I am thinking a lot about anger and what to do with all of it. At the same time that my world is expanding and opening through listening and reading I am feeling overwhelmed by the sense of injustice. An Australian cartoonist creates a horrible image referring to Serena Williams that is going viral all around the world and the vast majority of people can't see what's wrong with it. A hurtful and racist joke by a black South African comedian emerges made about Australian Aboriginal Women and many come to his defence and make excuses, because comedy. I am reading The Hate Race by Maxine Baneba Clarke and a few pages in I am already in tears because I know exactly what she felt. I am reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and I recognise that threat of violence on the black body - its in my DNA. What to do with all the anger? How to honour the complex feelings? How to go through the sense of futility?
All I can do is to keep going. To keep making...stitch after stitch. I pour these feelings and thoughts into the work. I make the anger soft and pliable. I make the futility colourful and bright. I make the complexity a beautiful web of interconnected threads.
I've fallen behind in blog posts and referring back to my journal to remind me of the whirlwind that has been the last few months. My joint exhibition "Playdate" with my son Tomas opened on the 3rd of August at AIRspace Projects and it was a truly wonderful experience to share with Tom and my partner Anthony. They came along to the opening and so did a bunch of amazing supportive friends. It was great to have that support because I hate openings if I am the one showing! It always turns out to be a good experience but I don't enjoy the lead up and the stress and anxiety that comes from putting yourself and your work out there. In this instance it was more stressful than usual because I also had Tomas to consider and I didn't want my anxieties affecting him. But Tomas was great, he loved it! Towards the end of the exhibition we also did an artist talk together and Tomas spoke about his work. Together with my friend and fellow artist Alex Falkiner we also ran an experimental workshop called "Making Time". The workshop explored the concepts of play, collaboration and building mutual respect through creative exchange. It was specifically designed for parents/carers and their children to spend time making together. We had a great time at the workshop and created a temporary installation which remained up for the duration of the exhibition period. I somehow also managed to get myself organised enough to begin entering work into prizes...and...was lucky enough to have two works accepted in the Little Things Art Prize developed by Marnie Ross and hosted by St Cloche Gallery in Paddington. Pushing myself to do many of these events has been hard work, not just in terms of the investment of time and resources but the emotional toll that comes with it. Happily a momentum has been building, and as I take more risks and give, I have also been receptive and receiving.