Reflections on an exhibition.
After the festival.

Everyday Magic at the National Arts Festival

In my usual jump-all-four-feet-in way, I neglected to ask important questions before setting out from home to put up my work in my allocated exhibition space at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. On second thoughts, that’s not entirely true. I had thought about all sorts of things I might not have considered usually, and believed myself to be properly prepared. Unfortunately my planning had been for an imagined environment, not the space I found myself confronting. Dismayed, I surveyed the large room that had been divided into four separate areas. My space was lined with dingy grey screens of …

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Don’t be afraid to feel.
Even when it hurts.

I once lived in a country where everything worked and life seemed easy. We worked hard, but we also had lots of time for play. Life went along smoothly. The hardest choices for young people growing up in that country seemed to be things like, should I study straight after school, or should I have a gap year traveling in Europe? Okay, I’m exaggerating. But, after a long period of living happily in that country I found myself yearning for home. If everything goes too smoothly, I wondered, does one start making problems where there really aren’t any? Or looking for excitement …

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Making a space for something new.
Letting New Year’s resolutions make themselves.

This year has been a long and difficult one for me. Albeit with lots of good things and high points. It was a relief to come to the end of the last semester, close my office door, and welcome the holidays. The busyness of Christmas is now over too, and here I am, a month of unplanned days ahead of me, ready for the new… So where to begin? I learnt long ago the value of letting something, especially something of value to me, go. Because, once I let it go, a new space opened up. I remember clearly sitting …

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Use your creativity to heal your pain
Art as therapy

I have just read an article, Healing Trauma by Nanice Ellis, which explained so clearly the background to something I have always believed, and frequently put into practice. That is, art, of any form, can be powerful medicine. Nanice describes how to heal trauma from a karmic perspective, but does not specifically advocate art as a form of therapy. So let me explain myself more clearly. Firstly, I think that, no matter what your spiritual belief system is, the main point in Nanice’s article about healing trauma holds true. Repressing emotional wounds, whether by medication, work, social activities, addictions, or …

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Why pretend?
Or, is social media encouraging us to be untruthful?

A year or two back, this beautiful sentiment (https://wearelightbeings.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/a-letter-from-albert-einstein-to-his-daughter-about-the-universal-force-which-is-love/) went viral on social media. In a letter purporting to be written by Albert Einstein to his daughter, the author explains how LOVE, a universal force, is the one and only answer we need in life. It turns out that this letter was NOT written by Einstein, and the actual author remains undiscovered (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katharine-rose/the-truth-behind-einsteins-letter-on-the-universal-force-of-love_b_7949032.html). Which of course raises quite a few questions… Why pretend it was written by Einstein? Why is it necessary to add the weight of fame behind an idea for it to be accepted? What else on social media …

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When I can’t go there…
…one of my characters can!

As I said in my last post, my writing comes from both my life and experiences, and my imagination. One thing I love about the process is that I can have my characters visit my favourite places, even when I can’t… Monday morning dawned sunny and winter warm. Sam did not have any meetings scheduled for the morning, and nothing particularly urgent to attend to at the office. Once Patrick had left for work and the children had gone off to school, she decided to take herself for a walk along Cremorne Point. She needed to clear her head, and …

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Dogs are better than people
and here’s why…

Some of the most important people in my life are actually not people at all. I grew up with a dog and cats in the house. The odd bird, rabbit, hamster. A horse like many other teenage girls. But they were just animals. Animals I loved, but animals. Now, I have very special dogs in my life. Each has a distinct personality and individuality and a unique relationship with me. The most important is my eight year old, Chippy. Formally, he is Chippo, a highly pedigreed and properly trained German Shepherd. The odd thing is that I didn’t even want …

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My childhood dream was rejected
But now I am resurrecting it!

My first publisher’s rejection. I was eighteen years old, and had just started studying Fine Arts at properly—fantasies and fairytales are still some of my favourite stories, and… I have evidence that magic does exist! I diverge… back to my first rejection. I decided to write and illustrate (now that I was officially on the way to being an artist) a children’s story. Unfortunately, in one of the many moves during my period of living abroad, I lost the manuscript, but I can still picture some of the pen and ink drawings. The story—handwritten, there were no computers yet—was about …

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