Celebrating Creativity

Hi I'm Kadira Jennings, welcome to Unfolding Creativity, a portal to Abundance Through Creativity.

I am a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us.

My blog is a discussion, and creativity resource. Please take your time, look around and join the conversation if you would like to.
It is my passionate belief that we all have deep within us a creative genius just waiting for half a chance to get out no matter what field we work or play in.

''There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.''
Martha Graham

degas paintings photo

Degas, Two Dancers

So You Want To Be An Art Collector – How Do I Do That?

Be an art collector – follow your dream. Have you always wanted to collect art? If you are just beginning to be an art collector, then the best thing to do is start with an open mind. You need to develop your aesthetic sensibilities, learn how to read a work of art and be curious. Take some time to initially decide what area of art interests you, then search out the places where you might find that. Visit galleries and ask questions about the art and artists that have been showing there. If you come across an artist that appeals to you, check out more of their work.


You need to understand the difference between buying art and collecting it. On the surface, it might seem to be the same thing. However what often happens when you are an art buyer is that you tend to collect random works that you like and your collection doesn’t necessarily have a cohesion to it. Collecting art, on the other hand, is more of a considered and controlled activity. People have all different kinds of collections, everything from dolls to stamps, butterflies and plants. The one thing that these collections all have in common is that the collector is passionate about the subject and will often limit their selection to a particular branch of it, for example, a stamp collector might collect only 20th-century first day covers. Collectors also, usually self-educate and become quite knowledgeable about their chosen collectables. We find the same principles apply when collecting art.

Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup

Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup

For instance, if you wished to collect 60s pop art, then you would need to learn who the most famous artists of the period were.  How many works they produced, were they prolific artists, and are there still many paintings available to be bought. These and other questions like them, will help you understand the popularity of the artists.


Another way you might develop your collection if you want to be an art collector is by collecting landscapes of a particular period, or art movement.  As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Many collectors go to exhibitions which include emerging artists and begin following ones they like.  The might then buy a couple of smaller early works, to test the waters and follow the artist’s progress. As the artist gains in popularity, they will perhaps invest in the purchase of a major work, and then search around for artists who paint in a similar genre.  In this way, they can add to and develop their collection, so it maintains continuity.

Photo by oddsock

Photo by Prof. Mortel

Who Is At The Cutting Edge of the Creative Arts Today?

creative arts,Cirque Du Soleil,Toruk
Creative arts are many and varied. However, I believe that one of the top contenders for being at the forefront of the creative arts today is the Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du Soleil has a new show coming to Sydney in late October, the 19th to the 29th. I have been to several of their Productions now and if you want to be truly delighted and amazed their shows are always at the leading edge of creativity. They use such a variety of creative skills in their Productions, and the artists and artisans behind the scenes seem to be capable of producing endlessly new visual Delights. The sheer scale of the creations is mind-blowing.

Cirque du Soleil is home to an amazing bunch of creative people. I have been to several of their productions now, and if you want to be truly delighted and amazed, their shows are at the leading edge of creative innovation today. They use such a broad range of creative skills in their productions, and the artists and artisans behind the scenes seem to be capable of producing endlessly new visual delights.
If you enjoyed the movie Avatar, you would be sure to enjoy their latest offering, Toruk The First Flight. As always their costuming and sets are stunning and the skill level of their performances breathtaking.

creative arts,Cirque Du Soleil,Toruk

Toruk is on in Sydney at Qudos Bank Arena from Oct 19-29, 2017. 

This performance has challenged the actors to create new ways of doing things to be able to portray the 20% lower gravity found on Pandora. The lower gravity directly affects the Na’vis’ movements, making climbing up trees easier. The team found that by using a system of pulleys and placing a mattress in an upright position, the artists could learn to move like the Na’vi.


And of course, you remember The Tree Of Souls. Well here is the Cirque’s version….


I am waiting with great anticipation to see this new offering from The Cirque. Don’t miss it!!

The Archibald Prize

Archibald Prize,Archibald_winner_2017,Mitch Cairns,Agatha Gothe-Snape

Winner Archibald Prize 2017 – Artist: Mitch Cairns, Subject: Agatha Gothe-Snape

Have you been to see the Archibald Prize yet at the NSW art gallery? A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the Salon des Refuses. Today let’s take a look at some of the works on offer at the Archibald, Wynne and Sir John Sulman prizes.

Do you know what the different prize categories are? The Archibald Prize is awarded for the best portrait painting and the Sir John Sulman Prize is awarded in one of the following categories: the best subject painting, genre painting or wall mural project by an Australian artist.

A genre painting is normally a composition representing some aspect or aspects of everyday life and may feature figurative, still-life, interior or figure-in-landscape themes. A subject painting, in contrast, is idealised or dramatised. Typically, a subject painting takes its theme from history, poetry, mythology or religion. In both cases, however, the style may be figurative, representative, abstract or semi-abstract.

A mural is a picture fixed directly to a wall or ceiling as part of an architectural and/or decorative scheme.

Established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the prize was first awarded in 1936. Each year the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW invite a guest artist to judge this open competition. Finalists are displayed in an exhibition at the Gallery (although in the early years all entrants were hung).


One of the most eagerly awaited awards is the Packing Room Prize.  This year it was won by Peter Smeeth with his portrait – Lisa Wilkinson AM.

Archibald Prize


The winner of the Wynne prize for 2017 was Betty Kuntiwa Pumani with the painting Antara, pictured below.

“Antara in South Australia is an extremely important site for Betty Kuntiwa Pumani and her family. Antara is her mother’s country. This place and its significant maku (witchetty grub) tjukurpa were a constant in the paintings of her mother, the late Kunmanara (Milatjari) Pumani. Today, Betty and her older sister Ngupulya Pumani are proud custodians of this country; they map its significance and hold its stories strong in their paintings.”  Quote from NSW Art Gallery.

archibald prize


The Sulman prize was awarded this year to Joan Ross, with her work ‘Oh history, you lied to me.’ This is what Joan Ross has to say about her work.

“This work continues my interrogation of colonial collecting and of Australian colonisation. I imagine history is an unfaithful lover, in his own bubble with his lies, seduction and manipulation, only seeing from his position. Recreating the Leverian Museum, a catacomb of curiosities including those from Captain Cook’s voyages, and using my signature hi-vis as a metaphor for colonisation, I am critical of the collecting mentality as an ongoing disease fuelled by superiority and greed.” 

Archibald prize

As always the Archibald is always worth a look. 

Your Creative Genius

This week I want to bring you some thoughts about creativity from someone who is not an artist, but a writer. You may be familiar with Liz Gilbert the author of Eat, Pray, Love. Below is a video, her TED talk, on the subject of your elusive creative genius. She covers many ideas that all creatives grapple with. Enjoy


Among the ideas she discusses is that creativity always leads to suffering, depression, anxiety etc, and she questions whether we really want to maintain that view of creativity. It’s really the whole view of artists that society has adopted, that of the starving artist syndrome.

artists painting photo

Why do we have such a negative view of the creative arts as a lifestyle and career? And I would also question, why does society not support their artists to a greater degree. What is so ironical is that if you stop to think about what are the most important and valuable things in the world.

What has sold for more money than any other commodity – that thing would be a painting. It’s amazing how artists are often vilified, and certainly not encouraged in their career choice, and yet the product of their labours are among the most highly valued things on this earth. Somehow to my mind that doesn’t quite add up.

Pix Credit: orijdotson (Pixabay)

The Sydney Contemporary

The Sydney Contemporary Art Fair 2017


The Sydney contemporary celebrated five days of curated exhibitions and ambitious programming which appealed to the serious collector, the art lover and those curious about contemporary art. The 2017 program presented a showcase of the very best visual art, current trends and emergent practices, as well as a cross-cultural dialogue. It was the premier event on the Sydney art calendar for 2017, with more than 90 galleries from Australia and overseas showcasing their art. There were hundreds of artists represented, cutting edge music, and live performance art.

People often find visiting galleries and art fairs intimidating as you often have to contend with the Art speak, the snobby curators and the feeling that one is inferior and floundering in a sea of confusion. The Sydney contemporary attempted to showcase the current art market, in a way that was approachable for all, whether you were a well-heeled collector, galleries looking for new artists, or just somebody who loves art and wanted to see what it’s all about. There was something for everyone in the program and an emphasis on learning and inclusion.

The image above Is a detail from a very large piece by New Zealand Evan Woodruffe, (which you can view below.)  You can see the complete painting below, which is massive. The work is Acrylic, fabric, gold leaf and paper on linen and measures 300 x 300cm, 9 paintings 100 x 100cm.The detail in this work is quite extraordinary.

the sydney contemporary,Evan Woodruffe

As you can imagine, there was a  huge variety of artworks in all different mediums. The photos included here are some of my favourites.

the sydney contemporary Art Fair 2017

 Unfortunately, I failed to take note of the artist of this work. The light in it is quite extraordinary I love the fine edge between real and surreal in this work.


Marie Le Lievre,Keeper (Sentimentals)

The work above is by Marie Le Lievre, Keeper (Sentimentals) 

It is oil on cardboard 64 x 64 cm

The Salon des Refuses


The Sydney Observatory – near the HS Irving Gallery


If you sometimes go to the Archibald and end up shaking your head and wondering if there weren’t perhaps some other, better entries that could have been hung, then take time to go and visit the salon de refuses at the S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney. In my experience, it’s always well worth the visit. To encourage you to go this year, I would like to share some of the paintings that are on offer. The exhibition is on until the 15th of October so there is still plenty of time to see it.


The first one below is by GUY MAESTRI a self-portrait as a still life, oil on linen 61cm x 51cm.  I really liked the sculptural quality of the work, the broad brush strokes and the concept of painting a bust.

salon des refuses,Guy Maestri,salon_des_refuses


Next up is a painting of Colin Friels, by the artist Christopher McVinish. There is a great rendering of this shirt as you can see in the detail.


salon des refuses,Colin Friels by Christopher McVinish


Shirt Detail

salon des refuses,Colin_Friels_detail


One of the most interesting portraits was done using a very unusual technique utilizing stencils, as seen in the detail below. This work is a self-portrait by Sally Robinson. 


salon des refuses,Sally Robinson - self portrait


And here is the complete portrait…..


salon des refuses,Sally Robinson - self portrait

And of course, there were many others works that were just as interesting as these ones.

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