Contemporary artist retreat in Australia

Unwinding the Threads: A Fiber Artist's Residency / Creative Rejuvenation

In the whirlwind of daily life, with three young children tugging at my sleeves and the constant hum of responsibilities buzzing in my ears, I sometimes find myself longing for a pause button. As a fiber artist known as Beautifully Frank, my hands are usually busy weaving threads of recycled materials into intricate designs. But amidst the (beautiful) chaos of motherhood and the demands of artistic production, I've realised the pressing need for a recharge – a chance to untangle the knots of routine and immerse myself in the raw beauty of nature.

May marks the beginning of my journey to Australia for an artist residency unlike any other. Instead of the pressure to churn out artwork after artwork, this residency promises something refreshingly different – the freedom to simply exist, to soak in the surroundings without the looming shadow of productivity.

Picture this: a quaint cabin nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Australian bush, with nothing but the symphony of birdsong and rustling leaves to accompany my thoughts. No deadlines, no to-do lists, just you and the wilderness. It's a prospect both exhilarating and daunting – a chance to rediscover myself outside the roles of mother, artist, wife, and all-around juggler of responsibilities.

Of course, embarking on this adventure means bidding farewell to the comforts of home – and believe me, convincing my inner control freak to let go of the reins isn't easy. But as any artist will attest, growth often emerges from the discomfort of the unknown. I'm filled with a mixture of trepidation and excitement.

Without the distractions of everyday life, I hope to replenish my creative reserves, to heal some of the burn-out that has accumulated after a very busy year (or two). 

I plan to have daily devotional times - featuring my bible - and wander through sun-dappled forests and winding trails, letting the rhythm of nature guide my footsteps. (Side note: I may need to invest in a proper GPS device, other than my phone...what if I get lost?). To lose myself in the vibrant hues of wildflowers, the cool touch of riverbanks, the silent majesty of towering trees. Sketchbook in hand, some paints, and maybe some normal sized embroidery threads, each moment in nature a refreshing moment for my currently frazzled mind.

I hope to be refreshed, to have a newfound sense of purpose. The experience of stepping outside my comfort zone, leaving the kids for a few weeks - eeek! - of embracing the unknown and choosing to prioritise my own mental health and creative journey, could be really valuable. And while I may not be creating another giant embroidery during this time, as I definitely won't have luggage space for all those recycled matierals - I hope to been reinvigorated, my passion reignited by the untamed beauty of the Australian wilderness.

Ready to start preparing for a group exhibition at Turua Gallery two months after I return. Giving my two months to create something special to showcase alongside two talented artists in August. 

So here's to unraveling the threads of expectation, to embracing the chaos of creativity, and to finding beauty in the most unexpected places.

Let's hope that I don't miss my family unbearable amounts. That might just be an unavoidable part of the process.

Keep creating,

Frankie Meaden

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