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The Mess

I’ve had a few nudges from the universe lately to embrace the mess. Beginning this time with an experience I had at the end of last year. A time in which there was no space for the difficult conversation, the hard part. It was ignored. Too much? Too deep? Too dark? Too scary? I realised without it I was left bewildered, things felt like they were floating.

Funnily enough, this has come up in my art. For some time I’d been noticing discomfort when thinking about what and how I was creating. I tried to ignore it.

Painting self-portraits was (and may still be) my way of coming home to me and as you may know, I created the Body Portrait offering and hold these beautiful workshops that honour the body. I became so attached to this little bundle of gifts and way of creating that it was this or nothing. At some stage, I got so sick of myself rattling on about the same shite over and over again. I needed distance.

I tend to see things so clearly and to be able to visualise can be such a gift. But where there is an up there is a down, this dream feels so real that I put the blinkers on and I’m off. I forget to listen or to notice what is happening around me. I’m so attached that I might have suffocated the whole lot.

When I get to this place I want to throw it all away. I hate it all. You should be in my head for all the other ideas that come flooding in, here to save the day. Now I can’t bear the idea that I once thought was “it”. I go through this process like it’s my first time every time.

This time I came up with a completely new way of working. Thinking this one will make money, this one will be understood. It’s all there, in my head, ready for the world. I can’t see these ways of creating side by side or intertwined, it’s one or the other. So black and white.

I’m in the mess. I’m experiencing the trouble I have with allowing all parts of me to be present or expressed. The further I push it away the further I am from all of me. Now I’m doing to myself what was done to me just a few weeks ago. I’m bewildered, floating in the in-between.

A reminder, to self that mess is such an important part of my process and that change is the only constant.

Destruction cycles with creation much like chaos and divinity coincide.

The body of work pictured, Water Surrounds Us has been ongoing for what feels like forever. The works are now hanging at Antipodes and it feels so good to have this project completed.

Serendipitously this body of work is in response to the ever-changing world that we find ourselves in. It acknowledges the unease that we continue to move through. During a time when instability and uncertainty seemed to be the new normal, I was trying to find an anchor within the movement. Water Surrounds Us is a reminder that beauty and catastrophe live side by side.


Last three photos by Bri Horne


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