Art doesn’t alter things. It points things out but it doesn’t alter them. It can’t, no matter what a painter wants to do….. Arthur Boyd
Disagreeing with the amazing Australian artist, Arthur Boyd is something a mere pleb like myself wouldn’t usually do, but today I find myself questioning the above quote from the great man himself. You see, today I feel that art DOES alter things.. It might not alter the landscape or environment, which meant so much to Mr Boyd, but I think it can alter people. I am living proof of that.
Yesterday, the winners of “artist in residence” opportunities at Bundanon, Arthur and Yvonne Boyd’s magnificent property in NSW, were announced and I was one of the lucky recipients. These five places were offered in conjunction with Accessible Arts and I am still having to go back to reread it just to make sure I really did read my name there.
I have undergone major surgery for breast cancer just a fortnight ago and am still facing radiotherapy. I applied for this opportunity the night before I underwent the operation. Perhaps it made me feel like I had something to look forward to. I’ve had some really tough moments in the 8 weeks since I was diagnosed. I doubted everything about myself. I doubted my mortality. I doubted my worthiness. I doubted my talent. I doubted me. Yet amongst all the doubt, some small voice inside my heart urged me on to apply, so I did.
Now here I am, at home recovering and I open an email to say I’ve been chosen as one of the recipients. Suddenly my doubts start to disappear. Of course I still have a long road ahead of me where the cancer treatment is concerned but I am feeling so positive about everything. And you, Mr Boyd, are a huge part of the reason. To have left this amazing property to enable artists to spend some time soaking in the same beauty that you did, is such a blessing to me and, I’m sure, to every other artist across all genres who have been as privileged as I now find myself.
I can’t wait to get there and continue on with my series From Fractured to Fairytale. The second part of the series is called “How Many Flicks Till The Fly Flew Away” and it explores domestic violence and how I found myself breaking free from it. It will be told fairytale style just as the first part of the series was.
I’m so very grateful to be given this opportunity. It’s spurring me on in my healing process to ensure I’m fine by the time I get there to immerse myself in the charm of the property. I can’t wait to meet the other recipients and to see their processes and perhaps discuss their art practice. I love watching the thought processes of other artists. It is fascinating to watch creativity happening.
A huge thank you to Accessible Arts and the Bundanon Trust for this opportunity. I am truly humbled by being chosen. You would think that being an emerging artist at the age of 56 would limit your opportunities, but this hasn’t been the case for me and I don’t take that for granted. I have always known my limitations. Now I’m learning to defy them. Art has helped me to do this. Maybe Mr Boyd was right after all. Perhaps it was always there, art has just pointed it out to me. Life truly is good.