With my solo show Rainbows In The Roof underway I can now breathe a sigh of relief. Yes the work is done, and yes the opening went well (thanks to those who came) but making art is very different to showing art.
As you may well know from reading this blog my making process is done in private, without anyone else around and I inhabit a world that is wholly my own. I work slowly and intentionally so that ideas have time to simmer before they come into their full expression. It’s a form of play without judgement from anyone (other than my own critical voice). Once the work is complete it is ready to stand on it’s own (or hang in this case) and speak directly to an audience. I find it challenging though to move from the private space of messy ideas and raw feelings into a public space. It is a scary moment, a vulnerable moment. It is not dependant on how I feel about the work. I love the work, but up until this point is has been a private conversation I have had with myself, and now I’m opening up the conversation.
Being vulnerable is scary and showing one’s work is the vulnerable act of sharing one’s private thoughts and feelings with an audience. But the real reason I show my work is to ask the question ‘do you feel it too?”
The work pictured above is an image of a single tree and contained within its crown is a larger group of trees. The shape of the tree itself is suggestive of a magnifying glass, with the trunk acting as the handle. The group of tree trunks, when viewed through the ‘magnifying glass’, appear enlarged.
The broader meaning of this piece can be gleaned from the title itself – ‘Can’t See The Forest For The Trees’- an expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole. This work references my own recent experience of feeling stuck and confused. Getting caught up in the smaller issues and magnifying them, prevents us from stepping back and taking an overview of the situation. In doing just that I found I was able to move forward with a clear perspective and positive direction.
All my drawings are an attempt to visually convey the common human experience.
My one hope is that you see your own life experience in the work, that you ‘feel it too’, and that we can meet one another in that shared experience, that vulnerable space, and connect.
Rainbows In The Roof runs until October 29th at Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham Street, Albert Park, Melbourne.
Michelle! Thank you for this insightful message. It really really spoke to me this morning after yoga (it is, in fact, also the essence of yoga) YES. I feel it too. I am so grateful to you for expressing what I feel – but am unable to express… blessings, my friend. And LOVE.
It is always a comfort to know we are not alone. So thank you Deb. x
Cathryn Wellner says
This is a stunning piece, Michelle, and even more so through your willingness to share your vulnerability.
Thank you Cathryn.