Wow, what a special evening at the launch event at the Caloundra Regional Gallery for the Local Artists - Local Content Art Prize. It's easy to forget that a vibrant and committed community of artists is busy toiling away in their studios, when you work in relative isolation in your own space on a daily basis. To be selected as a finalist this year was really an honour, the calibre of work on show was simply stunning and wonderfully diverse, from prints to ceramics, paintings, photographs and sculptures. 'Rustlers' found it's way through the undergrowth to celebrate the biodiversity of our region and wave the flag for our beautiful Blue Tongue lizards, which go quietly about their business without making a fuss, rustling carefully through the leaf litter in the back gardens and bushland of the Sunshine Coast.
The character of the Blue Tongue lizard holds great resonance for me. Not a natural extrovert, it is shy and unassuming, but slowly and methodically goes purposefully about its day, seeking warmth and affirmation from the sun, and as such must peek out occasionally to bask in those rays in order to keep moving. I feel a bit the same, I too take to each day with intention and purpose, though that doesn't stretch to catching flies!
The sense of collective affirmation offered by being part of an event such as this is very powerful, it feels like a moment in the sun for me. It's a tangible reminder that stepping out of the studio here and there offers an opportunity to harness new energy from an external source.
To have been able to share this moment with my family was extra special. I realise that they too benefit from seeing me in this habitat, surrounded by other fellow creatives. It puts what I do into a wider context for them and helps them to understand that even though our collective outputs are inherently different and diverse, as a group of practicing artists we have much in common. Our lives, our creativity, our purpose and our very being are intrinsically connected.
And going quietly about the purposeful business of art making, with intention, in our own unique environments, whatever shape or form that takes, is as essential to us, as it it is for the Blue Tongue lizard to rustle its way into the sunshine on a daily basis.