Last year I was fortunate to have been chosen as 'Artist in Residence' at Kimbriki Resource and Recovery Centre (formerly known as the tip). This was a 6 month position offered by Warringah Council which came with a grant for training and materials, and access to all of the materials on-site. I had a studio and was also given a solo exhibition at Warringah Creative Space at the end of my time as 'Artist in Residence'.
It was an amazing period of busyness, learning and dedication. I tried to juggle family responsibilities with career as best as I could. I undertook a welding course at Tafe in the evenings and spent time at the studio during the day. I feel proud of the work I produced during that time and my solo exhibition was almost a sell out which came as a shock to me as I have never been driven by money but just to create art that is true to me. I never know what the public or judges will respond to.
Not only did the residency give me a great body of work to add to my portfolio but it also gave me a lot of momentum. Some of the pieces I made during my time I held onto and entered into competitions. Firstly I entered the Hornsby Council 'Re-magined' exhibition and won the wearable art award and the 'Cleanaway' award for excellence in sculpture. I then entered the Burdekin Wearable Art competition also winning that with my dress from e-waste. Of course I also entered the Warringah Waste to Art exhibition and managed to take out the Innovation Award for the same piece. Last weekend I also took part in a sustainable sculpture exhibition at St Ives Wildflower Garden and won a Highly Commended Award for a bird sculpture created from old garden tools. This piece is called 'Prehistoric' which refers to the look of the bird but also the osbolete tools it was made from.
Currently I also have two pieces in 'Sculpture in the Glen' at Glen St Theatre, one small recycled sculpture and one large welded outdoor sculpture created at Tafe from mild steel then powder coated. You can visit this exhibition which marks 30 years of Glen St Theatre anytime over the next 6 weeks.
None of this would have been possible without the opportunities granted to me by Warringah Council and the hard work of their staff.
Today was something quite different. I met amazing eco artist Angela van Boxtel at Dee Why Beach pool for a public performance as part of Sydney Design festival. She wore swimming costumes crocheted from plastic bags and I wore a dress made from coffee cups. This was a light-hearted way of bringing awareness about the issues of pollution and single use products. Art has a important purpose in our society. It's supposed to make us think, entertain us, shock us, surprise us and not just simply be something pretty to hang on our walls at home. Most artists dont make much money but are driven to create never the less. I love it when my pieces make someone smile.
I hope to see you at one of the many event around Warringah and dont forget to pop down to Avalon in November for The Game/The Carnival pulic art exhibtion - you are certain to think about art in a different way. Its not just paintings in a gallery.