Minding my own business at the NGA, a woman walked up to me and said ‘Hello Suzanne!’ Immersed in the world of colours and shapes, it took a few moments to recognise Robyn. She has a lovely voice – gentle and strong at the same time.
Around three years ago, b: Atelier ARI manager and eco-artist, Robyn Sweeney, began to work with me to host an exhibition for me and my students. I had an inspired idea that took on a life of its’ own and became the exhibition Try this at Home. An amused take on the saying – don’t try this at home – the intention was to demonstrate how art might be set up to create a comforting ambience. Remember, this was just over a year since the Black Fires, which had wrecked havoc in and around the town of Batlow.
A painting-centric show, it was not about finding art to match the couch. Instead, there were ready made installations and unusual compositions that responded to the interior architecture. A jam-packed opening, activist and women’s health champion Jan Roberts OAM came from Wagga and spoke eloquently for us. Artist’s talks were well attended and many pieces were sold. It was an extraordinary experience for us all! You can see a short video here.
Two and a half years later, I’m back at b: Atelier. This time, I have my paints, an almost completed body of work, and many other works made over the last 16 years. I’ll be taking a look at them all and curating a show of the more quiet pieces to show on 18/19 November.
I was slow to see this passion – for creating contemplative spaces, with art objects – as an integral part of my art practice. Learning to make ceramics and transitioning into composing in three dimensions has been a fabulous growth curve.
The first Little Meditation Space was shown publicly was at b: Atelier (2021) in Try this at Home. Now there are two series of boxed sets, along with several large pieces that will be available during the exhibition.
During the weekend there’ll be demonstrations of different ways to set up your thinking space, and opportunities for you to play with composing the pieces. I began encouraging people to play with with the installations during my workshop ‘Meditative Art & Peace’ and Open Studio at Strathnairn, Canberra (see image below).
I’ll be writing here soon about the opening and upcoming workshops and hope to see you in Batlow!