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

Taking Imagination Seriously

Taking Imagination Seriously is a topic, brought to life in a very real way in this weeks post. Today I want to share with you a wonderful video by Janet Echelman, who creates incredible sculptures, massive in scale, and her story of how she came to this art form.

There’s a wonderful story which arose from an incident that could have been a catastrophe for her and yet she turned into it something ultimately amazing. Watch the video to see how this unfolded for her.


It was only through the use of the imagination that she managed to turn a problematic event into a whole new direction for her art. As she says in the video, what enabled this to happen was her being able to see something that she had seen many times before, from a completely new perspective. Being able to look at fishing nets in a whole new way she began an exploration into what I would essentially call, wind sculptures.

One of the things she shared on the video that I found amazing to visualize, was that image of a whole building full of office people coming out of their workspace and lying on the ground in their suits underneath this massive sculpture to experience something so far outside their normal daily lives. What a wonderful thing to be able to have such a massive impact on others with your vision and creative structures.


Here are some more images of her work..

Taking Imagination Seriously,Dreamcatcher,ITA_Echelman_PhotoPaolaRe_5

These two images are different views of the same work titled – Dreamcatcher.

Taking Imagination Seriously,,Dream_catcher,ITA_Echelman_PhotoIlariaProvenzi_DSC_0083


Taking Imagination Seriously,van_echelman_photoemapeter_j3a4160-panorama

And at night it looks like this….

Taking Imagination Seriously,van_echelman_photoemapeter_j3a6797


I think one would have to say that Janet is certainly one who is taking imagination seriously, to a whole new level in fact. I’m staggered by the scale of these monumental works and their ephemeral beauty.


Whats Going On At The Studio?

DL Invite print

Well, there’s been a lot going on at the studio in the last month or so. Much preparation for the student exhibition – details in the flyer above.

I have spent time clearing out my second studio and getting it ready for the Student Exhibition, Spring Fever, which is happening on the weekend of November 11th and 12th. This proved to be rather a large task because before I could empty the studio out, I had to empty out and rearrange the storeroom, where all the paintings were going to go. I should have taken a before and after photo but of course, I forgot. Well, I do have an afterwards photo and it will have to do.

going on at the studio, Store room

The Store Room

It is amazing how much you can fit into a small space when you organise it properly.  I had to take everything out to make room for the new things going in there.

Empty Studio

Empty Studio


Then it was a case of taking the table away, and all the paintings I’d stored under it and putting them in the storeroom too. All the old paintings had to come off the wall, during the course of which, I managed to put my back out too! Not fun.

Next came all the rearranging of the storage space as the new stuff went into it. Meanwhile, John was busy in the front studio, putting up new tracking for the paintings.

New Tracking

New Tracking


The last task was to rearrange the rest of the studio furniture and clear the last of the clutter out of there.

Rearranging Studio Furniture

Rearranging Studio Furniture

As well as preparing for the exhibition, I have been working on a new painting, which you can see on the easel above. Then, of course, there are the weekly art classes, daily social media posts, and the bi-monthly magazine to work on. Have you seen my magazine?  I began it this year – here is a link to the previous issue.  If you like it. sign up and it will be delivered to your inbox every second month.

Vol 1 Issue 5 September October 2017


And all of this is part of what makes an artist tick. It’s part of the artlife journey.

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)

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