In 2022, I was a recipient of a CASP grant through Orana Arts and Create NSW, which enabled me to embark on a community arts adventure and create a vessel for the community of Wellington in NSW.
Much like it's sister project, vessels of creative connection, the focus is on encouraging public participation and contribution, however, this vessel remains in one place and collects stories, in any shape or form, from the residents, all about their personal connection to place.
During regular visits, I explored Wellington and surrounds, mapping out my own personal journey and connection to place through the natural environment, research and by meeting and talking to locals. It was certainly a wonderful way to discover the town and gave me plenty of time to consider and reflect upon what place means to us individually and communally.
As the vessel slowly gathers stories, I can only hope and imagine the rich connections that will grow and piece together, a bit like a patchwork quilt!
Wherever you are in the world, what is your connection to place?
How would you describe where you live?
Let your senses guide you: looks like, smells like, tastes like, sounds like, feels like?
What are your favourite places?
What is the colourscape?
What natural elements stand out…native flora and fauna, symbols, totems?
How does it make you feel?
What emotions does place evoke for you?
How did you arrive there?
If you gave a visitor a guided tour, what would it consist of?
...books with wings...
Everything has to start somewhere & this not so little book is the first in a series of handmade journals on a journey!
It was made for the #areyoubookenough monthly book arts challenge & in the process it has turned into a new adventure!
I am sending handmade themed books out into the wild, inviting people to respond to the theme with a creative contribution, then reminiscent of pass the parcel, the books will move on to someone new. As their pages are filled, they will slowly find their way back home and become part of an exhibition, which I envisage for late 2023.
Some time ago, a friend & I discovered that we were musing on a similar theme, the power of words, so we decided to work together. It is a long way off yet but I know it will be amazing. We have exhibited together in the past and I feel our work and energies blend harmoniously.
The vessels project will be a part of that. I have been wanting to do something more interactive with my book art and these travelling books decided now is the time! In saying that, there is so much inspiration behind this idea like @thesketchbookproject #1000journals by @someguy.is as well as a long list of books I've read and good old #bookcrossing.
Yesterday I handed the first book, black & white over to the first contributor! How exciting, yet letting go is nerve racking! It is part of the process that I have to trust will unfold organically and I can't wait to see the results when they begin to trickle in.
I hope you will follow them with me on Instagram and Facebook #vesselsofcreativeconnection maybe you will find one?!
If you would like to know more go to www.metissagesdecoeur.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S #vessel2weathered is almost ready to go!
Books that inspire and community challenges that urge creative action!
It seems the writing pace may have slowed for some of us, or the focus has changed, (I know mine does constantly!).
There is nothing predictable about living in the age of covid!
We are one week into school holidays here and a spread of lock downs began at the same time. Living in the country means fewer restrictions, however, my plans to catch up with family and friends on the coast are on hold, so the effects are far reaching as we all continue to adapt and navigate our way.
Fortunately, I have plenty of creative projects to help balance my disappointment. I have been making the most of my studio spaces, sewing and bookbinding, as well as enjoying slow time, pots of tea, writing and good reads.
Books are always a source of joy and inspiration for me. I have just finished reading two great stories that scream creative writing prompts!
100 REMARKABLE FEATS OF XANDER MAZE by Clayton Zane Comber
I do love a list, even more with a touching story behind it. This story has the feel of real life about it, the kind of thing you can imagine happened. So what are we waiting for?
THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT by Clare Pooley
This one is perhaps a little closer to the bone…
The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love.
Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren't really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes--in a plain, green journal--the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café.
I listened to the audio version of this story in one day! What an incredible idea and a thought provoking read.
How authentic are you? How satisfied are you? What are your truths? Will you write them down and leave them somewhere or start your own travelling journal, or keep them for yourself?
BLACK & WHITE...
I am part of some incredible online bookbinding communities and participate in regular challenges that help me stretch my creative limits, leading me into tempting and unexpected territories!
In June, the #areyoubookenough theme was black & white. My mind map took me in the direction of opposed forces, so I made a textured black book, wrote a poem in white and sewed in some opposites.
The exciting part is that this journal is one of the first in a series of themed #vesselsofcreativeconnection that I will soon be sending out into the wilderness for others to respond to with a contribution.
I love making books, but I love it even more when they are filled up with the musings of life, be it writing, drawing or whatever takes your fancy. Responding to themes is an easy way of collaborating, often with fruitful and fulfilling results, not to mention banishing great distances and bringing people together!
How will you interpret black & white?
50 WORD NOVEL
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Feast of Words at Coonabarabran High, so the theme is TIN or ALUMINIUM FOIL.
It took me a little while to find inspiration but I stuck with it and found what felt right. I do love interpretations of a theme; you are only 50 words away!
What will it be…tin cans, tinny sounds or a cat on a hot tin roof?
Setting the scene...
As Baradine show day approaches, I'm already enjoying the process of visualising and preparing for my stand.
Plenty of crafty business happening with hand bound books, retro frocks and other tactile trinkets available.
A great opportunity to play dress-ups! My dress is made to theme and the props will be equally as colourful, as I'm sure will be, Gabrielle, my dazzling dress-up buddy, so feel free to wander over for a browse, a chat or a 20 cent paper fortune cookie!
If you are on a #DSIgoosechase quest, come and find some inspiration and book binding tips, I'll have a little surprise ready for a lucky team member...and why not have your cards read too!
I will be offering mini readings for most of the day; a 3 card spread, lasting 20-30 minutes for $10.
Just this week I had questions about reversed cards. It's not so surprising to learn that everyone has their own approach to reading tarot and this includes reversed cards.
Some like to shuffle them any which way, I tend to shuffle and present them in such a way that a reversed card is kind of rare, as this is how I was taught and what feels right for me.
In saying that, there are no hard and fast rules. Cards are chosen and we read them in the way they reveal themselves to us, looking beyond the literal for meaning within and beyond the obvious.
Often the first thought is the right one, sometimes the obvious one is too!
The imagery of the swords can feel dramatic and daunting. This suit represents thought processes, intellect, reason, difficult or challenging situations or states of mind, stress, over analysing...and yet, all of this leads to growth and development of the conscious mind. Things are rarely what they seem and if we tend to look on the dark side of things, there is always an equal and opposite light side in the balance.
Upright, the ten of swords is in turmoil, the pressure is on whether literally or figuratively, the energy is forceful.
Reversed, the energy feels more grounded. The weighty hilts are poised as if in stand still or balanced negotiation, determining the clever way forward. The tension is still there though there is room for thought and beneficial progression, which is promising with 10 representing the end of a cycle, completion and ending.
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.