Iris Reeva Swain
23.10.29 to 21.3.20
Iris Reeva Swain.
Or if you don’t feel like resting,
dance, dance, dance, with
and with the feeling that all is well.
You will not be forgotten.
You are in us; all around us.
You are an everlasting flame
in the universe
with love, art and soul
It is no joke,
the Sydney smoke –
an evil cloud,
a rainless cloak.
We grasp for breath,
we rasp and croak.
Our eyeballs sting.
Our spirits choke.
We cannot sleep,
if we woke,
our fiery climate
Please go over to my Sally Swain Art Facebook page…
in the next few days I hope to put up artwork for sale to raise money for the Rural Fire Service – an organisation filled with completely amazing volunteer firefighters.
Also, stay tuned for Art and Soul opportunities
to give voice to feelings around the climate crisis; to be with creativity in community.
with love, art and soul
or Gnome Bittersweet Gnome?
I do like a fairy garden.
There. I came out and said it. Does that make me twee? Not just any fairy garden. It has to be tongue-in-cheek, ideally with social meanings, a political message, or just a plain crazy-offbeat combination of miniatures.
Gnomes are OK, as long as you’re aware of their inborn kitschness.
I easily tune into brokenness these days.
Loss, dying and dementia wrap around my personal and professional spheres. I notice and respond to the sorrows of those around me. I guess I have a negativity bias. Do you?
They say it’s commonly human to focus in on the one negative thing in an armful, a roomful, a lifestyle-full of health, love and glitter. Yeah, well, didn’t the Buddha say, ‘Life is suffering’? And that it helps to be with it, look at it, breathe it in; not always run away, or always crave something better.
But hey – the purpose of this blog is to cultivate creativity, and creativity isn’t just made of neat, fully-formed fairy wings. Creativity acknowledges the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ (thank you, Billy Shakespeare). It fashions the mottled, the battered, the forgotten into something new and possibly sparkly.
I chance upon a Gnome Home in my neighbourhood. I don’t care what anyone says….
‘We hold you’, say the trees.
I return to a beachside place of the heart. It’s been a while. The cabins that I used to stay in, to the north of the village, are demolished, erased. The whole camping ground is gone. It’s as if it never existed. I weep salty tears by the salty sea.
I walk and weep; walk and weep.
Other, more current griefs surface and spill. The long, slow, gritty grief of caring for elderly folk, in both my personal and professional life, unexpectedly surges forth. The bittersaltysweet release of tears is required regularly, it seems.
I am able
working in aged care
go for a collective artist date?
Why. To a cemetery, of course.
Not just any cemetery.
commemorates 150 years of ‘the Sleeping City’.
‘HIDDEN is an outdoor sculpture exhibition that takes place amongst the gardens and graves in one of the oldest sections of the Cemetery. The exhibition invites artists to ponder the notion of history, culture, remembrance and love and allows audiences to witness creative expression hidden throughout Australia’s largest and most historic cemetery’,
says the website.
Was it morbid? This art expedition to a place where members of my very own family are buried? Was it creepy? Melancholic? No. None of the above. It was actually lovely to go to Rookwood NOT for a funeral.
(The exhibition is viewable til 24th September.)
Let me tell you about the Good Grief Café.
I rarely report on workshops or playshops in this here blog.
But I wonder –
Might you find it useful to read about bringing Art to your experience of Grief?
Good Grief Café is a one day workshop hosted by Sydney Threshold Choir.
I was thrilled to co-facilitate along with the amazing Trish Watts and Beate Steller.
(Look for a bunch of groovy website links down the bottom of this page)
I was responsible for the Art thread of the day, weaving it in with other offerings.
Let’s take a glimpse at the Art thread:
Safe Space for the Holding of Grief
(at least for now)
- Wrap your arms around the heart
2. Plant your strong feet upon the earth
3. Sit down
4. Know that the moon is there behind you
5. Sing mournfully
6. If you can’t bring yourself to sing, then hum or simply breathe.
That’s how to heal a heavy heart
(at least for now).
On a day I felt sad, I
Creative Wellbeing in a Time of Trump
I cannot pretend. I cannot send out a glib, pretty message disconnected from deeper realities. I want to speak with you directly, from my heart to yours, and hopefully back again, in a loop of realness.
I wish to inspire the feeding of creativity, the gathering of community, the radiating of authentic connection.
But here comes the Old Steam Train of Doubt … choo choo … puff puff … TOOOT!
How to respond?
How to respond to trauma, sorrow and fear
with creativity, authenticity and respect?
How to heal our hearts enough to move into action?
How to collectively create a compassionate world in testing times?
Ohh. Big questions.
Too big, perhaps.
Here’s how one
R U OK
in the wake of the US election?
I painted Tender Agenda in