Group Exhibition – Titled “Teavotion” – Written by Karen Robinson

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No. 42 of 101 'Teavotion' Group Exhibition of 100's of Teacosies at Bundoor Homestead Arts Centre March 2016 photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 42 of 101 images:  Karen Robinson viewing 100’s of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre’s  ‘Teavotion Exhibition’ March 2016.  It was a celebration of ‘the tea cosy as a domestic icon and raises funds in support of Australian Red Cross.  The teacosies were donated for sale with all proceeds going to the charity’.  An extraordinary exhibition by amazing and talented crafters/artists/makers! Ref:  Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Art Therapy can present its self in many different ways, thus I am always interested in any form of art that offers the maker and viewer a therapeutic experience.  The act of knitting and crocheting is one of those crafting skills that can be very therapeutic.

So just the other day, when my dear neighbour asked if I would like to attend an exhibition with her, where she had donated a tea cosy (tea pot warmer) she had made with her knitting and crocheting group called the ‘Poppy Ladies’ – I said yes!  Too my surprise, the exhibition was very interesting, exceeded my expectations and I had a lovely time with my neighbour and the other members of the ‘Poppy Ladies’ group from the Epping RSL Club.  These wonderful volunteer knitters/crocheters, get together during each month to enjoy a free morning tea, while they knit/crochet and chat.  All the items they produce go to various charity groups throughout the year.  This particular group is supported by volunteer art therapists from the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum ANVAM with Tanja Johnston as head of the Arts Program.  Tanja explained to me that ANVAM’s arts programs ‘are open to all ages and skill levels and participants do not require any prior knowledge or skills’.  The programs ‘focus on the creative process and journey, to assist with the development of a sense of hope, purpose and pride’ in association with ‘the mastering of arts based skills’ (ANVAM 2016).

 

 

 

Featured above is my dear neighbour standing beside the tea cosy she had made and donated to ‘teavotion’ exhibition.  I just love the array of blood red roses adorning the top and the soft colours within the knitted cosy itself.

 

 

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

The exhibition was titled ‘Teavotion‘ and runs from 26 February to 3 April.  It presents ‘hundreds of teacosies alongside of a selection of photographic portraits by artist Mark Crocker.  Teavotion celebrates the tea cosy as a domestic icon and raises funds in support of Australian Red Cross.’  The teacosies were donated for sale by crafters and makers with all the proceeds going to charity.  The exhibition its self was held within the magnificent Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Bundoora – Victoria (Bundoora Homestead Art Centre 2016).

 

 

 

 

Here below two tea cosies – One being a koala bear and the other a nurse both feature the red cross emblem

 

 

TEAVOTION EXHIBITION STATEMENT

Here below is what was posted on one of the walls of the exhibition as a statement about ‘Teavotion’:

Artists and crafters from across Australia display their creativity, passion, and imagination in this unique exhibition of over 380 tea cosies.  Teavotion celebrates the tea cosy as a domestic icon and raises funds in support of Australian Red Cross.  All of the handmade tea cosies have been donated for sale at the exhibition, with all proceeds going to the charity.

The creative responses to the humble teapot are many and varied.  From cuddly animals to abstract compositions, you will no doubt find cosies that are unusual and captivating.

Marg Lane and Maranne Noonan, who coordinated this exhibition, have done a marvelous job and Darebin City Council thanks them for their tremendous efforts.

This is the seventh time Bundoora Homestead has hosted the tea cosy exhibition.  Over the last few months the gallery has offered a free space for creative types to come together and knit and crochet towards their unique vision  In many ways this project is just as much about the joy of making and sharing together as it is to celebrate the creativity of others.

Teavotion also presents a series of photographs relating to tea cosies by Queensland based photographer Mark Crocker and from Thursday to Saturday throughout the exhibition artist in residence Phil Ferguson will be busy making new craft-based works.  Drop by and say hi!

 

 

 

No. 96 of 101 'Teavotion' Group Exhibition of 100's of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre March 2016 photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 96 of 101 images:  Karen Robinson, that’s me standing by an amazing chair covered in tea cosies made by makers/crafters of the ‘Teavotion’ Group Exhibition featuring 100’s of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre March 2016.  A striking work of art!  It was very tempting to sit on the chair to just see how comfortable it would be but alas the ‘DO NOT SIT’ sign was perfect to prevent any sitting actions…

 

 

THE TEA COSY STORY

The tea cosy story began in Britain in the 1660s when tea was introduced to Britain and its first documented use was in 1867. The tea cosy’s primary function was to keep the tea-pot warm by surrounding the teapot with an insulating cloth, so that affluent upper class women during their afternoon tea could chatter away, network, gossip without their tea getting cold.  Tea cosies were also a way for these same ladies to show off their needlework skills such as needlepoint, crewel, embroidery, ribbon work and were made from wool, cloth, lace and with some being crocheted or knitted.  The tea cosy became part of middle class households in the late Victorian era when tea became more affordable. Tea cosies began as tea-pot warmers, but over time, became themselves, an important historical story telling item about family history and culture through creative and unique designs, patterns and colours, and varying styles and materials.

 

 

MY MEMORIES OF THE TEA COSY AND TEA MAKING

My memories of making a cuppa for my mother still resonates strongly in my childhood memories.  Making a pot of tea, placing a tea cosy over it was a simple but important way to take a break in the day, to sit and just talk with my mother.  And there were the biscuits to accompany the cuppa as well which was just a wonderful treat.  These days it’s about coffee much more than tea but the process of taking time to choose a coffee and put a moment aside, to take time out of one’s daily life and have a cuppa, a chat, stills serves as an important ritual. I remember more about the act of tea making than the tea cosy but it was part of my early Australian family story.

 

 

EXTRAORDINARY TEA COSY DISPLAY

The creating and making of tea cosies, using unique designs and patterns, using multitudes of colour palates, extraordinary varieties of materials, masterfully executed by skillful hands – still lives on today.  I was able to witness some of these tea cosies works of art at this worthy ‘Teavotion’ exhibition and I was just so impressed with how imaginative these wonderful crafts people are and below are some photos of their tea cosy art works.

 

 

slide show of some of the tea cosies I viewed and photographed with my mobile phone camera at the ‘teavotion’ exhibition with the Epping poppy ladies

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MY FAVOURITE TEA COSIES VIEWED ON THE DAY

 

 

CONCLUSION

The ‘Teavotion‘ Exhibition was an amazing way of viewing works of art done by community members for a good cause.  And this creative activity offers so much to many, being the makers of the humble tea cosies and those whom just came to view the art work itself.  It clearly reinforced, my strong belief that by helping people through the engagement of art, is a wonderful therapeutic process.  It does help, to improve people’s sense of worth, helps improve people’s well-being and assists with giving people meaning and purpose within their daily life. A great example of ‘Art for Therapy‘…

 

 

No. 33 of 101 'Teavotion' Group Exhibition of 100's of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre March 2016 photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 33 of 101 ‘Teavotion’ Group Exhibition of 100’s of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre March 2016 photographed by Karen Robinson

 

 

Copyright © Karen Robinson, March 2016

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page! My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Group Exhibition – Titled “Reflections: Exploring Our Identities” – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist

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Photo featuring Karen Robinson - one of the carer group participants standing by her art work titled 'Heart of Treasured Memories'. Acrylic, Ink, Embroidered Flowers & Butterflies and Heart Sequins on Canvas. Event with the MIND Australia Organisation - Carer Group Exhibition, Northcote Townhall, Melbourne Australia 18th November 2015 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

Photo featuring Karen Robinson – one of the carer group participants standing by her art work titled ‘Heart of Treasured Memories’.  Acrylic, Ink, Embroidered Flowers & Butterflies and Heart Sequins on Canvas. Event with the MIND Australia Organisation – Carer Group Exhibition, Northcote Townhall, Melbourne Australia 18th November 2015 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

 

INTRODUCTION

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.

 

 

MY 2015 ART THERAPY & CREATIVE WRITING JOURNEY WITH MIND

Another important part of my art for therapy journey has been about taking part, in art therapy and creative writing sessions, with the MIND Australia Organisation throughout 2015.  These weekly art therapy and creative writing sessions, had enable us to have a space especially for oneself, and away from the daily grind of carer duties and responsibilities. During our sessions, with some amazing people whom were/are carers of loved ones experiencing mental health issues, we were able to bare our souls in a safe and secure environment, with the support of our peers and support from experienced facilitators.  At times, we found ourselves confronting and exploring dark thoughts, traumatic past experiences and/or distressing emotions/situations of the day, which became evident via our art therapy and creative writing sharing processes.  Sure – not every week was a joy, the carer role for some was heart wrenching and at times soul-destroying, but improvements could be seen in our abilities to bounce back, better than earlier on, in that same year. Throughout the 2015’s participation and especially towards the end of that year, I found myself, mentally and emotionally in a far better place – my sense of well-being had truly improved.  I witnessed this also, with others whom I had shared this journey; you could recognise the improvements in their voices, by the smiles on their faces, within their greetings with one another, and in their general composure from week to week.  Towards the end of the year,  I really got a sense that this process was most worthy and important – it makes people better able to deal with ones daily doings.

 

 

Featuring Karen Robinson during a MIND art therapy session writing her painting story titled 'Heart of Treasured Memories' for the 'Reflections Carer Group Exhibition' 2015

Featuring Karen Robinson during a MIND art therapy session writing her painting story titled ‘Heart of Treasured Memories’ for the ‘Reflections Carer Group Exhibition’ 2015  NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

 

GROUP PROJECT – ‘EXPLORING OUR IDENTITIES’ 

As time past – within the year of 2015, it was decided we would embark on a single painting project each.   We each painted a painting, that reflected our carer roles and how that played out within our lives; and how that made us view ourselves as people.  I asked, if I could take some photographs in each session of my progress which prompted the MIND Facilitator to ask me to take photographs of all the participants at each session, and with their consent, and I did do just that!  NB:  Due to privacy concerns, only photographs of myself as a participant are shown within this weblog page – I hope you will understand.

 

 

 

 

CARER GROUP EXHIBITION:  ‘REFLECTIONS’

As time progressed further, a decision was made that we would take up an opportunity to exhibit our works of art and our creative writing stories.  MIND Australia graciously agreed to having such an event titled ‘Reflections – Exploring Our Identities’ which took place at the Northcote Townhall, Northcote, Melbourne, Australia.  It was a one day event where family, friends and MIND Australia members of staff attended, along side of the exhibiting participants and our MIND Australia Facilitator Gillian Scaduto, Art Therapist Facilitator Vicky Nickolls and Creative Writing Facilitator Judy Bird.

 

 

 

 

 

MY PAINTING THAT I EXHIBITED TITLED: ‘HEART OF TREASURED MEMORIES’

Each of us as participants exhibited our painting along with its painting story at the ‘Reflections’ Carer Group Exhibition 2015.  Following below is the painting I exhibited along with its painting story:

 

Painting No. 63 - Title "Heart of Treasured Memories" Oct/Nov/Dec 2015 - by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson All images are protected by copyright laws!

Painting No. 63 – Title “Heart of Treasured Memories” Oct/Nov/Dec 2015 – by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

 

  • Acrylic/Ink/Sequins/Embroidered Flowers & Butterflies on Canvas
  • 2015
  • 79cms Length x 74cms Wide x 0cms Deep NB: Not framed just bare edged canvas backed onto strip of timber for hanging

 

‘HEART OF TREASURED MEMORIES’ PAINTING STORY

 

My art therapy artwork was inspired by words I had spoken some years ago during an interview with TAC about my use of art as therapy in dealing with grief and despair which I had been experiencing since the loss of my son Ben, in a single vehicle car crash on 5 November 2009. These words that I had said were “I need to hold the best of Ben in my heart”. So it was these words that inspired me to firstly create a large pink heart that heart would not just hold the memories of my son Ben, but it should also hold the best of memories of those dearest to me being my husband, my daughter and my sister as well. I surrounded my heart of memories in a beautiful warm tangerine colour. At the top of the canvas are small blackish shadows which are representative of dark clouds and the tiny blue heart sequins are tears of love which have fallen from the clouds. I placed a bright blue line above the heart which is like a catchment of these tears, but still there are some that fall upon the heart of memories. On the base of the canvas, I placed a dark green line being a place of growth, a pretty flower garden of joy and peace featuring delightful green butterflies of hope, floating up in and around my heart of memories. Within my heart of treasured memories are beautiful flowers and sparkling green glittered stems. Surrounding my heart, I have written words about my loved ones and I wrote them especially small so that the viewer of my artwork would need to come up close to read my precious words and these are those words: “Try to build in my heart the best of those I love, my darling dear husband whom I treasure, who has been so good to me throughout all the years of our marriage; my sweet, loving, caring daughter who is strong and gentle to her parents at the same time, my sister whom I have shared many troubles with – we are still talking; and my son gone but never forgotten – we miss you forever”.

© Karen Robinson, December 2015

 

 

REFLECTIONS BOOKLET & PHOTO-STORY MOVIE

Over the course of 2015’s art therapy and creative writing sessions, where I had been asked to take photographs of us as participants, I was able to ‘photo-story’ document our journey.  Some of these photos were used by MIND Australia to produce a booklet for our Carer Group Exhibition ‘Reflections – Exploring Our Identities’ 2015.  It was after reviewing all the photos for this project, that I became inspired to see if I could make a ‘Photo-Story Movie’ which I did do – see below especially edited version.  Prior to showing the movie at the Exhibition Opening Event, participants had the opportunity of viewing it beforehand, to ensure that they would be happy with it being publicly shown at the exhibition.  The response both from the participants and from all at the opening event was very moving – they all got it!  It was a photo-story of the lives of these people whom had shared deeply personal stories, over the year, including me and we could all appreciate that we had come a long way in our journeys.  It was there to be seen in the ‘Photo-Story Movie’ (Full Version) – a precious memento, a gift to them from me.  I found it to be a very touching and humbling experience.  It was an outcome I would have never expected, but so grateful for having had, and thanks to these people for sharing their precious stories via their paintings and creative writing.  Due to respecting the privacy of each participant, the following ‘Photo-Story Movie’ below is an edited version, and only features myself and my photo-story journey.  MIND Australia has asked if they could use the full version, which I have enthusiastically approved of and handed across recently for their use. They have indicated that it should be available on their website sometime during 2016.

 

 

NB:  Please click on link to view the ‘Reflections Exhibition’ booklet PDF – FINAL Mind_Reflections_ExhibitionBooklet_final

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECES INCLUDED IN THE BOOKLET AND EXHIBITED

There were three creative writing pieces that were accepted to be exhibited that I had written during my creative writing sessions. These were included in the MIND Australia ‘Reflections Exhibition – Exploring Our Identities’ booklet as well. These creative writing pieces I especially chose to exhibit, because of the feelings and emotions they had evoked when I wrote them, and they are as following:

 

No. 1 – Title: “The Happy Box”

 

My greatest life-long challenge has been to become an expert at being a fully-functional human being. I have learned to treasure the smallest of delights and recall them in my melancholy moments; to use them to uplift my spirits, when day-to-day life has failed to do so. To help me gain this sense of expertise in being a fully-functional human being, I just recently developed a system for myself, and I called it the ‘happy box’! I ask myself each day, is what I am going to be doing this day, going to tick the ‘happy box’? And if the answer is yes, then it is included within my daily doings, and if the answer is no, I take the time out to ask myself, why do it at all in that case? My mental well-being has greatly benefited from this approach – this fully-functional human being challenge – feeling good about life. Thank you ‘happy box’…”
© Karen Robinson,2015

 

 

No. 2 – Title: “How Precious Time Is…”

 

Just sit here while I walk across here to get your script.” My husband dutifully sat, looking pale, weak and sickly. I was afraid he would not live through those terrible chemotherapy treatments. This experience that I shared with him has left me understanding how precious our time together has been, and is still today!”
© Karen Robinson, 2015

 

 

No. 3 – Title: “Support”

 

Support me please! I need your support, don’t turn away and leave me standing here alone and destitute, I need you. I know, I know, I am a pain and I know I ask for too much, but don’t leave me – I will not make it without you – come back – don’t go. It’s OK, I can be strong, I will be strong, I will support me, I can do it – yes I have done it – thank self…”
© Karen Robinson, 2015

 

 

Creative Writing Pieces written by the group 2015 and displayed at the 'Reflections Carer Group Exhibition - Exploring Our Identities' at Northcote Townhall, Melbourne, Australia 18.11. 2015 Copyright protected.jpg

Creative Writing Pieces written by the group 2015 and displayed at the ‘Reflections Carer Group Exhibition – Exploring Our Identities’ at Northcote Townhall, Melbourne, Australia 18.11. 2015 NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws!JPEG

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

The process of painting, painting story writing, creative writing and photo-taking has offered me a way of expressing thoughts and emotions which can be difficult to say out loud. I also came to understanding that painting and creative writing can be a very powerful way of communicating with others. Therapy via these processes have given me a voice and my art and creative writing therapy journey has become an important part of my life in recent years and still will be an important part of my life in years to come.

I am hoping that by sharing my art and creative writing therapy journey, will inspire others, to take up art and creative writing therapy to find their voice – in order to be able to move forward in most difficult of times. These therapies have brought me now to a much better place where I find myself being able to seek joy in every day. As an ongoing process, I will be blogging about my art and creative writing therapy journey “moving forward” and expand on how others have used/are using art therapy to assist physical and emotional well-being. I hope you will join me!

 

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page! My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Group Exhibition – Titled: “AS IF: When and Now” at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist

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No. 4 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 4 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist standing by stand with information about the group exhibition – Photographed by Karen’s Hubby 1.10.2015.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

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

 

No. 16 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 16 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – featuring Karen Robinson’s Abstract Painting ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ on the far left hand side of photo with Karen Robinson in the background.  Photographed by Karen’s Hubby 1.10.2015.JPG

 

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.

 

No. 4 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 4 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Featuring a plague with wording that evokes the importance of recognising the need to make sure women have the ability to enrich their lives….  Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

 

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…

 

No. 8 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Hubby of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 8 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen Robinson standing beside her painting titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ 2014 Acrylic on Canvas –  Photographed by Hubby of Karen 1.10.2015.JPG

 

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‘.

Abstract Painting No. 56 Titled 'A Celebration of Womanhood' Acrylic on Canvas 97cms Length x 102cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist - August 2014.JPG

Abstract Painting No. 56 Titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ Acrylic on Canvas 97cms Length x 102cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist – August 2014.JPG

 

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.

 

No. 19 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Hubby of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 19 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist admiring another artist’s artwork – Photographed by Hubby of Karen 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 5 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 5 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen’s Hubby reading up on the exhibition details in the beautiful entrance of the gallery space.  Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

 

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.

 

No. 27 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Hubby of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 27 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist looking out from the Chocolate Shop towards the court-yard behind the centre.  Photographed by Hubby of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

CONCLUSION

M‘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 JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Regional Arts Victoria – “Creative Conversations and Post-Traumatic Growth” Blog Story by Karen Robinson

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!

No. 1 of 2 Creative Conversations with Regional Arts Victoria - Attendee at the Event - Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist 10th July 2015.JPG

No. 1 of 2 Creative Conversations with Regional Arts Victoria – Attendee at the Event – Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 10th July 2015.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th July 2015, Regional Arts Victoria brought together artists, cultural and community groups, and services providers together in an event titled “Creative Conversations“.  It was held within a regional township called Wallan, Victoria – Australia and at their local multipurpose centre.  The purpose of this event was to have all parties share their understanding and experiences, in relation to creative practices, that are helpful within communities recovering from the impact of natural disasters.  It covered how art and art therapists, can assist in the development of “Post-Traumatic Growth” through specifically considered programs and approaches, that can positively help trauma affected individuals, groups and communities.  Greater insights into “Post-Traumatic Growth” gave the audience a clearer understanding about how “art for therapy” can be transformative; how it can improve an individual’s and/or a community’s sense of wellbeing after a traumatic experience.

 

CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS PROGRAM DETAILS (RAV 2015)

I was fortunately able to attend all of the first day’s and most of the second day’s events.  Below outlines the structure of the days’ events which is inclusive of the name of each speaker and the subject matter they covered during their presentation (RAV 2015).  Also I have included some lovely photos I was able to take over the two days!

 

Day One – Friday 10th July 2015 (RAV 2015)

 

 

 

 

  • The Regional Arts Fund  An overview of funding available to regional artists.  Amanda Gibson, Creative Arts Recovery Facilitator, Regional Arts Victoria

 

  • Art Therapy:  Embracing the variety of roles art can play in health care with individuals, groups and communities.  Dr. Patricia Fenner, Course Co-ordinator & Libby Byrne, Associate Lecturer, Master of Art therapy Program, LaTrobe University

 

 

  • Three Art Pieces:  Three remarkable creative projects that emerged following the 2009 Black Saturday fires.  The artists will share the processes they used to engage traumatised communities and create meaningful artistic work
    • Kyneton Mosaic:  A mosaic mural made from personal treasures.  Kathryn Portelli, Mosaic Artist

       

    • The Blacksmiths’ Tree:  A 10m high forged steel gumtree created by a collaboration of blacksmiths from 23 countries and local supporters.  Amanda Gibson, Project Manager, Australian Blacksmiths Association (Victoria)

       

    • Into the Light:  An annual candle-lit lantern parade that uses art as a tool for community engagement and recovery.  Mahony Kiely – Whittlesea Shire Council

       

  • Panel Discussion:  An opportunity for attendees to ask questions on creativity, community and recovery with the speakers.

     

Day Two – Saturday 11th July 2015 (RAV 2015)

  • Welcome and Introduction to Day 2!
  • Working Creatively with People and Communities who have Experienced Traumatic Events:  Exploring how trauma affects the mind and body, tips and approaches that best support people and communities to heal, celebrating art as a tool for transformation.  Shelley Hewson, Nexus Primary Health

 

  • Singing Workshop:  Kerry Clarke, Choir Leader

     

  • The Work of our Neighbourhood Houses:  The up lifting and creative work of these important community groups.  Vicky Mann, Kinglake Neighbourhood House, Mary Farrow, Emerald Neighbourhood House, Megan Smithwick & Fiona Miller, Whittlesea Community Garden
  • Three concurrent workshops/presentations:
    • Lantern Making Workshop:  Mahony Kiely, Program Co-ordinator:  Community Development Through Performance/Art, City of Whittlesea
    • Art in Public Places:  The challenges and processes of creating art in a public space.  Sandy Caldow is a poet, freelance artist and the Public Art Office at the City of Whittlesea.  She writes for World Sculpture news and Asian Art news.  She has been involved with putting art in public places over the past 20 years and is still amazed by all aspects of it.  She, along with Kristen Cherry, Manager Active Communities in the Mitchell Shire will reflect on Council requirements, secret solutions and share memories of close calls and catastrophes averted.  Sandy Caldow, City of Whittlesea & Kristen Cherry, Mtichell Shire Council
    • Animal Felts:  Bring the kids! Making animal ears from felt, a paws-on workshop for beasties of all ages.  Barbara Joyce, Art therapist and Project Manager of the Chook Project
    • Creative reflection/Sunset ritual

 

WHAT DID I GET OUT OF THIS EVENT – CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS?

 

No. 2 of 2 Creative Conversations with Regional Arts Victoria - Attendee at the Event - Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist 10th July 2015.JPG.JPG

No. 2 of 2 Creative Conversations with Regional Arts Victoria – Attendee at the Event – Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 10th July 2015.JPG.JPG

 

I found myself realising even more, that “my own art for therapy journey” was/is very much alike what others have experienced after being subjected to a traumatic event.  After listening to the speakers it was clear that the path I have travelled has been and still is what was coined as “Post-Traumatic Growth“.  It also became apparent to me that people and whole communities fare much better where appropriate care and support is offered by trained professionals within the field of ‘Post-Trauma Growth’, along side of their personal ‘art for therapy’ endeavours.

During the event breaks, I found myself talking and listening to other attendees, mostly listening as they shared their personal stories about loss, grief, despair and ‘Post-Traumatic Growth‘.  Some of the stories I heard were deeply personal and some people were still struggling to reach a place where joy could be found in every day, even after many years since the traumatic event.  They talked about how they use art forms such as crocheting, painting, singing, dancing, writing etc to help manage their daily struggles in obtaining a good sense of wellbeing.

I came away better appreciating how the combination of “art for therapy” in conjunction with specialised professional care and support in the field of ‘Post-Traumatic Growth‘, can help people find a new path forward.  It was clear after speaking and listening to others at this event that this path of ‘post-trauma growth’ can be short for some, long for others and sadly for a few – never-ending.

 

ARTIST DISPLAYS – Mitchell Makers Exhibition

At the end of the first day of this event, a celebration with all occurred, which marked the opening of the Mitchell Makers Exhibition of new contemporary art from the Mitchell Shire, Regional Victoria, Australia.  Please find below a slide show of art works that where on display at this event.

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CREATIVITY IN RECOVERY

Nexus Primary Health in partnership with Regional Arts Victoria, Mitchell Shire Council, MCRAG and the City of Whittlesea on the 16th September published this interesting “heartwarming grassroots documentary which highlights the powerful effect of how creativity & community spirit can be harnessed to achieve healing, transformation & recovery from trauma, natural disaster & all things that knock us sideways” (Nexus Primary Health 2015).

 

 

CONCLUSION

It’s a big role that Regional Arts Victoria (RAV) plays across the state of Victoria, Australia which assists, in keeping the arts alive, within these communities; and helps community members rebuild lives and townships after devastating bush fires have swept through their homes, their lands and their lives.  This particular event “Creative Conversations” was a wonderful way of bringing together a diverse group of people such as stakeholders, communities and individuals to share, learn and think about the wellbeing of people who need help with their “Post-Traumatic Growth” journey – Art for therapy at its very best I feel….

 

My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist/Blogger/Story-teller/Photo-taker

Regional Arts Victoria – “Annual Members Celebration and AGM 2015” by Karen Robinson

While you are here – please check out my home page!

 

2 of 21 Regional Arts Victoria's Annual Members Celebration and AGM at the State Library of Victoria, Latrobe Street, Melbourne 30.05.2015 - Karen Robinson & Amanda Gibson - RAV Regional Facilitator.JPG

2 of 21 Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist and Amanda Gibson – RAV Regional Facilitator, Regional Arts Victoria’s Annual Members Celebration and AGM at the State Library of Victoria, Latrobe Street, Melbourne 30.05.2015 .JPG

 

 

INTRODUCTION

April this year, 2015 – I become a member of Regional Arts Victoria (RAV).  They “inspire art across the state of Victoria through creative facilitation, touring, education, specialised resources, artistic projects and advocacy (RAV 2015). They develop and sustain creative communities and artistic practice” all over Victoria, Australia (RAV 2015).

 

ABOUT REGIONAL ARTS VICTORIA

Regional Arts Victoria are an “independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation working in long-term partnerships with every level of government, fostering contemporary and innovative regional cultural practice across five decades (RAV 2015) .  They advise and impact on decision-making across multiple portfolios and levels of government.  The organisation is the peak body for regional artists and arts organisations, and the leading organisation for regional creative practice in Victoria, Australia” (RAV 2015).

 

14 of 21 Regional Arts Victoria's Annual Members Celebration and AGM at the State Library of Victoria, Latrobe Street, Melbourne 30.05.2015 Photographed by Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist.JPG

14 of 21 Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist of Attwood at the Regional Arts Victoria’s Annual Members Celebration and AGM at the State Library of Victoria, Latrobe Street, Melbourne 30.05.2015 Photographed by M. Robinson-Abstract Artist.JPG

 

 

REGIONAL ARTS VICTORIA – ANNUAL MEMBERS’ CELEBRATION AND AGM

On Saturday 30th May, 2015, Regional Arts Victoria had their yearly annual Members’ Celebration which was inclusive of their Annual General Meeting at the prestigious State Library of Victoria Theatrette on Lonsdale Street, Melbourne – Australia.  It was well attended by RAV members, partners, Board Members, Esther AnatolitisDirector of RAV, RAV staff and community members.   A number of events covered during the afternoon where:  (1)  Annual General Meeting reflecting on 2014’s inspirations; (2) the launch of our Small Town Transformations book with special guests from Avoca, Dookie, Natimuk, Neerim South and Ouyen, as well as the Hon Martin Foley MP, Minister For Creative Industries, and Ted Baillieu, former Premier and Minister for the Arts; (3) and the announcement of the winner of the Joan and Betty Rayner Commission, an initiative of the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation in partnership with Regional Arts Victoria (RAV 2015).

 

 

 

SLIDE-SHOW:   Regional Arts Victoria’s Annual Members’ Celebration and AGM at Victoria’s State Library Theatrette, Lonsdale Street, Melbourne Australia – 30/05/2015.

 

 

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AMANDA GIBSON – CREATIVE ARTS RECOVERY FACILITATOR

Back in April this year 2015, Amanda Gibson, one of RAV’s Creative Arts Recovery facilitators, kindly came out to my home studio to visit me.  We spent some time talking about my paintings in preparation for my solo exhibition for May/June 2015 at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery and their painting stories; and about my arts practice.  So it was another good opportunity to catch up with Amanda at this event. Amanda’s responsible for the Mitchell/Macedon/Hume Region of Victoria, Australia where she supports creative recovery in disaster affected communities within these regions (RAV 2015).  Amanda’s role as a key arts catalysts within this region, works closely with artists, communities and local government and help keep communities informed of key arts opportunities and development as well as supporting arts policy development (RAV 2015).

 

4 of 21 Regional Arts Victoria's Annual Members Celebration and AGM at the State Library of Victoria, Latrobe Street, Melbourne 30.05.2015 Photographed by Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist.JPG

4 of 21 Amanda Gibson – Creative Arts Recovery Facilitator for Mitchell/Macedon/Hume Region of Victoria acting as the unofficial photographer on the day at the Regional Arts Victoria’s Annual Members Celebration and AGM at the State Library of Victoria, Latrobe Street, Melbourne 30.05.2015 Photographed by Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist.JPG

 

 

CONCLUSION

It’s a big role that Regional Arts Victoria (RAV) plays across the state of Victoria, Australia which assists, in keeping the arts alive, within these communities; and helps community members rebuild lives and townships after devastating bush fires have swept through their homes, their lands and their lives.  Art for therapy at its very best I feel….

 

My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist/Blogger/Story-teller/Photo-taker

Solo Exhibition – My first titled: “When words are hard to find” at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist

While you are here – please check out my home page!

 

 

No. 40 - 'When words are hard to find' Solo Exhibition of Karen Robinson 6.5.15 Gallery ready for Opening night at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery for Exhibition.JPG

No. 40 – ‘When words are hard to find’ Solo Exhibition of Karen Robinson 6.5.15 Gallery ready for Opening night at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery for Exhibition.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

 

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 selected pieces of my Abstract Art Portfolio, has been an important part of my ‘art for therapy’ journey.

 

Special Note: Transport Accident Commission Victoria made a short video of myself on the opening night of the exhibition. I talk about how my art has been a form of therapy over the last five years since the death of my son who had been killed in road trauma 5th November 2009. A very big thank you to TAC’s CEO – Janet Dore for seeing the value in spending the time and money in capturing this very special moment in my life. Link: http://www.tac.vic.gov.au

 

On Wednesday the 6th May, 2015 I had my very first solo exhibition titled ‘….When words are hard to find at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery, Hume Global Learning Centre, Craigieburn, Melbourne – Australia.  It’s a Hume City Council solo exhibition which features 16 of my abstract paintings that ‘offer an intimate perspective of loss and growth, from an impressive collection’ – the Hume Major, Councillor Adem Atmaca had said.  They range from 2008 to 2015 and will be on public display during May and June 2015.  NB:  None of my paintings are for sale, they are just to personal to sell but I hope that by sharing my art work alongside of their painting stories – will help others to understand that using ‘art for therapy’ can help improve ones sense of wellbeing.

 

 

 

 

ART WORK CHOSEN FOR THE SOLO EXHIBITION

 

Choosing which abstract paintings for exhibition was difficult, as I had not had a solo exhibition before, and therefore could choose from my whole collection of some 60 abstract paintings I had completed over the last 7 years, from 2008 to 2015.  After consulting the Gallery Curator – Tobias Hengeveld, I decided to invite him to my home art studio and view all of what I thought to be my best works and see what he thought.  We viewed each abstract painting, discussed its merits and gradually put together a range that both of us were happy with; then reduced the number to just 15 paintings all up for the exhibition.  Later, I added one more, a painting I had just completed and felt it was a good addition.  Once the paintings had arrived at the gallery, three days before the solo exhibition, it became clear to me, that we needed to add in two additional paintings to complete the overall feel and look of the exhibition.  After discussions with Tobias and taking into account the space available, one other painting was withdrawn, which meant, we now had a total of 17 paintings for the solo exhibition.  Below is a slide-show of the paintings currently on exhibition at the Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery – Craigieburn, Melbourne – Australia.  NB:  Abstract painting stories can be found by clicking on Abstract Art Portfolio.

 

 

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PRESENTATION FOLDER FOR OPENING NIGHT – A Keepsake for Viewers!

 

In preparation for my solo exhibition, I was asked if I would be giving anything out to those who came on the opening night. After some reflection, I decided to produce a presentation folder that would make a small statement. I wanted to make sure that the viewers of the art work, would have a deeper understanding about me as an abstract artist, about my ‘art for therapy’ journey and how through my painting stories, I had come from ‘…when words are hard to find’ to ‘finding joy in every day’!

So I set about producing a presentation folder that firstly had an abstract painting on its cover.  Whilst all the covers were the same format, each I painted individually which meant each folder was unique.  Inside the right had side cover, I placed a copy of Hume City Council’s Media Release and an artist’s statement which read:

Hume Artist, Karen Robinson is a painter, story-teller, photo-taker and blogger.  Karen is a self-taught artist, having taken up her childhood love of painting again, later in her adult life.

As inspiration for her artwork, Karen draws on feelings and emotions evoked by situations experienced throughout her life, such as great family moments, family tragedy, career experiences, travelling adventures, current local and world events.

With painting, Karen explores colour and shape as an intuitive way of conveying her story.  Once she has completed a painting, she then writes its story, so that the viewer may have a clearer understanding about her 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…”

In June 2009, Karen took part in a community exhibition called Ways Out – Journeys through Recovery” at Synergy Gallery, Northcote as part of the High Street Northcote Visual Arts Festival.  Karen has also participated in Transport Accident Commission (TAC) Exhibitions called “Picture This” in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.  TAC’s ‘Picture This’ Exhibition provides people who have been affected by road trauma, the opportunity to use artistic expression to share their experiences.

In 2014, Karen was a recipient of a ‘Hume City Council Arts Award’ for ‘Professional development Grant’ in the category of Established Visual Artists.  Hume City Council’s Solo Exhibition of Karen Robinson’s paintings will run from Thursday 7th May to Sunday 26th June 2015.”

 

 

Inside the presentation folder, on the left hand side, I included a single page for every abstract painting being exhibited, along with its painting story.  I felt that each and every person attending on the night would not only be able to read the painting story from their given presentation folder, but would also take away with them, a piece of shared memory of my solo exhibition that they could reflect upon afterwards; they could share with family, friends and work colleagues.

 

 

PREPARATION OF ARTWORK FOR TRANSPORTATION

 

My dear husband prepared all the abstract paintings for transportation.  Each painting was carefully wrapped in bubble wrap, to ensure it would not get damaged during its transportation, nor during the handling process of packing and unpacking of the paintings.

 

 

 

 

PREPARING THE GALLERY FOR OPENING NIGHT

 

Once the abstract paintings had been delivered to gallery – my husband and I went about helping Tobias,the curator, as best we could, in setting up the gallery.  Walls had to be freshened up with paint and some walls completely repainted.  I unwrapped the abstract paintings of their bubble wrap cocoons and lent them against the stark whitish walls.  Tobias worked his magic and decided which should go where within the gallery to ensure each painting complimented the other.  He then masterfully hung each painting, printed up the text captions which under his instructions, I placed below each painting.  Tobias placed onto the wall the name of the exhibition and it was then official – the exhibition of ‘…When words are hard to find’ was now about to happen. I took a moment to reflect!  We vacuumed the flooring and Tobias set about doing the process of considering what lighting needed to be where, to ensure each abstract painting was properly featured and shown at its best.  Then the TV monitor was put in place, so that the TAC video interview of my self back in 2011 about art for therapy, could play continuously in the back ground during the opening night and during the public exhibition hours forthcoming.

 

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GALLERY READY TO GO!

 

After all the work had been completed and with the abstract paintings all hung and lit, it was with some pride and amazement that I felt when standing back and taking a good look at my art work.  I felt very privilege to have had the opportunity to have this solo exhibition, where I was able to share my ‘art for therapy’ journey with family, friends, colleagues, gallery curator Tobias Hengeveld, Jacqueline Grenfell – Arts and Cultural Planner at Hume, Hume City Councillors and other community members within my home region of Hume. Thank you all …

 

 

 

VIDEO BEING SHOWN DURING EXHIBITION ALONG SIDE OF PAINTING TITLED ‘The Life of Our Son Ben’  2010 – Acrylic on Canvas

 

The monitor was strategically placed along side of an abstract painting that I had painted for my only son who had been killed in a single vehicle car crash on the 5th November, 2009 – just before his 26th birthday.  I had to do a painting to celebrate his life; to know that the time Ben was here with us, was a treasure, shared by so many.  Ben was loved and cherished and will be missed so much by all, but mostly by myself – his mum, his dad and his sister.  Each band of colour represents a year of Ben’s life from being a baby, toddler, small child, older child, teenager through to becoming a fully grown young man.   Each colour represents different emotions, feelings, experiences and growth that Ben achieved in his life with us.  The sphere represents the worlds of people he had in his life; his own family, extended family members, work colleagues, girlfriend and best mates.

 

 

 

 

Details in relation to the Video – Transport Accident Commission (TAC) CLIENT VIDEO: Featuring Karen Robinson talking about using ‘art for therapy’ for TAC’s 2011 ‘Picture This’ Exhibition.  It is “now in its fifth year and provides people who have been affected by road trauma to use artistic expression, whether it is drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography or textiles, to share their experiences.  The exhibitions showcase artwork by people who have either taken up art since being involved in a  transport accident, or who were artists before their accident“. TAC (2013). Client art exhibition – Picture This 2013. Retrieved from TAC

 

 

 

 

TAC also attended this exhibition and interviewed me, once again and photographed some of the opening night – a big thankyou needs to be extended to Janet Dore – TAC’s CEO for believing that my ‘art for therapy’ journey is worthy of such time, effort and expense…  Hopefully by sharing my story with TAC Clients, will help others find their voice by taking up a passion – “…when words are hard to find’ and reach a place were they can find joy in every day…

 

 

SOLO EXHIBITION OPENING NIGHT EVENT

 

The opening night of the solo exhibition was a very special moment for me.  To be joined by family, friends from Kangan Institute Broadmeadows and work colleagues from Road Trauma Support Services, neighbours, along with Hume City Councillors, TAC media representatives and the gallery curator, my dear husband and my darling daughter and her good husband – was a moment that I will remember well.  Some of these people knew about the fact that I painted, but had not really had the opportunity to view the paintings in such a way, nor had they had the opportunity to read each of these painting stories until this moment.  It was very satisfying to see people take the time to read and view each painting.  I felt I had been given the chance to reveal what I had been thinking, I finally got a change to say out loud what I had been holding in for many years.  I had come from ‘…when words are had to find’ to a place where my voice was being heard through my abstract paintings and my painting stories.  It was a good feeling!

 

 

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A TRIBUTE TO MY DAUGHTER WHO TOOK PHOTOS ON THE OPENING NIGHT

 

A big thank you to my daughter who kindly took photos for me on the opening night of my solo exhibition … thank you.

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

It was a humbling experience to have people take time out of their lives to share this moment with me.  I hope they took away an experience that will give them something to ponder about; to get them thinking about the value of ‘art for therapy’

I wish to repeat these words of mine, for they really state it clearly my thoughts about my ‘art for therapy’ journey:-

 

“…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…”

 

M‘art for therapy’ journey has taken another turn.  My paintings, along with their painting stories are reaching out to others.  How lucky am I to have had Hume City Council give me this opportunity to have my very first solo exhibition.  It does not matter, if there will not be another, just having this one has been most satisfying.  Art therapy at its best for sure….

 

 

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

Melbourne: Federation Square “Street Art – Lest We Forget…” Photo Story No. 10 – Photographed by Karen Robinson

While you are here – please check out my home page!

INTRODUCTION

During this series of ‘Melbourne Street Art Story Weblogs’  I will endeavour to share my personal discovery of Melbourne’s Street Art.  Whilst there is much available to view in the way of images on the web, I hope I can offer a point of difference.  I will be inviting you to productively contribute your opinions and knowledge, in a way that is respectful to the Street Artists featured; and in a way that will add value to this conversation. Please click here to view my weblog page which features my “introductory story” and view other featured Melbourne Street Art works photographed by me, as I discover them…

 

ABOUT STREET ART PHOTO STORY No. 10 – “5000 Poppies Project

Photo No. 5 of 12 - Anzac Day March at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia featuring Australia’s first own car – its hood here blanketed with a sheath of poppies photo taken by Karen Robinson 25.4.2015.JPG

Photo No. 5 of 12 – Anzac Day March at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia featuring Australia’s first own car – its hood here blanketed with a sheath of poppies photo taken by Karen Robinson 25.4.2015.JPG

 

My husband and I took the opportunity to travel into Melbourne City Centre – Federation Square on Anzac Day to view the amazing 5000 Poppies Project.  We were so touched by this extraordinary community street art display of thousands of poppies that had been hand crafted by so many volunteers.

Over the last two years, an Australian wide group of volunteers as well as some volunteers from other countries, knitted and crocheted for the “5000 Poppies Project“.  Their target goal was 5,000 poppies but to their surprise they were able to achieve more than 250,000 poppies in all.  These poppies were then assembled and displayed at Federation Square, Melbourne Australia in commemoration of Australia’s 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.  These small gifts of time and energy in the way of a crafted poppy – were a community representation of ‘respect and remembrance to honour Australia’s servicemen and women who have fought in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations (Fed Square 2015).

 

 

SLIDE SHOW OF PHOTOS TAKEN – 5000 POPPIES ANZAC CENTENARY PROJECT

 

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MY FAVOURITE POPPY DISPLAY – The Holden FX featuring a Poppy Display on its Car Hood!

At the commencement of the Anzac Parade, I spotted a fleet of General Motors Holden FX 48-215 motor vehicles which were being featured in this ANZAC Centenary Parade Melbourne.  The Holden FX was Australia’s first own car, and became a definitive model for millions of cars – Australian production with American styling!  The Holden also met the design needs of the Australian suburban driver by taking into account the Australian environment, thus they were a robust and economical family sedan. The first Holden was delivered off the Fishermen’s Bend assembly line on the 29th November 1948.  It became a car that represented dreams of prosperity, of freedom, of independence after wartime conformity (National Museum Australia 2015).  I remember my own family owning a Holden, so it is no wonder that I loved photographing this historical Australian motor vehicle…

 


MY COMMENTS

An incredible community street art project and event, created by the generosity of so many volunteers – makes me proud to be an Australian. If you would like to know more about their project please click here!

 

Photo No.23 of 52 – 5000 Poppies Project at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia photo taken by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 25.4.2015 NB All images are protected by copyright.JPG

Photo No.23 of 52 – 5000 Poppies Project at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia photo taken by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 25.4.2015 NB All images are protected by copyright.JPG

 

CONCLUSION

I hope you enjoyed viewing this Weblog on some of the ‘Street Art’ featured in Melbourne’s Federation Square – Australia.  Please feel free to leave comments that are respectful to the Street Artists and add value to the conversation…Karen Robinson

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Melbourne: City Centre “Street Art” Photo Story No. 9 – Photographed by Karen Robinson

While you are here – please check out my home page!

 

MIRKA MORA'S FLINDERS ST STATION MURAL – Melbourne Australia Photographed by Karen Robinson 18th April 2015 NB All images are subject to copyright laws.JPG

MIRKA MORA’S FLINDERS ST STATION MURAL Created in 1986. The central panel is a mosaic, with the decorative upper frieze being painted and the lower border being painted with low-relief outlines – Melbourne Australia Photographed by Karen Robinson 18th April 2015 – featuring me in this photo NB All images are subject to copyright laws.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

During this series of ‘Melbourne Street Art Story Weblogs’  I will endeavour to share my personal discovery of Melbourne’s Street Art.  Whilst there is much available to view in the way of images on the web, I hope I can offer a point of difference.  I will be inviting you to productively contribute your opinions and knowledge, in a way that is respectful to the Street Artists featured; and in a way that will add value to this conversation. Please click here to view my weblog page which features my “introductory story” and view other featured Melbourne Street Art works photographed by me, as I discover them…

 

ABOUT STREET ART PHOTO STORY No. 9 – MIRKA MORA

Mirka Mora was born in 1928 – a prominent French-born Australian visual artist who has contributed notably to the development of Contemporary Art in Australia.  She is a noted colourist and symbolist with works that include painting, sculpture and mosaics.

 

MIRKA MORA’S YOUTUBE – At Heide Museum of Modern Art

To view a beautiful interview with Mirka Mora please click the following link:  Mirka Mora ABC Interview in her Art Studio – Richmond

 

Mirka Mora’s Flinders Street Station Mural is a Melbourne icon and was created in 1986 and is situated on the inside wall at the Yarra river end of Flinders Street Railway Station, next to Clocks Restaurant.  The mural is made up of three different heights that form a total surface of about thirty-six square meters being – (1) a painted decorative upper frieze, (2) with the middle panel being mosaic work, and (3) the lower border being painted with low-relief outlines. This  wonderful mural features images of animals, humans, strangers and angels in a garden which is full of bright colours.   In order to be able to achieve such a massive mosaic mural, Mirka Mora enlisted the assistance of Nicola McGann (Culture Victoria. 2012).

The Flinders Street Railway Station Mural was a commission work that Mirka Mora had successfully won in a competition with six other Melbourne artists (Academia Ed. 2015).  In Village Well July 2006 ‘Places for Community Wellbeing’ it talks about how a community can build public spaces in order to promote health and wellbeing.  It discusses how place making can assist in enhancing social connection and inclusion.  In 2006 VicHealth commissioned the development of a scoping paper focusing on existing arts practice designed to develop railway stations as community hubs.  By introducing works such as Mirka Mora’s Flinders Street Station Mural, it is hoped that it will help make railways stations ‘become places that are inclusive, safe, facilitate social inclusion and cohesion and contribute to the development of strong communities’ (Train Station Community Wellbeing PDF by Village Well – July 2006).  Mirka Mora’s Mural is a playful, joyful and captivating work of art that offer great interest within Flinders Street Railway station and ensures that daily commuters can enjoy this wonderful artist work, each and every day – art for therapy at its best I feel…

 

LOOKING AT THE MIRKA MORA’S MURAL SURROUNDINGS – Flinders Street Railway Station – Melbourne Australia

 

 

FIRST TIER – PAINTED DECORATIVE UPPER FRIEZE OF THE MIRKA MORA MURAL

 

 

SECOND TIER – CENTRAL MOSAIC PANEL OF THE MIRKA MORA MURAL 

  • Mirka Mora images of animals, humans, strangers and angels in a garden which is full of bright colours that bring a sense of joy to Flinders Street Railway Station…
MIRKA MORA'S FLINDERS ST STATION MURAL – with bike Melbourne Australia Photographed by Karen Robinson 18th April 2015 NB All images are subject to copyright laws

MIRKA MORA’S FLINDERS ST STATION MURAL – with bike Melbourne Australia Photographed by Karen Robinson 18th April 2015 NB All images are subject to copyright laws