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

Why Go To An Art Fair – Three Fantastic Reasons Why You Should…….

WHy go to an art fair,the other art fair Sydney.Kadira Jennings

Standing Back For A Better Look

Why go to an Art Fair? Whether you are an artist, someone who just loves to look at art or a collector, there are plenty of reasons for going to an art fair. Last weekend I visited ‘The Other Art Fair’ in Sydney. So reason number one would be…

1. It was absolutely packed with people, both artists selling their works and lots of people walking around looking at it. There was such an amazing variety of work, so many types of art to see. I imagine there would have been something there for everyone really. I saw several pieces that I liked.

Freya Powells ,the other art fair,florals

Freya Powell’s beautiful Flowers

2. My second reason is that it is a wonderful opportunity to meet the artists themselves. You get to talk to them and find out a bit about their work and their processes. This brings you into a closer understanding of the work and helps you to create a stronger connection with it.

suey mcennally,teh other art fair

3. If you are a collector or a gallerist it is a great opportunity to meet emerging artists who have not yet been snapped up by a gallery. It’s a win win situation all round.

Of course there are other reasons for going to Art Fairs as well. If you are an artist it is a great way to see what your contemporaries are doing, you might even grab some inspiration while doing so. Then there are always the quirky things to see such this little teddy. Annoyingly, I forgot to take a photo of the painting it was then. One artist had this teddy in every one of his paintings – very quirky!

Cute Teddy,the other art show,sydney,kadira jennings

Cute Teddy – the star of the show!

 

This Weeks Question: Which Art fairs have you been to recently?

Look For Next Week’s PostBehind the scenes -3 Keys to success in the studio

A New Body Of Work

 

If you’ve been following the blog in the last couple of weeks you will know that I’ve been sharing with you some of the different series of works I have painted and how they came about. Today I would like to share with you the latest body of work which is centred around exploring current issues and challenges facing displaced persons and refugees.
This new body of work, examines the underlying problems facing them and their hopes for a better life.

Where can you see it? – it will be exhibited at the Ruby Samadhi gallery in Kincumber  When can you see it? – 1 December to 31 December 2016, more details to follow.

As with some previous bodies of work, this one did not emerge from my fascination with a particular subject or in this case even a conscious awareness around the topic.

I had recently come back from a trip to New Zealand and as I was about to begin a new series of work I thought I would try to loosen up my style somewhat. Although I enjoyed the previous series of works which were floral in nature, by the time I got to the end of that series my work had become quite tight and I wanted to remedy that.  I picked a palette of colours and started splashing paint around, endeavouring to work very intuitively and abstractly.  However as the work progressed I began to see figures emerging from within it.

body of work,Refugee,Kadira Jennings,refugees

The first painting in the series

When the painting was nearly done 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??? Although the figures in the middle of the painting do look very frightened and harrowed.
A short while later, I was talking to one of my students about the painting. We had previously been discussing how I would like to return to live in New Zealand as I currently live in Australia. At this point in time however, that is not an option for me. 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? ‘ I was quite astonished as I’d never thought of myself as such.
This got me to thinking further about refugees and displaced persons and so the birth of a new series began. I then quickly developed several paintings from this first one. These subsequent works related to the emotional challenges and hopes that a refugee or displaced person feels.  I feel like a displaced person rather than a refugee. The thing we share in common is being cut off from our homeland, although perhaps in different ways.  

After that I turned to my source material, the photos I had taken on my recent trip to New Zealand and it all began to come together. 

Next week I will share further highlights of this journey as we approach the count down to an exhibition of them.

 

This Weeks Question: What can we do individually to help alleviate the misery of refugees in our own country.

Look For Next Week’s Post: Why Go To An Art Fair – 3 Fantastic Reasons Why You Should

How Did I Emerge From My Dark Night Of The Soul?

My Dark night of the soul found its resolution through a rather unlikely event. For some time I had been looking at a photo that I found on Pinterest of dresses in a wardrobe. I was really drawn to this image although at the time I had no idea what lurked beneath its innocent surface. Anyway I began painting the image as you can see in the photo below.

dark-night-of-the-soul,dancing-in-the-dark.kadira_Jennings

Dancing In The Dark – beginnings

As I began to paint the bottom of the dress on the extreme right,  I was suddenly overcome with a huge grief. I was crying and crying and I suddenly realised that I was releasing the grief I had held onto all these years about giving up my dancing. 

It was as if there was a hidden self within me that knew I needed to somehow access this grief and release it. Thus I was drawn to the picture. The funny thing was that I actually came across the photograph almost a year before I ended up painting it. And for the whole year it was calling to me to paint it but I kept finding excuses and reasons why I didn’t need to do it. But clearly I did.

Many people don’t realise that works we produce are  always a reflection of who we are in some way. It may be reflecting ourselves at the current point in time, or something from the past we need to let go of. As was the case in this painting. 

dark night of the soul,dancing in teh dark,kadira jennings

The first Painting In The Series

What I found quite remarkable about this series of works was the way it operated on two levels. While there was the grief for abandoning my dancing, simultaneously the dresses being stuck in the dark closet seem to somehow echo my grief at not being seen and felt at deeper levels, by my partner. The dresses were beautiful and unappreciated and so was my work. The series continued to evolve as the dresses emerged from the closet and eventually ended up floating freely from a branch, in the wind.

dark night of the soul,kadira jennings

Final Painting In The Series

 

This Weeks Question: How does your creative work reflect your own life journey?

Look For Next Week’s PostComing Soon, A Sensational New Body Of Work. Where Can You See It?

What Is A Body Of Work?

What does a body of work mean exactly?  

What goes into an artist’s body of work and why do we call it that? Generally a body of work is a collection of paintings around a particular theme. Not all artists work in this way. However you will often find more mature artists tend to take a theme and work with it over a period of time.

During my art career, my work has encompassed several different subjects which I worked on over a period of months. The last major body of work I did was around the subject of the dark night of the Soul. These paintings documented that journey using the metaphor of dresses emerging from a dark wardrobe out into the light. Each subsequent painting was a further step in the emergence. The dresses themselves represented more than one thing. There was the emerging awareness of my own neglected femininity. Which was quite a painful process.

The painting below in particular, represents the feelings associated with owning my femininity. 

new_body_of_work,Emergence - The Finished Work,Kadira_Jennings

Emergence – The Finished Work

For many years of my life I was involved in a religion that suppress women to a large degree and I think this painting was subconsciously rendered as a means of breaking free from that past suppression. Really, if you look at the whole series of works, the embracing of freedom is quite apparent.

You might ask, how does this subject of my femininity relate to dark night of the soul? To understand this I will have to tell you the story of how this series of paintings began.

Often artists are much  like everyone else, in that we have defining points in our lives that have a strong emotional impact on us. Sometimes these points will come out in our art immediately and at other times these experiences may not appear in the work for many years. This series of work actually has two fundamental causes that brought it into existence. One goes way back to my childhood. Early on like many young girls I took up ballet and I was very good at it, gaining honours in my exams. However when I was around 13 I gave it up and that was something that I live to regret for many years.

The other cause was an even deep emotional wound.  It was discovering that my partner has no love of art, and that there is a whole part of me that he will never get, that I can’t share and he will never understand.  Which begs the question of whether creatives, should only marry creatives? 

To find out how these two soul wounds turned into a painting series……. please come back and read next weeks post.

This Weeks Question: How have you assimilated and dealt with those life changing moments on your journey?

Look For Next Week’s PostFind out how these two soul wounds turned into a painting series..

What makes an artists lifestyle something to be envied?

artist's lifestyle

 

Well now that’s a great question isn’t it?

  • Is it being able to sleep in and get up whenever you feel like it?
  • Or having wild arty parties

 

artist's lifestyle,artists parties

 

  • Perhaps it is all that spare time we have
  • Or not having any boss
  • Is it that an artist’s lifestyle is envied because we seem to be so free or unafraid to be different?
  • Do you think artists are living their dream and that is unattainable for most people
  • Artists seem to live a life of freedom

The True Realities Of The Artist’s Lifestyle

Of course some of the above are true, however in reality they are possibilities rather than what happens on a daily basis.

  • We can sleep in, but like any other job, that doesn’t get the work done.
  • We do have a boss and that is ourselves, a much harder task master than you might ever imagine.  There is no one else to discipline us if we are late for work, or make us go out and approach the galleries, or simply show up on front of the easel.
  • The wild arty parties, well I can’t speak for all artists of course, however most of us seem to slow down some what after we get past about the mid twenties or certainly into the forties, once one has children and a mortgage. Yes artists do have those you know.
  • As to a life of freedom – if you only knew – we are harried by the creative muse, chronic self doubts about our talent or lack of it, caught in the cycle of creative exhilaration or totally blocked and a lack of financial freedom for many but the few very successful ones.   Most artists have their art biz  and other work which pays the bills.
  • There is always that tug of war going on about how authentic you are going to be to your creative vision when you get to the canvas, or are you going to paint for money because the two while not necessarily mutually exclusive, are often at loggerheads.
  • An artist is an entrepreneur – an artpreneur if you like. With that job description, goes all the risks and stresses that go with any cutting edge business. There is fierce competition and a limited number of commercial galleries willing to show one’s art.
  • One must look at different revenue streams and alternate places to show your work.
  • This is not for the faint hearted!

 

Photo by iamboskro

Photo by icanteachyouhowtodoit

 

Quite a lot has been going on in the studio since my last post. I’d like to share with you my journey into the emerging work of the Krysalis painting

 

Chrysalis is a bold piece of work that has a beautiful story connected to its emergence. While being slightly decorative in its abstraction, it has a strength and harmony that  would offer a dramatic addition to your living space. If you like your artworks to hold more than paint and canvas, this one certainly does that.  I was fascinated by the  swirling motifs, one of which clearly resembles a heart or fish-hook.  The fish-hook is a central Maori symbol which represents  strength, good luck and safe travel across water. ( Which also speaks to the fact that many refugees travel across water seeking freedom).  These markings were placed there by the sculptor using traditional Maori techniques, working with fire and clay.

My inspiration for this emerging work came from  a sculpture by Will Ngakuru, which I saw in Rotorua, New Zealand. The sculpture was part of several that had been commissioned to commemorate the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand soldiers fallen in battle.)  I’ve called my work ‘Chrysalis’  because we see the figure in a stage of metamorphosis – emerging into a new and better version of itself. The chrysalis is the container of possibility. I feel that displaced people, refugees,  have the possibility of the Chrysalis in beginning a new chapter in their lives.  Often our best work is forged in the crucible of life’s biggest challenges.

I love the whole chain of connection that has led to this painting. It is a work grounded in the gift of a sculptor honouring people’s struggle for higher ideals – freedom. The piece couldn’t have been made without Will’s work ‘Continuum’ and I offer thanks for his beautiful creation which led to the birth of mine.

36″x 33

91 x 84 cm

Oil on Canvas

AU$1900

 

Look For Next Week’s Post: What makes an artists lifestyle something to be envied?

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