A word from Julie
The why, the how and the thanks
There’s something very grounding about making an artwork that isn’t built to last. Something that captures a moment in time and space just for a little while. I have made a work from leaves in a park in the morning, and returned in the afternoon to find my artwork has blown away. I’ve made an artwork work in our yard from pebbles and we’ve skirted around it for days to make it last a bit longer. I’ve made an artwork from burnt bark down at the powerlines near my house, and been delighted to find my neighbour’s kids had added to it.
Every artwork is a bit different, but they are all reminders of impermanence. Beautiful things don’t last. Climate change, the pandemic, wedge politics... so many things feel tenuous and uncertain. Bleak, even. But we don't have to give in to that feeling if we take action. We can make something, we can connect with nature and each other, we can reduce stress and increase resilience and we can be part of a supportive community.
My engagement in ephemeral art came from other artists on Instagram, and I’m grateful to them for getting me started. Shona Wilson inspired Leonie Barton, and in turn, Leonie called out for others to take up the challenge. Back in 2017, I committed to a full year of doing an ephemeral artwork every day.
It was an amazing experience. That project #patersononeaday was a game-changer, making my thinking more flexible, constantly expanding the field of possibilities. It also helped me to accept the moments when I get stuck or create something less successful. That’s all good, because tomorrow there’s another chance. We can still enjoy the satisfaction of sticking to our commitment and making our imperfect offering.
When the COVID -19 lockdown started in NSW, I felt like starting again and inviting people to join me. We went for 100 days, posting every day, and I had a great response. You can see these at #patersononeaday2020.
#EverySevenDays2020 is the next iteration of these earlier ephemeral art projects. I’ve designed it to be more accessible so more people feel able to take part.
You only need to post once a week.
There’s a theme each week, which helps give everyone a bit of direction. I'll also post regular tips and hints and the like.
And it’s a finite project. We finish up at the end of the year. (Expect another project next year though.)
For a few years now, since I closed my ClothFabric shop on William Street in Sydney, I’ve spent more time running workshops that help people to rediscover the creative joy they used to feel, sometimes as long ago as primary school. I love watching people relax into the experience of their own creativity. It’s nourishing and empowering, it reconnects us with our best and truest selves. Now, more than ever, I believe we need this.
Please join us in #EverySevenDays2020, as we make art and feel good.