November 18, 2013

Body Adornment Workshop

...and we are in MOROCCO!

This time last year I was travelling Morocco with 3 friends. The adventures were captured by John O'Sullivan a.k.a. the author of

The finely tuned video..

The funny mishaps...

and if you didn't get it the first few times > his name is John and WE are in MOROCCO!!!

May 11, 2013

The 5 Year cycle of change

I have always believed that my life has followed 5 year cycles. Whether it is a conscious act of change at the end of the 5 years or a predetermined path that has been set for me, I have become very aware of it and have enjoyed the journey it has taken me on. By packing up and changing everything about my day-to-day, I have challenged myself to always keep learning, never to get too comfortable through employment, location, languages, people and lifestyle. Somehow, despite the hard times, it has just worked for me and I'm grateful for all I have learnt about life, people and especially myself.

My recent 5 year cycle has ended and has now caught up with me. Perhaps its the rain and gloom of the overcast Sunday that has led me to reflect. For 5 years, I have travelled 39 countries. Lived in 3 foreign cities. Worked 4 summers in Greece. Taken over 27 tours through the Greek Islands; 4 tours through mainland Greece; 4 Tours through Southern Spain; and 1 Epic Oktoberfest Festival. I have sat on over 200 ferry rides across the Aegean and enjoyed the experience of meeting well over 1000 travellers.

For now i have retired my backpack and transient lifestyle to do my best at living in 1 place. That place being the last city I lived in Australia - Launceston.

My own eyes

I stumbled on this song this morning.
Sitting in bed with my coffee and sniffles - flipping through youtube songs and this one left me thinking.

Imagine if we actually did share what we have seen on our journeys through life. Sit in a circle, one by one and share our stories. Stories we have experienced first hand that have affected us (good or bad) and want to share.
Stories that mean something and leave you feeling grateful for everything you have and everything you are.

April 14, 2013

Tamar Island Wetlands

Today I saw something similar to a murmuration. Walking through the tall reeds at the Tamar Island Wetlands with some friends, we witnessed a flock of birds actively swooping and gliding in the sky. What ever it was - it was breathtaking! What a great end to the week!

March 16, 2013

The amazing people you meet by chance

In posting today, I found an old post I had written in January. I remember the internet was down and I never got around to uploading this...

Whether it be on my travels, sitting at a bus stop, in a pub or through a friend - i am forever grateful for the amazing people i have had the chance to meet.

Dinner tonight was no exception.

I am currently in Toowoomba teaching a course in Wearable Jewellery at the McGregor Summer School. The lifestyle of the course is very inclusive. You stay on campus in student accommodation, eat breakfast, dinner and lunch together with other tutors and students. There is something always going on during the 10 day course.

Tonight at dinner, a bubbly woman sat next to me. I had met her before, only briefly, during Sunday night's trivia quiz. She was on my team of 8 and assisted in us coming second with her correct answer to 'where does Lego originate?' (Did you know it was Denmark???)

By chance this lady sat next to me at dinner tonight. She proceeded to compliment me on my mater mother's sculpture and the slide show I presented the previous day. I enjoyed her honesty of not liking my symbiosis masters work but she got what I was trying to do with it, she said - but it just wasn't to her taste. Fair enough, I thought.

It was only a brief chat over mashed peas, cauliflower, corn and steak. I found out she was from Poland and I was so excited to tell her of the places I had travelled in her country. I mentioned Zakopane, Krakow and Auschwitz. It was almost immediate when she looked deep in my eyes and said in her thick polish accent, 'no, no I have never been to Auschwitz and I believe I could never bring myself to go.'

Her eyes instantly filled with tears and emotion.

All I could do was look back and touch her hand with comfort. We both agreed on the importance of transparency in history and the significance of such a museum for the education of future generations. I understood through her eyes, she had been significantly affected during WW2, when she must have been only a child. She couldn't talk any more on the matter and I simply continued on how magical I found her country - especially in winter. This brought a smile back to her face whilst we finished our meal.

It was only a brief encounter with yet another stranger on my travels through life - but her honest emotion moved me and reminded me of how grateful I am to not have lived through what she must have.
(this is the only photo i could bring myself to take at Auschwitz in 2009)

Grandma's Hands

Tomorrow marks two years since the woman who taught me a lot about life and love left this world - in the physical sense.

Travelling and being exposed to the way many people live their day to day around the world - something always struck true - the importance of family and never to take people's love for granted. I have never had to live through war, famine, and prejudice like so many of my generation whose stories i have come across in Europe. For this I am grateful. I have met 4 generations of family living under 1 roof in a small villages in remote island of Greece - and they still eat dinner most nights and talk. They discuss dreams, what is important to them, what makes them happy. And they listen!

Not everyone is blessed with the perfect family. In fact, I am confident no family is perfect. You only need 1 person to understand you for the 'idea' of a family bond to be true. What you miss out on from perhaps one parent or family member can be substituted by another - even a person who is not connected to you by blood.

Family is what matters. However the idea of relates to each person and their life. I always knew this but 5 years abroad, this is one lesson I have learnt that has sunk in. They are the ones who will always be there and their love is never judgemental - even if in the day-to-day they can be frustrating! Travelling, I have adopted many family members to my little bubble, always letting them know they are appreciated.

This beautiful woman left her country of Greece at 16 and did the best she knew how for her new life in Australia and taught me about the respect of family. I remember her this week with a road trip north to light her candle. Her magic and energy surpasses any church. She deserves warm sunshine, and an endless horizon.

There are too many things I miss, but what I miss most are our greek coffee sludge catchups with flowers in our hair and the smell of her cooking coming from the kitchen. She would always read my coffee cup with an optimistic vision of my future.

Someone I met last year around the this time gave me a live album by Bill Withers. His heart felt introduction to this song and honest lyrics would resonate with anyone who had a close relationship to their grandmother.

February 18, 2013

Identifying Tassie Shells

Recently, I have been researching Tasmanian shells for a site specific sculpture.
I have stumbled on this FANTASTIC site which helps identify shells from beach combing expeditions.

Another good site is

Happy Beach Combing!

February 11, 2013

Port Sorell Site Visit

Yesterday I went north to Port Sorell - the location of my current public art commission.

I walked as far north to Hawley Beach and as south as Squeaking Point.

A perfect day for Beach Combing...
shoes optional!

February 9, 2013

Hero Craftsmen

During my 7 years teaching at the Toowoomba McGregor Summer School, I have had the pleasure of meeting manyartists and crafts people.

2 in particular have always left me speechless when listening to their artist talks: Geoff Hannah and Laurens Otto.

Geoff completed his last major cabinet titled 'THE HANNAH CABINET' in honour of his family. His story, when you hear it, brings tears to the eyes. This article and video of him talking about his work is nothing short of awe inspiring!
$1.4m timber cabinet brings tears to the eyes - ABC North Coast NSW - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Laurens specialises in carving and his work is exceptional. Unfortunately i haven't been able to find much via the Internet of his work - however TAFTA provides a brief blurb about both artisans.

January 3, 2013

John Cleese on the 5 Factors to Make Your Life More Creative

So now i'm off to create an oasis bubble of space and time to giggle in...