Our original vision, when we first set about brainstorming this exhibition idea early in 2018, was to include a sense of community within the gallery – create a space that was active, warm and inspiring for all our viewers. So on Saturday 3 November 2018, during the last open day of The Art Gallery exhibition, the three artists (Salleigh Olsen, Jane Hansen and Carla Filipe) organized for a creativity workshop to take place within the gallery floor, surrounded by all our artworks.
Salleigh Olsen and I both know Frank Boffa, who is a well known meditation teacher who runs regular energy healing and intuitive creativity workshops in Sydney and Byron Bay. We thought having someone like Frank was an amazing opportunity for the attendees to learn and experience intuitive painting, meditation and being in creative flow, especially since this method is very much aligned to how Jane Hansen and I paint. And of course, it was an opportunity to have a lot of fun in the process, meet some lovely people and take home an original artwork!
Frank was incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity to facilitate this workshop. He provided all the materials on the day, from art supplies, to easels and music. The workshop included about 20 members of the general public, men, women and children who were ready to play, have fun and find out what intuitive painting was all about. Frank started the session with a 20 minute guided meditation, and then as meditative music played in the background, each person started on their unique abstract painting, connecting to their intuition and letting it guide them on their creative journey. I remember seeing a few faces full of trepidation, feeling like they didn’t quite know how to start or what to do once the meditation was over, but once that initial brush stroke was applied to their empty canvas, it was amazing to see their confidence grow and their faces light up. The act of creation is always an act of surrender, I find.
At the end of the two hour session, we had a group of people that embraced the creative challenge, connected to each other, and most importantly communicated with their higher selves through this process of painting from the heart. To express, is such a fundamental human need, one that brings so much joy.
Staging this exhibition was an incredible experience for me, but giving something back to the community was even more fulfilling – something I hope to do more of in the future. The perfect way to wrap up an incredible 2 weeks at The Art Gallery.