Jennis Ardern is a multidisciplinary artist who embraces creative play and storytelling to promote individual and community empowerment. Jennis draws upon her childhood love of stories such as fairy tales, mythology, and comics. By combining the narratives of popular superhero storytelling, with mindful practices and gestalt therapy, Jennis invites viewers and participants to envision themselves as the hero of their own stories.
Jennis’ collaborative and interactive installations harness co-creation strategies and often invite viewers to physically explore the concepts of wellbeing, resilience, and self-acceptance by participating with or adding to her artworks.
During the studio residency, Jennis made soft puppets with The Puppetarium to represent emotions.
Jennis says: “I currently create textile artworks on canvas to represent big emotions, ones that feel out of control, as monsters. Then I consider ways that these monsters might be tamed − listened to and responded to in a way that reduces the overwhelm, so that the emotion can be helpful, like a sidekick. This monster artwork is effective but I want to use puppets to represent an emotion at multiple levels: ‘normal’, out of control, and shut-down to add nuance and be more playful.”
Annalisa Aum is a creative reveller, producing a diversity of written and screen works, installations and performance art over the past twenty years.
Following postgraduate studies in Screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, Annalisa worked as a children’s television writer for Network Ten, freelance script assessor and story developer. Her short films have been screened in Australian and international film festivals, group and solo gallery exhibitions, and public art installations.
Annalisa’s work is influenced and driven by compassionate environmentalism, Buddhism, Taoism, feminism, equity and Jungian thought.
During the residency, Annalisa unpacked several interconnected projects: researching and puzzling together a quirky futuristic self-help novel; a blog on parenting against the grain with musings around capitalism and the patriarchy perpetuating the world of trauma; ideas for a gallery exhibition proposal that explores swinging the world back from the extremes of patriarchy towards the Buddhist/Taoist middle way of peace and harmony.
The studio space held a detective’s unpuzzling of a complex case. Writings, rantings, ideas and poetry on the walls. A journey into the madness of the mind, and (hopefully) a safe return home.
Mel Brady is a painter and installation artist living on Gubbi Gubbi land, working with fabric and paint to create site-specific, immersive installation art and light-hearted craft. Mel’s love of vintage fashion has informed art and craft workshops in galleries and museums in the Moreton Bay Region since 2017. A recent highlight is Expedition, a travelling art experiment in conjunction with the Side Gallery, Brisbane and the New England Regional Art Gallery, Armidale NSW.
Following on from a three-part installation series made in 2020 with an RADF grant, Mel created a series of immersive environments that people can experience and respond to. The overall goal was to spark a sense of wonder and delight in the viewer and charge their everyday lives with the electricity of discovery. Using a variety of media, including cardboard, fabric, paint, lighting and music, she made environments such as:
- a giant garden
- a nest or pillow fort/cloud land for relaxation and imagination
- a secret club-house/tree-house with games and meetings.
Mel created environments in response to visitor feedback, to make a feedback loop with the local community. Mel facilitated a series of crafting, imagination or meditation workshops and will collaborate with Council to plan artist talks/open studio events.
Ruth Ellington’s creative practice as a multi-disciplinary artist and visual arts teacher demonstrates her passion for creative exploration and adventure; both in life and in her artwork. With a strong personal context, she continually explores new ways to create, incorporating sculptures and installations with fabric, fibres and textured materials, painting, drawing, photography and printmaking.
During the studio residency, Ruth Ellington combined the elements of visual imagery and the written word to weave together stories of her life to create a body of work titled The Tulip Project.
Ruth’s current focus is on extending her craft to writing her memoir and creating a body of work where the artwork intertwines with the written word. Not only will it be a written memoir but a visual one, where the viewer and reader are taken on a journey. Two- and three-dimensional visual artefacts will be created with mixed media, sculpture and photography.
Alongside housing Ruth’s creative project, this studio will allow access to visual art students, fellow artists and the general public to view her works in progress, engage in workshops and interact in a working artist’s studio.