Women of Heritage is taking leaps and bounds with the project involving 24 women from a range of culturally diverse backgrounds and age groups. I’m looking forward to the visual storytelling component of the project, so watch this space!
As outlined in my previous posts, ‘Women of Heritage’ was an initial concept influenced by the exploration of my own cultural heritage and identity.
Due to my interest in cultural diverse communities, came the idea to further explore and celebrate these communities which reside in Newcastle. From here I have invited women and families to participate in the project, with 10 participants to date from German, Italian, Irish and Croatian background, with more ready to take part.
Below are some images of the projects initial development (Stage 1);
Women of Heritage is a multi-layered project which commenced earlier in the year. It initially began as an exploration into my own cultural identity, from visually depicting and interpreting characteristics, domestic roles and the spiritual beliefs and practices which connected women in my family (including myself) to their cultural heritage, from both the traditional and contemporary associations and disconnections.
The format as to how these are being represented is through portraits and masks, with each utilising a range of mediums, cultural motifs and decorative designs. Below are some works in progress demonstrating these processes;
Here are the results of the works in progress from family members to participants from the local Newcastle community.
I feel so connected to this project and the response from those willing to participate has been very humbling and overwhelming, with more women engaging with the project.
I am so passionate about sharing others cultural stories and creating a visual voice to those willing to open their lives to the broader community.
This project is about celebrating and showcasing our culturally diverse community from a female perspective, including an opportunity for women to tell their own individual stories reflective of cultural identity and connectedness.
Women of Heritage is Part One of the latest art project in development.
As mentioned in the previous post my cultural heritage, including my fathers journey from Greece on SS SKAUGUM (first refugee and ‘displaced persons’ carrier established by the UN under the “International Refugee Organisation”), including the domestic and social role of women will be a focal point for the coming years of my arts practice.
Part One will explore my generational heritage, specifically of women who have played an intricate role into my up-bring, been influenced by cultural traditions and also challenged the traditional domestic roles.
These concepts will be explored in the form of 2D and 3D works, encompassing symbolic and interpretive imagery, and the reproduction of significant & traditional objects.
Over the years my practice has focused on my cultural identity and heritage within a multidisciplinary context. My earlier works predominately explored the role of women within my family from a social, spiritual and domestic perspective.
Being a second generation Greek/Australian I have struggled with these notions and expectations of how women should present themselves and the manner at which women are viewed. These artworks are a reflective response to those ideals.
On a spiritual basis, both my grandmothers were strong believers, one who carried out daily religious rituals, and the other who focused on superstitious practices. Though both homes contained biblical shrines and alters inclusive of icons, incense and other religious objects.
The artworks below are a representation of those practices and beliefs.
My latest projects will once again revisit the cultural conditioning of my Greek heritage from both a spiritual, ritualistic and social context, but will also investigate the physical and emotional journey of my fathers families migration from Greece to Australia, including their ‘assimilation’ and ‘integration’ upon their arrival.
With less than two weeks until my opening I have been busy completing my works, including two mixed media paintings, five illustrations and two ceramic wall sculptures. The opening will be taking place Saturday 6 September at Four Point Gallery, Hunter Street, Newcastle West, NSW, AUSTRALIA 5pm-7pm, with the amazing and highly talented, Emma Cother founder and manager of The Backyard Bus (artist in residency program), officially opening the event – http://www.emeraldviolin.com.
It has been an eventful and hit the ground running year! Including the rebranding of my logo and arts business, EarthlyInk developed by Newcastle based graphic design company Neon Zoo, successfully acquiring my first major tender with Wyong Shire Council as their Arts Program Coordinator to finally completing and submitting an ArtsNSW grant auspice by Newcastle’s leading art organisation, Octapod – http://www.octapod.org
Learning to breathe and basically stop, is something that hasn’t been so easy to do the past five months. From setting up house, acquiring my first ever arts tender to finding time to complete a body of work for an up and coming art exhibition, and than everything else in-between has started to leave my emotional and spiritual health a little battered. So I say it’s time to recoup and have a temporary escape plan and enjoy the simple things in life – family, the outdoors and fresh food! Sounds good! Escape Plan 1: I have organised a family weekend away involving a cabin near the beach, open fresh air, bush walking and a lot of relaxation. Escape Plan 2: a three day surprise birthday getaway for my hubby, child free! I cannot remember the last time we did something like this since having our son.