It did start with a question, but the question came out of a very stressful time in my life. I was confronted with some truths that were uncomfortable, and the only way to deal with it was to look at where I wasn't being truthful with myself. This didn't mean that I'd accepted what I was hearing, but what it enabled me to do was be honest with myself. So one of my first questions was 'What have I been lying about?' The answer 'My ability as an artist.'
This kind of shocked me because I have a background in life coaching and had dabbled in creative pursuits, but never thought I could put the two together. Never. I'd always wanted to have a photography exhibition, though 'lied' to myself that I could do it and buried it deep down inside and never told anyone about it.
I was also relying on my husband to save me. I thought if I supported his pursuits, we'd be okay. Wrong. You can't hold a girl down and if you do it'll bite you on the bum. It's great to be supportive, but hoping you wont get noticed by hiding behind someone else is never going to work.
Then one day I picked up the 'Banyule Calendar' and thought 'why is everything so green?' I mean it's obvious, right, there's trees everywhere, but the imagery I was seeing was only showing me one side. So like myself, I wanted to know if there was more, hence the question 'What Is Beyond The Trees?'.
I was so curious I set off the next day searching for another Banyule. I went down waterways, backstreets, along train lines, alleyways, 18mths later, travelling on foot, bike, train and car I collected over 4,000 images, film and sound. I found a whole other side to where I live and in doing so I discovered a whole other side to me. One that had been hiding and too frightened to come out because I might be wrong, or not good enough. I knew if I wanted my life to change, I had to change and the only way I was going to do that was to get moving and get out of my comfort zone.
This whole project has literally been a metaphor for exploring my mind. The lane-ways and railway lines are like neural pathways in the brain. Every step, taken with curiosity, has opened my eyes to a whole new world. By exploring where I live, I've realised I love street and urban art. There's so much of it in Banyule. Every photo I took helped me understand my tastes and interests, and also gave me the opportunity to see the beauty in what may be considered 'junk' and think about the impact of throwing rubbish away. So now rather then putting my 'rubbish' thoughts out on the street I have re-used them to create this project. and plan to do more exhibitions and community projects to help others look at where they live in a different way. Thank You Banyule, for showing me there's so much more to where we live.
The calendar that started it. Alongside a contrasting book I created with the talented Naina Indira Knoess from Inspired Visual Communication
Seeing the world through a different 'lens'. A box filled with different glasses, binoculars, and torches to show how we can change the way we see the world, by changing our 'lens'.
Closed cardboard boxes were attached to the walls with pictures or objects inside. This was to give participants the experience of exploring and I wanted to create a sense of opening and revealing 'secrets'.
Inside one of the boxes. A little tealight that changes colour, lights up a 'junk pile'.
Seeing the exhibition through reflective glasses.
These two! Having a go with prescription glasses. Definitely a whole new perspective here.
The community wall of perspective. Photos sent in by those who did the Art Adventure Tour and visitors to the exhibition.
The Banyule soundscapes created by Artist and dear friend Jess Lovell, added so much depth to the exhibition. Participants could download a link to their phone and be taken on a sound journey. There were also 'Sound Stations' in 5 public locations around Banyule.
Some of the street art captured around Heidelberg, Greensborough, Briar Hill and Ivanhoe. I look forward to exploring some more :)