comfort in creativity | part 1

In the midst of disappearing | Louise Tate

In the midst of disappearing | Louise Tate

 

At times of uncertainty such as these, I find the best form of medicine is my own creativity. Creating something, crafting, sketching, imagining - all of these creative tasks enable me to focus on the project in front of me, shifting focus away from the worries I might be experiencing otherwise. 

For other creatives, this is often the same pattern. Creative therapy is not new, & is practiced in many forms. Painting, ceramics, music, theatre, comedy, dance, knitting, embroidery - the list goes on & on. Any form of artistic practice, allows you to express yourself in different ways other than standard communication. The benefits are comforting, & contribute to not only our wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of others who enjoy the same art that we create. These benefits are often underlooked - even from our own government, who last December, merged the federal arts department with the same one that overlooks roads & railway, & makes no mention of the arts in the portfolio's title.

The truth is, at times of crisis we all look to some form of art to seek comfort. We watch TV, we play video games, we read books, we listen to music. It's no different to sewing a new shirt, painting a picture, or taking a beautiful photograph. 

I asked some of the creatives in the fashion/art world around me how they are dealing with the current situation, & how their creative practice is helping them get through it. Their responses have been so heartwarming & a pattern of taking things slowly has emerged. 

See a few of the responses from Louise Tate, Huiliana Chandra-Curry & Kristin Olds below. I will release more of these incredible stories as they come in. I hope they inspire you to get creative, appreciate more art, or help you to see why art is so important - not only in times of crisis - but all the time.

~ simone x

 

Louise Tate - Artist

Louise Tate in her studio

What is your creative practice?

I am an artist who paints in oils and watercolours, and I am currently exhibiting new work online with Jan Murphy Gallery in Brisbane.

What are you doing differently now that the social distancing laws are in place?

I'm lucky to still be able to go to my studio every day, as it's a 5 minute walk from my apartment. It is a period of uncertainty for me in the studio though as I have had several exhibitions postponed. I've given myself permission to take it slow and be gentle on myself. There have been lots of washy watercolour and drawing days lately, as I listen to an audiobook, the radio, or have Netflix playing in the background. My social life has gone digital like everyone else's, and it's been really heartwarming to have online baking sessions, choir rehearsals, trivia nights, exercise classes and digital dance parties. I also have been focusing so much more on keeping everything I buy local, supporting the makers around me and the farmers growing fresh food to minimise the air miles of my shopping. And I'm enjoying spending a lot more time at home now that I no longer have a retail job to cook, draw and read with my partner amidst all our plants.

How has your creativity or craft fuelled this change?

Painting in my studio has been so therapeutic in this period of uncertainty. I feel lucky that I have a pretty committed studio practice and am used to many spending days at a time all by myself in my studio. But in all honesty it has been hard to focus on working when creative industries are literally crumbling all around us. It is definitely an interesting time to think about doing things differently, and so many galleries and creatives are innovating and turning to the online realm to sustain themselves. I myself have an online exhibition at the moment and I guess this will be the new format for art exhibitions for the foreseeable future.

What positive message do you think will come from this crisis?

There are many things that I have certainly been re-evaluating and that I hope others will reconsider during and after this crisis too. For instance the endless travelling for work - look at how pollution levels are dropping because of the decreased air travel! Is this perhaps the impetus we needed to lower our carbon footprint and commit to climate solutions that will have a lasting impact? I absolutely love travelling overseas but I'm beginning to realise that this needs to be much more considered in terms of the impact it will have on the planet. I also have found so much kindness around me and in the online realm! It's sad that it takes a crisis to bring people so strongly together but it is a really beautiful outcome. I've never felt so close to others while technically being more alone than ever. I love my community and want to continue this sense of togetherness into the future.

How do you find inspiration during a challenging time like this?

Seeing the kind, creative, innovative, selfless things that others are doing for one another. And living through something as scary as this coronavirus pandemic has been helping me to imagine the many ways we can make the future more wonderful. And that's what I'll be pouring into my creative practice during this period.

 

Huiliana Chandra-Curry [Holly] - Perple

Holly from Perple

What is your creative practice?

Perple / Made-to-order womenswear in Melbourne

What are you doing differently now that the social distancing laws are in place?

Lucky me, my studio is just 120 secs by foot from my bedroom, so I haven't changed that much in terms of creating. In addition, as we are an online only brand, all communications are held via online and studio appointments are still available with limit of 1 person maximum.

How has your creativity or craft fuelled this change?

To be honest, I am more focused than ever because I have been locking myself in my studio to create my new story [mini collection] and to prepare the photoshoot once restrictions are lifted. I have also been connecting more with my audience via social media. Not only to share my craft, but also to cheer them up with movies, arts or books suggestions to help them get through these tough times and stay at home. We are in this together! I feel that in these moments of uncertainties, we need to do something which makes us happy and also important to stay positive as this crisis will end and eventually things will go back to normal or even better.

What positive message do you think will come from this crisis?

My message is to 'Do'. Do, Draw, Watch, Eat, Read, Paint, Drink, Play, Job Search. Do something happy, whatever it is! But also prepare yourself for the future because there is a future. I am taking this time as a chance to better myself and also to slow down and find what I need the most to make myself most content. Keep going and hang in there. Things will get better!

How do you find inspiration during a challenging time like this?

Inspirations are available everywhere, but if you are distracted then you will never find it. This may sound crazy and cliché but I meditate when I try to find inspirations. I am a sentimental person and I am easily attached to something when I feel most drawn into. As an example, I am obsessed with clouds at the moment, it is the theme of my next story ;)

 

Kristin Olds - Ceramics & Weaving

Kristin Olds

What are you doing differently now that the social distancing laws are in place?

I'm loving that this extra time is giving me the space to move slower, breathe slower, make slower. Allowing me the space to be more present, more in tune with myself.

How has your creativity or craft fuelled this change?

Both ceramics and weaving lend themselves to slow making, but when orders come in and I'm trying to balance making with other work/life pressures, I can find myself flustered and rushing my practice. This period of slow, mindful making has helped me remember that my state of being is so clearly reflected in my work, and therefore the importance of practicing slowness, even when the world around me speeds up.

What positive message do you think will come from this crisis?

I believe it will serve as a reminder that we are all connected, and as a collective, we are capable of healing. With this knowledge, let us heal the earth of it's heartache; let us move more mindfully throughout our lives, let us treat the earth, and each other, with the love, respect and kindness we all deserve.

How do you find inspiration during a challenging time like this?

Spending time in nature. Reading. Listening to music. Gardening. Gift giving. Cooking. Making with no end goal in mind.

Read more

here’s why we make locally in Melbourne

here’s why we make locally in Melbourne

how can we all create a circular economy?

how can we all create a circular economy?

why should fashion brands and consumers care about climate change?

why should fashion brands and consumers care about climate change?

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