While you are here – please check out my home page!
Art exhibitions have taught me, that art can be a very powerful way to engage with others; a way to captivate an audience’s attention and convey a story about my inner most personal thoughts and emotions. For myself especially – exhibiting my paintings has been about being able to communicate a soulful message, to highlight important issues; and to give the viewer something to mull over, well after viewing the art work itself. Hence exhibiting paintings from my Abstract Art Portfolio, has been an important part of my ‘art for therapy’ journey. NB: Am now listed as one of ‘Women’s Art Register’s’ Star Artists
GROUP EXHIBITION TITLED ‘AS IF: WHEN AND NOW’
On Thursday the 1st October, 2015 I had the opportunity to be part of a group exhibition titled AS IF: When and Now – Artists from the Women’s Art register/past and present at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Gallery, Ground Floor, 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne – Australia. The gallery space inhabits this building’s glorious historical tessellated entrance foyer and expansive corridor with soaring ceilings which is amongst women specific organisations. Thus enabling the gallery space to be most fitting for artists from the Women’s Art Register, to exhibit and celebrate 40 years of insisting that women’s art matters (W.A.R. 2015). The exhibition was Curated by Gail Stiffe and Rosemary Mangiamele and opens on the 30th September and closes on 30th October 2015.
WHAT DOES ART DO FOR THE ART-MAKER?
This group exhibition focuses on what art does for the art-maker. Artworks selected were based upon the artist’s response to the question of ‘what does art making mean to you/what role has/does art making play in your life?‘. My answer to this question was the following:
My name is Karen Robinson and I am a painter, story-teller, photo-taker and blogger. I am a self-taught artist, having taken up my childhood love of painting again, later in my adult life. As inspiration for my artwork, I draw on feelings and emotions evoked by situations experienced throughout my life, such as great family moments, family tragedy, career experiences, travelling adventures, current local and world events. With painting, I explore colour and shape as an intuitive way of conveying my story. Once I have completed a painting, I then write its story, so that the viewer may have a clearer understanding about me as an artist and about the painting itself. Art gave me a voice when words were hard to find, or when I did find the words, too hard to say out loud. It gave me a way of moving forward in the most difficult of times… I came to understand that art can be a very powerful way of communication with others…
ART WORK CHOSEN FOR THE GROUP EXHIBITION
Choosing an abstract painting for this particular exhibition wasn’t difficult when considering the exhibition’s focus. I decided it would be my abstract painting No. 56 Titled: ‘A Celebration of Womanhood‘.
MY PAINTING STORY
Below is my painting story for the above painting ‘A Celebration of Womanhood‘ which I wrote in August 2014. It is deeply personal but I feel every woman will be able to relate to, understand and appreciate…
My art journey has been about being able to find meaning and purpose in everyday. Much of my earlier art work has been about very personal feelings, emotions and thoughts about loss and grief. But slowly and surely, art has brought me to a place where I look for joy in each and every day!
This painting story will show that art needs to also be about finding your sense of humour, to have a laugh about yourself, a bit of a giggle – it can put a smile on your face and a skip in your step. So I am hoping that by sharing what this following painting was inspired by, will give you a bit of a giggle too. Don’t be surprised and please know it is done in the best of taste. I really wasn’t sure if I was going to share this painting story but after originally promising myself, when I first started painting that I would always be open and honest about my art journey, I realised there should be no exceptions to that promise to myself.
During a recent visit to The Royal Women’s Hospital with the Women’s Health Clinic for a Urogynaecology consultation, I experienced a pelvic floor examination. Now, to my shame, it had been many years since I had such an examination. It is not exactly what every women looks forward to having done. It can be embarrassing but I thought to myself, well I am too old now to be embarrassed and followed through with what was required of me during my examination. All was good until I saw the look on the women’s face, the face of the consultant. Well I was all ‘au naturale’ and perhaps this was just too much of a shock for her or perhaps when you get on in old age, ones private parts are just not that attractive anymore! After asking me a range of standard Urogynaecology consultant type questions, I felt in some regards relieved and in other regards, mildly disturbed.
It brought to my mind thoughts about what women have to go through just by being a woman. First we grow breasts and get periods, we learn about sex, then it is the incredible experience of pregnancy and the birth of children, then it is menopause and then it’s a – Urogynaecology consultation! Our poor bodies do have to go through many changes throughout our lives.
This must have been playing on my mind because on my return home that day, I decided to start another painting. I got the new white canvas out and began to draw directly onto the canvas as per usual for me. During the process, the lines and swirls began to form an image to me – it looked like a vagina. I thought yes – it is a vagina! I decided that I wanted to paint with all new colours, bright, happy, joyful and beautiful colours; colours that would celebrate women’s womanhood – this strange and interesting journey we embark on throughout the course of our lives…
Written by © Karen Robinson August 2014
PHOTO GALLERY OF EXHIBITION
As my husband and I strolled around the gallery space and read the stories that accompanied the art works, I couldn’t help feeling that I was in a special place. It was just so peaceful and it was easy to become lost in the art work itself. But in saying this the true star of the exhibition was the building – the very beautiful Queen Victoria Women’s Centre.
AFTER THE EXHIBITION IT WAS TIME FOR COFFEE!
After viewing the exhibition my dear husband and I walked towards the back of the magnificent Queen Victoria Women’s Centre only to discover a delightful courtyard surrounded by tall city buildings. Here we found an irresistible Max Brenner Chocolate Shop where we ordered coffee and sat by the window looking out onto the court-yard, admiring the beautiful Melbourne spring day.
My ‘art for therapy’ journey has once again given me an opportunity to share my experience. How lucky am I to have had this opportunity to exhibit a of my abstract paintings at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre with the Women’s Art Register organisation. And it was a wonderful bonus, in being able to spend, a lovely day with my dear husband, on one of Melbourne’s beautiful spring days! Art therapy – at its best for sure….
© Karen Robinson, October 2015
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