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An important part of my art therapy process has been taking photos of people and places that I am most interested in. Looking through a camera lens and concentrating on framing up a story in the camera view finder, totally absorbs ones concentration. Spending the time reviewing them and deciding which will be a candidate for an abstract painting, also adds to the therapeutic process. I use photography as my visual diary for my abstract painting art work.
On the first Tuesday November 2008, I said to my husband, let’s go to the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Races – as I wanted to take a series of photos of this iconic Australian event. A number of days before hand, we had attended Derby Day at Flemington Races where I had taken a series of photos. I wanted to also capture photo images of the Melbourne Cup Day as well. These photos were used as a source of inspiration for four abstract paintings (Nos. 32, 33, 34 & 35). I have always loved fashion and the Melbourne Cup and for these reasons, it is certainly a stand out on Melbourne’s social calendar for socialites, politicians, Australia’s rich and famous; and the everyday Australian punter! The very first Melbourne Cup ran in 1875; a century and a half later it is still considered ‘the race that stops a nation’. For me this significant event is all about the horses and the fashion and on this day I took many photos of fabulously dressed women in their racing finery.
NB: This link leads you to a “Silent Clip” of the Melbourne Cup 1896 and is worth a viewing! Australian Screen. (2014). Melbourne Cup 1986 – Silent Clip. YouTube. Retrieved June 3, 2014 from http://aso.gov.au/titles/historical/melbourne-cup-1896/clip3/
My husband joined me to keep me company on this particular day. It was a beautiful day and once again Melbourne had turned on a great Australian Event!
I spotted a lady with a very large pinkish hat. This lady had a degree of gaiety and elegance. To me she seemed to epitomize the feeling of a Melbourne Cup Day. Later I was able to establish this grand lady was Helen Court! I loved her hat; the swath of material that had been manipulated into a work of art and topped with beautiful pink flowers, all in gorgeous pink – was very eye-catching,
These photos I took served as an inspiration for me and I painted this portrait of Helen Court. This portrait was one of four abstract paintings (Nos. 32, 33, 34 & 35) I did of different race goers during the 2008 Melbourne Racing Season.
I have also included here – in my blog, a YouTube of the actual 2008 Melbourne Cup for those whom might be interested in seeing what all the fuss is about! Channel Seven. (2008). Melbourne Cup 2008. YouTube. Retrieved June 4, 2014 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRkvGruwBZQ
Whilst you are here – please check out my home page! My Art Therapy Journey – A window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytelling…by Karen Robinson