some mentoring, so finding a special someone to talk to and with about Art and Making next year (who's not my incredible boyfriend) is my next big art wish. I have some people in mind. I"m crossing my fingers.
In the meantime, there is art to be made.