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“it is through art that we document our lives”

January 15, 2015 , , , ,

Leunig-Bottleandbird-827It is through art that we document our lives.

I took part in Brené Brown’s e-course based around her book, The Gifts of Imperfection. At a time of change for me, this course was a compass which held me true to my course and allowed me be an effective teacher. To generate creativity when life around you is unstable is a truly vulnerable act, but some of my most unexpected + inspired lessons + ideas grew from struggle. There’s no way you can plan this; the thinking and art simply unfolds in a wonderful way, an extension of your story, and all that you are at that exact moment in time.

If art is more than just a discipline and is an activity that requires practise, courage, wonderful, imperfection + messiness, then it really is a stream by which we are best reflected. Art is anything formed of self and beauty…a crafting of a phrase, a concerto, a sentence, a gesture, a song, a meal, an outfit. It is writing, words, the inflection in our voices, the mug we choose for our tea, the way we hold space for our loved ones, the taper of our fingers…the myriad of ways each day we choose to risk and be vulnerable. Through choice, we are playful, daring, whimsical, unique, but always showing all our colours, all our selves, all our light.

One of my “arts” is Composition. Beautiful, lithe and elusive Composition.

In writing for the Sydney Children’s Choir as their Composer-in-Residence, my words reflect the way I see various aspects of Cockatoo Island, my topic of composition, and its history + context. How I craft my music is a link between my art and the pure life of the choirs who will sing my pieces. Composing these pieces has been wonderful, full of ache, tormenting, challenging, infused with the rush of creation and full of the questions that come with details + refinement.

I have had to practise, every day. Every day, the process is different. Some days, I sidle up to the composition and gently befriend it. Some days, I fall right in, just like being sucked into a vortex of words, textured chords, delicious, undulating lines. Some days, it’s unbridled, soul-infused, complete + utter play! Some days, I just sit…and sit…and sit…in some sort of exquisite stupor, with my cup of tea…mildly annoyed, but still thinking that this stagnant “work” is far better than the ironing. Some days, the ironing kicks ass.

Art is the way we allow part of ourselves that we don’t know how to articulate to be seen and heard.

In breathing life into our creations, they breathe life into us.

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