As 2018 wraps up, I wanted to take a moment to think about just how incredible this year has been creatively. I tend to be a very unsentimental person, so I think it is good practice to reflect on experiences, otherwise I tend to just potter on without much time for mindfulness.
We brought in the new year at Woodford Folk Festival which is honestly the raddest place to be. I got to see my sister Monique Clare rock her solo gigs as well as performing with Kate Miller-Heike. On the last day of the festival Monique also let me sing some sisterly harmonies with her.
In January, myself and some fellow students had two exhibitions.
The first was ‘Expanded’ at Pop Gallery. This featured the works of Jennifer Hudson, Natalie Lavelle, Genevieve Memory, Perrin Millard, Chris Underwood and myself. The exhibition explored the concept of painting in terms of testing the boundaries beyond just paint on canvas.
We then had ‘Green’ at the Percolator Gallery in Paddington which was a collection of our classes work responding to the theme.
Photo: Terry Memory
During this time I was also a part of Brisbane Arts Theatre’s production ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’ which was an absolute joy to be in. The cast were so lovely and the creatives so passionate and inspiring. I love performing for children as it is a truely special interaction.
On top of this I had been working on illustrations for a children’s picture book for charity to raise awareness and funds for women’s education. The book is about an inspiring young girl in Kenya, Africa who stands up for her right to have an education and now works in a Kenyan National Park as a guide. This is still to be released, but hopefully will be out soon!
In February, I started the final year of my Bachelor of Fine Art at QCA. I was able to study alongside the most diligent and beautiful group of students who all have such a diverse approach to painting. We were privileged to be taught by Julie Fragar and Jenny Watson for this year, two incredibly inspirational women painters.
In April we had another mini exhibition ‘Blood and Water’ at Greaser Gallery. I actually really loved having the ‘one night only’ show as it made it more of an event.
I also travelled to Sydney at this time to check out the Biennale. This was an experience to say the least, Sydney is crazy busy man. But they have great Botanic Gardens which I visited pretty much everyday.
In May I was contacted by the incredible Fergies band to do their album artwork. This was such a fun project and the albums have now all been released.
Fast track to July, my cousin and a friend went down to Melbourne for the weekend to see the phenomenal Regina Spektor perform at Hammar Hall. I also took this opportunity to do lots of art gallery and museum hopping, and spent way too much time in the Botanic Gardens again… I also joined Resonance of Birralee, which is a rad as choir with really talented singers so I was uber nervous about joining. I honestly still count my lucky stars to get to sing with such a fantastic group!
My sister Monique put on a beautiful little house concert and exhibition in August which was such a sweet evening. I also ran my first ever watercolour workshop for a group of year 9 students. I also got to put some paintings up at the NC Dimensions exhibition.
Getting closer to the end of the year, it was seriously time to start prepping for our graduation show. However, for some reason, I thought it’d be a whopping fabulous idea to audition for another children’s theatre show. This meant I had rehearsals Sunday through to Thursday for various choirs and shows, work, full time uni, social life (yeah what a joke) and also doing little illustration projects. Look it wasn’t a great idea but I really enjoyed being in Alice in Wonderland none the less. It was also a really special experience to visit the Children’s hospital to perform for them there.
November brought the long awaited grad show ‘Nobody want to Leave this Party’ and I am so grateful for this evening. I met so many beautiful people and actually sold a bunch of paintings which is always nice! I am immensely proud of our whole cohort and its sad to not be going back to such a supportive group next year.
To finish off my degree, I head off to the Gold Coast campus for Illustration and Publication. This was the BEST way to end this bachelor as I feel I got to explore such a large range of illustration styles and it gave me a feeling of certainty for next year.
Also in November, Resonance was invited sing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra performing Mahler’s 3rd Symphony conducted by Alondra de la Parra. I do not like Mahler so I am very surprised by how much I loved this experience. Also I think Alondra is low-key my inspiration for chopping off my hair, seriously she has great hair.
We are also singing in a few performances of the Queensland Ballet’s Nutcracker which I think would give my 5 year old self a happiness meltdown. Nah, let’s be real, it gives my 21 year old self a happiness meltdown too.
Throughout the year, I have been growing my card business which is now stocked in all the Biomes, Sun and Company and Nook in West End. I’ve also continued to do illustration work for Bella Rae magazine.
I had my first open studio which I’m surprised anyone came to as it was so so hot that day, but they did so thanks!
I’m finishing off the year with some private commissions and am so excited for what 2019 will bring. I’m allowing myself a year to try the freelancing life and allowing myself the space to grow projects that have been bubbling away in my brain for some time now. It’s going to be grand! I’m sure there is plenty of things I forgot to mention, but I think that’s quite enough for now.