I have used art making to carry me through life for as long as I can remember, and I have always been fascinated by both art and science. In grade three I remember making a play dough model of the brain and colour coding its lobes and functions!
I completed my Bachelor of Arts and Science and Melbourne University majoring in Creative Writing, Behavioural Neuroscience and dabbling in Anthropology- and odd mix to some, but incredibly satisfying and balancing for me.
Disillusioned by the idea that our brain was still understood using a computational model, I left my studies to become an activist in trade justice. It was in this world I met my former husband and father of my three children. Several years ago we parted as a married couple, and continue to walk the complex and satisfying path of parenting together.
Parenting and partnership is a journey unlike any other I have experienced, and is an exquisite crucible for change. Navigating so many needs, preferences, beliefs, hopes, expectations and the hand of Fortune as she gives and takes away has been humbling and my greatest teacher.
How to hold to a creative practice, my love of academic learning, my commitment to keeping a flourishing home, sustainability and my sense of self outside of being a mother was one such complexity.
Not long before I gave birth to my third child I stumbled across art therapy, which seemed a match made in heaven for me and I undertook a part time Masters course in Therapeutic Arts Practice at The MIECAT Institute.
I have relished the opportunity to bring together my love for the science of consciousness, the necessity for art and the drive to live a meaningful life in my work.
My Masters thesis, emerging ecologies, was a study into how eco-printing, a form of natural dyeing, could be adapted as a therapeutic arts practice.
During the course of my studies I founded Beautiful Wasteland, an eco printing, creative arts therapy studio, and have facilitated numerous workshops on the practice that I developed in my research. With my creative partner Kate Borradaile, whose gorgeous photos sometimes feature in this website, I have since published "Eco-printing on paper", and am (slowly) working on "Eco-printing for self-reflection".
My post-graduate course in Therapeutic Arts Practice, opened my eyes to the values of process rather than outcome, encouraging me to stay with what emerges as I make art. This aligned so harmoniously with with practice of eco-printing, that this was my creative home for some time.
I see eco-printing as a celebration of the perfectly flawed, of flux and the ephemeral, and of unexpected beauty. - Essential life lessons for me.
In 2016, I began teaching and supervising at the MIECAT Institute, and continue to teach there.
My creative expression has evolved from the lessons learned in eco-printing to to collaborative creative inquiries. I have exhibited and performed a select collection of my works, which have dealt with themes from existential crisis, anxiety, mental health, philosophy, phenomenology and the nature of change.
I am currently researching the lived experience of attachment trauma. I am also actively involved in the Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) movement in the realms of psychotherapy and education. There is is so much I would like to share about this, but I am right in the thick of the learning, and am looking forward to a time when I can consolidate the journey and offer a recap. There are many experts in the field to be learning from.
My current favourite is: The Relationship is the Project, ed. Jade Lillie
MY CREATIVE RESEARCH PRACTICE
Knowing in Being
My creative practice focuses on attending to what emerges in the collaborative space between artist, materials and environment and how these relationships may reflect one’s broader lived experience and processes in the world at large.
In my creative inquiry, modalities such as drawing, movement, writing, photography, and eco-printing - are used to give voice to more than I can know through conceptual intelligence alone. It invites me to stay present to the here and now, engaging my felt sense as useful information in my meaning making.
My current practice finds me in collaboration with musicians and movers, my faithful pen, paper and paints. I create narratives of my lived experiences and how they have shaped me.
I am concerned with the generation of knowings as verb, rather than knowledge as noun. Knowledge implies an entity that can be extracted out of context and time, fixed and immutable.
Knowing imply movement and change and fluidity. It is always relevant to the context in which it is generated. Each knowing, though fleeting in its potency, lends threads to the next until it becomes a part of an approximation that is graspable, visible and able to be articulated (in some form).
I am creating space for understanding phenomena through artful experiences that integrate knowing, doing and making, with a value of complexity.
We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon,
how ceaselessly the gleam and quiver
Yet all too soon night closes around
and the are lost forever”