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

Vlog – An Exciting New Refugee Painting – flows off the brush

refugee painting,vlog,The First Step,Kadira Jennings

As the new refugee painting emerges, this series of works is proving to have a lot more depth to it than I initially thought it was going to. Not to say that subject of refugees is not a subject without depth. However what I have realised particularly while working on this latest painting is that the painting itself, can be read on another level entirely. In other words it is not a painting just about refugees. As you can see from the completed image there is a figure taking a step into a large dark unknown area, moving towards a bright beckoning horizon.

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This horizon might be a new land for the refugee, or the figure could on the other hand be, anyone taking that courageous step into a new land of possibility. This step might be, either a mental or physical journey.  In either case the person taking the step has similar emotional challenges. These challenges might include, overcoming ones fear. Of course can be fear of many different things: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, even fear of success, fear of being alone or fear of not meeting expectations, either one’s own or someone else’s.

I am considering the subject of refugee painting in a whole new light.  Are we not refugees in so many ways and at different times of our lives?  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to belittle the plight of refugees in any way. What  I am finding is a parallel, in emotional crises. For example, some one becomes divorced, is tossed out by their partner, their house burns down and so on, is now experiencing perhaps a similar level of anxiety and distress – they are homeless, don’t know what the future holds, where will they go or how will they manage? Some of us take these situations almost in our stride while others of us have no tools in our emotional backpack to deal with them well. Of course with  refugees there are the added layers of abandoning their Mother country and war with all its attendant psychological and physical horrors that have to be dealt with as well.

So I suspect that as this series unfolds there are many areas to look at in light of our unravelling societies and how we cope in the rapidly changing 21st Century.

 

This Weeks Question: What can we do individually do to help the refugee crisis at any level, whether it is international refugees, or homeless battered women in our town?  Please Share your thoughts…..

Look For Next Week’s Post: A look at what’s coming up next in the studio.

Challenges – My 8 day Instagram  Challenge

Challenges are an interesting phenomenon. Last week I took part in an eight day Instagram  Challenge which was called the #abundantartshow. The challenge was to try and sell something online within eight days. It had some interesting results for me, for although I didn’t sell any work in that time I realised that I still had a lot of pieces in the sales process that needed attention.

challenge,Abundant Art Show,cory huff,kadira jennings

It was the first time I had taken part in such a challenge. I think I have always been reluctant to enter challenges in the past because of a fear that I wouldn’t succeed even completing the challenge. However what I found from this challenge was that I was pushed to do things I might not have thought of doing previously. It also made me think about the process of selling art in a different light.
Another benefit received was that of attracting more followers to my Instagram account and gaining more social interaction generally around the works. One of the things we had to do during the challenge was to present our work in a different way. Since I am doing a series about refugees, I decided to post one of my paintings on a bombed out building, similar to the one you might have seen in my post a couple of weeks ago – Freedom and Art – The Art of Freedom

Below is my image, using last week’s post image.

challenges,abundantartshow,you are welcome here

 

This is not something I would have come up with on my own without a prompt to nudge me in a different direction.  So I would say one of the greatest benefits of challenges is that we force ourselves to extend beyond our paradigm, beyond our safe and secure comfort zone.  We are pushed into extending beyond our limiting beliefs of what we currently think is achievable for us.

This Weeks Question: What challenges have you been involved in and how did they benefit you? I would love to hear your experiences….  Please Share…..

Look For Next Week’s Post: A look at what’s coming up next in the studio.

 

Refugees

Refugees in New Zealand have been warmly welcomed, as I mentioned in the previous post. As I worked my way through the first painting, ‘Refugee‘,  I thought more and more about the whole subject. What makes a person a refugee, is there only one kind of refugee and are refugees always created by forceful displacement?

The dictionary definition of a refugee is – “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.”  I believe there are degrees of refugees.  Those as described already, and people who have been displaced from their native environment by choice, only to find they cannot return, for various reasons. In my next post I shall examine these ideas further.

As the painting developed, you will see in the vlog below, the struggles I had to get the image to work.

 

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In this painting the refugees have arrived and are being welcomed by their new country – New Zealand, in this case.  I am working very intuitively at the moment, and being constantly surprised at what is coming out onto the canvas.  The images are very powerful and I feel they are taking on a life of their own.  The large figure on the left – the spirit of the land ended up having such an amazing feeling coming from him.  I was really excited by  this piece and it is my favourite so far.

Something else that has me really fired up about this body of work, is that I am going to donate 10% of all profits from the works to The Syrian Refuge Crisis Appeal  ( Care Australia).

It is a way that I, as an artist can support the refugees, while at the same time, sharing that with those who buy my work. So if you would like to purchase this work you can do so here.

Refugees,Vlog,You Are Welcome Here,Kadira Jennings,abstract art

This Weeks Question: What are your thoughts on the refugee crisis? Please Share…..

Look For Next Week’s Post: My 8 day Instagram challenge.

 

 

Refugee Crisis –

The worldwide refugee crisis is a phenomenon that we can no longer ignore. It seems that every time you turn on the TV you see people transitioning in some way. There are millions of displaced people traveling across Europe, looking for new homes as their land has become uninhabitable due to war and terrorism.

I was in  New Zealand listening to a news report about the town of Dunedin in the South Island where the whole city turned out to welcome a plane load of Syrian refugees. There was a wonderful air of support, compassion  and simple human kindness being offered by the citizens, to these refugees, who have been through such harrowing experiences.  We cannot even imagine the pain and suffering they have been through.

Now you might wonder what all this has to do with art. Well as it turns out it actually has quite a lot to do with art and in particular my art.  What follows is an interesting insight into how the subconscious mind works, and how creativity flows.

During my recent New Zealand trip I visited Rotorua and took several photos of the hot pools there.  On returning home I used some of these photos as source material for some abstract paintings.

The first work used this photo as it’s source.

Refugee Crisis,Rotorua hot pool

When I was about three-quarters of the way through the work  I was wondering what title to give it when the word refugee popped into my head. At the time I couldn’t figure why, why refugee???

 

Refugee crisis,Kadira Jennings,refugees

 

I could see that the figures in the middle of the painting looked very frightened and harrowed.The funny thing is that I was talking to one of my students about the painting and we had previously been discussing how I would like to return to live in New Zealand (I currently live in Australia.) But at this point in time that is not possible for me. So when I was telling her about the painting being called Refugee, she looked at me and looked at the painting and said ‘but you’re a refugee, aren’t you? ‘ This was quite astonishing because I’d never thought of myself as such.

This got me to thinking further about refugees, the refugee crisis and displaced persons in general…… and so began the birth of a new series – the Art of Transitioning.

This Weeks Question: What are your thoughts on the refugee crisis? 

Look For Next Week’s Post: A vlog of the second painting in this series and more on refugees.

Freedom and Art

Freedom and Art are two things that seem to go hand in hand. Anyone in the Western world cannot be unaware of what is happening in Syria at the moment. The desire to create, love and be free is in every human heart no matter what oppressive regime tries to stamp them out. I was very moved by this beautiful image posted on Facebook during the week.

freedom and art,Klimt in Syria

Klimt in Syria

 

Whether this is real or a digitally superimposed image, matters not – it is the concept that is important here. It took someone – unknown at this point, to think of the idea in the first place. What a wonderful idea, if we could beautify all the destroyed buildings with wonderful works of art. It is hard to imagine the cost, physically, mentally and emotionally, of living in such devastating conditions. Art on the other hand can be uplifting, restoring beauty where it has been torn down and giving the downtrodden hope for the future.

The ironical thing is that as soon as finances become constrained for what ever reason, the first thing to go is spending on Creativity and the Arts.  Freedom and art can become mutually exclusive in times of difficulty. Governments actively destroy great works of art during purges or just stop arts funding.  Recently Australia has undergone a round of draconian cost cutting by our government and the latest thing to fall under the axe along with education and health care funding, are many of the Arts projects. One of these is Narva  which is our national association of visual artists. There are so many benefits available to artists through this group,  including access to a large knowledge base on running an arts business and everything to do with the Arts, funding for artists, and help in so many areas for professional, practicing artists. However the government has decided in its great wisdom that artists no longer need to invest in the country’s cultural development.

The saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand word’ is so true.  A sculpture, painting or digital piece can fill us with joy every time we look at it. For example the Klimt picture above, immediately transported me back to the first time I saw the original of this work. It  is such an intensely beautiful and arresting piece of artwork that it made my heart sing.  How powerful is that? It is an experience I continue to hold within me.

When an artwork has such a strong emotional impact on the viewer, they carry that with them forever. What an amazing gift that is.  And yet artists are not encouraged in their art practices. Instead we are marginalised and told to, ‘Get a REAL job!’  As if the artist contributes nothing of value to society.

This Weeks Question: How do you think artists contribute to society? Please share your thoughts….

Look For Next Week’s Post: More on my new series of works.

Vlog – new series – emerging artworks.

You know I think artworks are always in the emerging category are they not?

Following my recent visit to New Zealand I have begun a new series of work. To introduce you to this work I am sharing a vlog which traces the development of the painting ‘You Are Welcome Here’, from its inspiration to its completion.

 

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There is more about this work ‘You Are Welcome Here’ to be found on my website. This is the second work in the series.  I have explained how this series was born as part of the description to the first painting in the series – ‘Refugee‘.

Here is the finished work.

 

Vlog,You Are Welcome Here,Kadira Jennings,abstract art

 

This Weeks Question: Can you leave a comment  – what are your thoughts on this art work?  I would love to hear what you think.

Look For Next Week’s Post: Freedom and Art

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