Good news; Art + Sunshine and I have been accepted to an arts residency at Studio Kura in Japan!
Backtracking a little here - but it is funny because I feel like I have just emerged from four years of constantly saying "I'm not an artist". But I guess we are all artists right?
I definitely feel much more like an artist lately. The 200 Show is in its third year and I have just worked up the nerve to submit work to it. I had wanted to before...but I felt so inhibited by the "artist" label. I ended up submitting two works and sold them both - something unexpected which was so wonderfully (and also frustratingly) validating.
This way of thinking isn't just confined to me - it is something I see a lot of in working with artists. The joy of creating a work always seems to be tempered with the insecurities of putting that work on the wall in a public space.
If "Artist" is a title I am going to start using, then I think I like being a "practicing" artist. It is just semantics I guess - but I like the word 'practice' in there; I am just practicing making things on paper look closer to what they look like in my head.
I first went to Japan when I was 16 and was hugely inspired by the amazing culture of generosity and community that I encountered there. My experiences in Japan, as part of an international peace conference in Tokyo, have continued to be something that shapes my journey in life.
When I was looking at where I want to go I couldn't help but be drawn to going back to Japan.
Beyond all of that they have had their own experience with natural disasters and I was wanting to gain understanding of how art in the community has happened there; has it been similarly powerful to art in post-earthquake Christchurch?
So in March 2017 I will be very proudly carrying out an arts residency at Studio Kura in Fukuoka, Japan. There I will be doing creative practice and doing research for Art + Sunshine using Studio Kura as a case study.
I also plan to create and exhibit a series of small works that reflect the everyday interactions with the local residents and in the community.
ill write more on this when I am less excited - as right now I need to go tell my mom :).