I AM BACK IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING!
I have been very very very busy ...
way too busy to write about it ....until now.
I feel very fortunate to be an artist..........mostly.
It doesn't pay well but I love it.
Art gives me a great sense of my own space in my busy life.
It is a place to express sadness, love, confinement, frustration
and transform it into a positive form.
I am feeling like giving you a brief outline of how and why my life's creative path
has taken the road that it has.
So here is a little bit of my history.
I grew up with a mum who was a painter/artist/art teacher.
My dad loved to play the piano but he was not interested in art really.
When I was born my siblings were 17,15 and 13.
So they were almost like aunts and uncles in my early years and I looked at them in awe.
My sister, Karin, is an artist and I grew up watching her and my mum at the easel painting.
Karin doing a portrait of a family friend
photo by my brother Mike
Both my brothers had a passion for photography
so mum created a bathroom that could transform into a darkroom for them.
My older brother, Mike, was always pretty adventurous, getting into canyoning,kayaking,archery and more as a young person so it is not surprising that he is now the author of an amazing set of books that required him to walk the Kimberley taking photos of the land and the art.
Chris,the youngest of my three siblings,was and is a pianist, photographer
and an all round awesome person.
At one stage in his late teens / early 20's his passion for his music was such that he had a grand piano AND an upright piano in his (only modest sized) bedroom and had to crawl under the grand to get into his bed at night.
He also loved film making and there are some classic little films in the family archive
that he made as a 13year old.....haha so good.
He is and has been working for many years a wonderful photographer
and a much loved and sort after piano teacher.
It was a very creative environment!
With all those awesome siblings to follow....What was I going to do when I grew up?!
Well one thing I knew was that I was going to be ME and different from them.
I didn't know how not to be creative, they had taught me well!
When I was about 10 years old mum was teaching at a school in Sydney.
The pottery teacher gave me some clay and I made a little pig with flowers on its back
because I was inspired by that ancient sculpture of the hippo covered with waterlilies
that looks as though it had just come up out of the water.
So it was at that moment that I decided that pottery was going to be for me.
I started classes with Margaret Tuckson in 1975 on Saturday mornings and left school 1976 to work with her on more days as I couldn't get the art and chemistry combination I was wanting for the HSC.
She encouraged me to get some more teaching from other potters to expand my practise and so I spent a year at Brookvale TAFE and then applied for East Sydney Tech in 1978 and submitted this pot along with some other wood fired pieces.
However after being accepted I had to pull out as my first son was on the way.
A growing family slowed my ceramic work down.
While I was having my next two boys and we were renovating our house
I began making lead light windows.
When the windows were in place it led to a fair bit of interest
and commission work for stained glass windows followed over the next 10 years.
As time would have it big changes happened in our family
and I found myself as a single parent needing a secure wage.
So I did a B.A. in Performing Arts with the aim to become Art/Drama/English teacher.
Set design was a joy for me and it satisfied the inner artist in me.
Yes, that is me with the pony tail and genie pants...hahaha...in a production of Kaspar.
I made those wire animals you can see at the back on the posts too.
Inspired by Picasso's Monkey and Goat sculptures.
An interest in mask and costume developed during my degree.
I created these masks with moving mouths
as part of my graduation year for a production of Antigone.
This lovely Frenchman, Claude Tessier, was introduced to me through friends
and he generously taught me his mask making technique.
Now, you would be forgiven for thinking that mask and costume were miles from pottery
but I sculpt my masks in clay and the finished form is in muslin and tissue paper,
so it's all connected really.
Claude uses a cardboard to sculpt with but for me it is always a return to clay.
After uni I worked as a high school teacher and did a bit of stilt walking on the weekends.
I had the joy of making several pieces of costume for her company Flair L'Gair.
I thank her not only for teaching me to stilt walk but also for her approach to costume making.
She had great integrity and a very high standard of workmanship in everything she made and everything that she commissioned to be made for her company.
As time went by I met my now husband.
He also had a son who was 5 years old when we met, so cute!
My three boys were 12,14 and 16 by then
and a couple of years later we had a daughter.....awwwww.....
So you see motherhood is a BIG part of my life.... my kids and my family are my inspiration!
As life would have it over the following years I needed to be a mother and a carer
as my parents became elderly and one of my sons became unwell.
Life was too full and I was not able to return to my work as a teacher.
Art has become my life but it is along side and entwined into my family life.
I am very lucky.
I am now a doting grandmother with a studio space that allows me to return to my beloved pottery,
make costumes to appease my frustrated inner thespian and also room to make mixed media constructions to satisfy the recycler in me.
I have just finished a piece of work to enter into this years WOW
and I am very much looking forward to spending the rest of the year potting.
So that is me....at least for now.
So why does a white Australian woman have a name like Sadhana?
Well I got into yoga at school when I was about 14 in the mid '70's
and became a swami by the time I was 19, Swami Sadhanamurti Saraswati!
Yep ... shaved head...orange robes the whole thing.
But things change and I decided it wasn't for me by the time I was 27 and left it all behind.
However my name stays with me...I never felt connected to my birth name anyhow.
So there you have it in a rather full nut shell.
This blog post will be added to the Mud Colony Blog share site for all who love clay.