“I believe that if it were left to artists to choose their own labels, most would choose none.” Ben Shahn


As an artist I work with the idea, held until the 17th century, that arts involved any skill or mastery in a practice.

The practices and tools I use, are context-based, depending on the need at hand and/or idea being explored.

I am interested in inspiration, and its unknown origin. As an artist once explained to me, she “just saw it [the idea], kept seeing it and had to create it.”

Art as a ‘physical manifestation of an internal creative impulse’.

Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness – I wouldn’t know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.” Aaron Copland

Or as Piet Mondrian believed;

“The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.”

My practice fits within traditional or Indigenous concepts of art that make little distinction between art, science and life. I see art-making and creativity as central to human and environmental wellbeing and vice versa. Through arts, I study myself and the world around me.

The process of making is as much the art, as the final ‘object’ or outcome. For example, I use local, renewable, raw materials for artworks and medicines. This stems from a background in environmental science, studying with Indigenous teachers and the influence of other traditional modern craft artists like Ben Richardson. Growing, foraging and collecting local materials slows down my life and practice, connects me to the landscape and my community.

The process of sharing what I  know through Soul Strong Society is especially ‘the art’. Creating spaces (workshops and events), where people connect to their own artistic abilities, the communities around them and the natural world, is one of the most satisfying creative practices I am involved with!

I am interested in exploring balance and harmony in a world of paradox and polarity; science / art, intellect / feeling, mind / body, microcosm / macrocosm, self / universe.

The fundamental arts technique I practice is mindfulness, awareness, or kenosis (from the Greek word for emptiness κένωσις, kénōsis) – going outside yourself – self-emptying – disciplined unknowing. My aim with this technique, along with dedicated study and practice within each art form, is to ultimately work intuitively; naturally.

“Intuition: knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason” Dr. Brene Brown

Everything I have just said might have been covered with;

“Art? You just do it.” Martin Ritt

 

Alana