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From Adelaide to Venice – SKEG’s next artistic showcasing

We are sending a huge congratulations to local SA artist, Jacek Limanowka, also known by his artist name ‘SKEG‘, for having his works selected to be displayed at the ITSLIQUID Group (in collaboration with EGO’ Boutique Hotel and ACIT Venice ((Italian-German Cultural Association)) 2022 exhibition, ANIMA MUNDI, in Venice!

Jacek Limanowka is an Adelaide-based artist working primarily in oil on canvas. He has been painting for nearly 30 years following a life-changing accident that saw him receive physical and emotional scars. His artistic practice has been used as a means to heal him emotionally throughout his ongoing recovery. Because of his reduced mobility with one arm, but also as a form of emotional release, Jacek took up painting for occupational therapy. From the very start Jacek’s paintings were very ‘unusual’ and vivid, created with colourful oils and pastels.

Many years on, he is now sending a range of selected artistic works (including the work in the above and below images) all the way around the world to Venice to be presented in the ANIMA MUNDI exhibition. These five artworks, which are all oil on canvas, are from a grouping titled “Autumn Rhythms”.

Over the years, Jacek’s artistic style became more abstract, with plenty of experimentation with colour frequencies in different styles. He found inspiration in Mosaic painting, which has its origins in the many churches he visited during his childhood in Poland. Each church was filled with richly coloured stained glass windows, an influence that can definitely be found visually in the work Jacek has sent off to Venice, with his extra creative addition of random colour placement.

“How is form made – it follows a rhythm. There is an underlying rhythm to everything”.

Jacek Limanowka

From the outset, Jacek has been interested in frequencies in colour and the way in which different colours interact together in a random fashion.

 Inside a bright, white art gallery space with variously leveled walls and plinths containing artworks, SKEG's multi-coloured, mosaic-like, small square artworks hang in a vertical straight line to the right. These are surrounded by other sculptures and paintings.

ITSLIQUID is a communication platform for contemporary art, architecture and design and is based on fluidity, motion, connection and accessibility – making things easy to do. Their exhibition, ANIMA MUNDI, is an international exhibition of photography, painting, video art, installation/sculpture, and performance art, that will be held at Palazzo Bembo on the Venice Grand Canal, Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello and in other prestigious venues during the 59th Venice Biennale of Art.

The festival focuses on the concept of ANIMA MUNDI, which, according to several historical cultures, religions and philosophical systems, is an intrinsic connection between all living entities on the planet, which relates to the world in a similar way as the human soul is connected to the human body. In relation to this, Jacek lists finding inspiration in a heart beat, ideas, brain function, the earth having rhythms, seasons and and multi-millennium changes.

Plato expressed his thought about the Anima Mundi in the Timaeus, “this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence… a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related”. And Jacek’s work fits in beautifully with this theme!

You can head to Jacek’s Artist Profile here.

The IT’S LIQUID GROUP have another opportunity to exhibit in Europe for artists to enter – find the opportunity to exhibit in London here.

UPDATE: Through the Venice exhibition Jacek has had offers to further exhibit in Italy, Switzerland and France and we are thrilled!

mindshare 2021 Award Winner: Jo Withers

Jo Withers writes short fiction and poetry for children and adults. Since she began writing in 2016, her work has featured in various magazines and anthologies including ACU Prize for Poetry 2018, Bath Flash Fiction Volume Four and Best Microfictions 2020. Jo placed first in The Caterpillar Story for Children Prize in 2017, Furious Fiction in September 2021 and mindshare Awards 2021.

Jo is the winner of the 2021 mindshare Published Established Writers award with ‘In Twelve Years In and Out of Hospital, Mum Sat in the Waiting Room Playing Word Games to Occupy Her Mind’.

What does this win for your writing mean to you?

I was thrilled and honoured to win the mindshare Award in the established writer category. Mental health has featured heavily in our family over the last five years and charities such as mindshare provide crucial support. The most important aspect is the community spirit amongst this group of writers and artists. There is no judgement or stigma, just the realisation that people from all walks of life live with the ever-changing highs and lows of mental health. I’m so grateful to have my work recognised by this awe-inspiring community.

What inspired your winning work?

I knew I wanted to write something structurally different, something in stages which reflected the changing aspect of everyday mental health. The idea of the word ladder puzzle seemed to fit perfectly and after that the title and scenario quickly followed – the supportive mother doing word games in the hospital waiting room as her daughter receives care. It was also very important to me that the daughter was seen as a strong, caring figure with a multitude of positive personality traits outside her addictions. The movement from NURSE – SOBER in the piece reflects this as does the final sections where the roles have reversed, and the daughter is now responsible for her mother’s care.

What drives you to write?

It has become an addiction! Since I started writing in 2016, I have written poetry and short fiction for children and adults which has been published all over the world. It’s mind-blowing to think that there are people in America and Europe that have read my words. One of my micro-fiction pieces was even translated into Arabic! As a naturally shy and anxious person I’ve found that I can connect with people and express my feelings through my writing.

How do you incorporate writing into the rest of your life?

It’s certainly not easy and time factors are what stops me attempting longer pieces at the moment. When I have an idea, I write fragments on the go, notes on my phone, post-its in my lunch box, jottings on receipts. My writing process is weeks of these jottings and then one big sit-down session to bring it all together and hopefully thrash out something that works.

Which other writers have inspired or influenced your work?

I thought the other short-listed works in the mindshare Awards were amazing especially ‘Kintsugi’ by Martina Kontos.

Elsewhere, I have a real fondness for classic literature. Favourites include the plodding tragedy of ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost, the grotesque details of ‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream’ by Wallace Stevens and all short fiction by Edgar Allen Poe. I love literature with high fantasy elements and enjoy a good thematic twist such as the fragile beauty of monsters.

Have you faced any barriers establishing yourself as a writer, and if yes, how have you overcome them?

You have to develop a very thick skin, very quickly. If you decide to submit your work for publication at some point you will experience rejection and disappointment (sometimes it’s the pieces we love most as authors which receive the most ‘Nos’ from editors). The writing world is hugely competitive, and it can be hard not to negatively compare your own work to successful authors or feel despondent during a run of rejections.

What are you hoping to achieve with your writing?

I feel that I’m entering a phase now, after five years, where I’m beginning to settle into my own ‘voice’. People in the writing world allude to this a lot and for a long time, I wasn’t sure what it meant. At last, I feel that there’s something individual about my writing, both in topic and structure. I know that my writing style will fall in and out of favour, but I would like to continue to develop this voice, to build towards a larger body of work (such as a short fiction collection) and enjoy writing for as long as I can.

What advice would you give other writers who are just starting out?

Be yourself and don’t try to fit into a particular style to suit what you think editors will like. Experiment and have fun with imagery and structure. Reach out to other writers by joining writing groups or become part of an online community like Twitter. Above all, relax and enjoy the journey and remember, writing is subjective – not everyone will love your work but with a little practice you will find your reading audience.

Audio Described events in 2022

Here are the fantastic artistic creations that we have been lucky enough to provide Audio Descriptions for this year – stay tuned for more additions to this list!

Adelaide Fringe:

This Tree Is A Story (about everything, including you, as told by me) – Saturday, February 26th at 6pm. Find more information here.

BOOP – Thursday, March 10th (School Show) and Friday, March 11th for General Admission. Find more information here.

Adelaide Festival:

Juliet & Romeo – Sunday, March 6th at 1pm. Find more information here.

The Picture of Dorian Grey (pictured above) – Thursday, March 17th at 8pm. Find more information here.

State Theatre Company:

Girls and Boys – Saturday, March 5th and Monday, March 7th. Find more information here.

Girl From the North Country – Saturday, April 2nd and Tuesday, April 5th. Find more information here.

Cathedral – Monday, May 16th and Saturday, May 21st. Find more information here.

Antigone – Saturday, June 4th and Monday, June 6th. Find more information here.

Chalkface Saturday, August 13th and Monday, August 15th. Find more information here.

Sunshine Super Girl – Saturday, September 10th and Monday, September 12th. Find more information here.

Normal Heart – Saturday, October 8th and Monday, October 10th. Find more information here.

Single Asian Female – November 12th and November 15th. Find more information here.

Windmill Theatre Company:

Rella – Saturday, June 4th at 2pm. Find more information here.

Grug and the Rainbow – Saturday, October 8th at 2pm. Find more information here.

MOD.:

Invisibility – available to visit weekly, Tuesday to Saturday: 10am – 5pm. Find more information here.

Praxis ARTSPACE:

The Apparent Divide – the exhibition opens Wednesday, March 9th and the Audio Description will be available for visitors to access via the website on their mobile phones. On Saturday, April 2nd is the Audio Described tour. Find more information here.

 

After Auslan Interpretation?

For Auslan Interpreted events this festival season, you can check out DeafCanDo’s list here.

mindshare 2021 Award Winner: Billie Wallace-Yarrow

Billie Yarrow likes to keep chocolate nearby at all times, is a prolific drinker of various types of green tea and usually has at least one knitting project on hand. Billie wrote her first poems at the age of nine; they were mostly about baths and the smell of summer rain. Twenty-six years later, now a mother of three and a graduate with honours in creative writing and anthropology, Billie’s passion for writing and exploring the human experience remains as strong as ever.

Billie is the winner of the 2021 mindshare Unpublished Emerging Poets award with ‘Self Portrait in the Time of Disaster : After Deborah Paridez’.

What does this win for your writing mean to you?

I have been stuck on this question for so long. I honestly don’t know how to put it into words. It took so much courage just to submit my work. To be shortlisted was amazing, to be announced the winner was an unexpected joy. I know it’s cliche to say you didn’t expect to win but I truly didn’t. The calibre of the other shortlisted works was spectacular and it was an honour just to be counted among them. This win means opportunity, connection, validation, community, but most importantly joy. Hearing that my piece moved people the way some other peoples work moves me was such a wonderful feeling.

What inspired your winning work?

I wrote this piece last summer, sitting in the boot of our wagon, under the shade of a huge tree outside my son’s psychologist’s office. We’d started the appointment inside together and then I’d waited in the car until he was done. He wasn’t quite 12 yet so not required to wear a mask but I was. A poet I follow on Instagram, Hungry For Spirits, had January poetry prompts and that day the prompt was inspired by a poem titled Self-Portrait In The Time of Disaster by Deborah Paredez. Aside from both writing about our children my poem ended up quite different to Paredez’s original though the very apt and relatable title remains.

What drives you to write?

There’s something in my consciousness that is always writing. I’ve written thousands of poems and stories in my head but few of them make it to the page. Being a mum of three, by the time I get to some paper, laptop or phone I’ve usually forgotten what it was I wanted to say. There is a feeling I get though, when it all falls into place and the words come together in just the right way that makes me want to keep coming back for more. Even when I go long spells without having a chance to properly write, the memory of that feeling always brings me back.

How do you incorporate writing into the rest of your life?

Please tell me the answer to this because I do not have it yet. Now that I’ve finally finished my uni degree (only took 12 years) and no longer have assignments to do, I find it difficult to place writing within my current life. I have a chronic illness, I’m Autistic, have ADHD and OCD,  and I have three kids 12,10 and 7. I want to write so much more than I ever do (on paper that is, my brain is writing all the time!). When I can, poetry prompts like the one that inspired this poem are great because they don’t take up too much of my time but the perfectionist in me who freezes at the first possibility of “failure” and the ADHD struggle to be consistent, mean I almost never finish a full list of prompts. My OCD brain wants me to believe that this means I’m failing but I want you to know that this is ok and that writing when you can, if you can, as long as it’s making you happy, is enough.

Which other writers have inspired or influenced your work?

Too many to count! In this particular instance I was specifically inspired by Kate of Hungry for Spirits and Deborah Paredez but as far as poetry goes I was also very much enjoying the work of Amy Kay, Sabrina Benaim, Olivia Gatwood, Philip Kaye, Sarah Kay (yes lots of Kays and I’m fairly sure none of them are related!), and of course Adelaide locals Dom Symes and Louise Nicholas are two who always seem to move me with their work and inspire me to write more. This is by no means the full list of my poetry inspirations! I’d also have to give you a whole other one for prose!

Have you faced any barriers establishing yourself as a writer, and if yes, how have you overcome them?

I was diagnosed with ME/CFS in my early teens. It affects my physical body through fatigue and pain as well as causing cognitive difficulties like brainfog. That has always been a barrier to my writing by making it hard, not just to write, but also to become involved in the writing community, particularly through local face to face events. It wasn’t until after I finished my bachelor of arts in Creative writing and Anthropology and an honours degree in Creative Writing (something that takes most people 4 years but took me 13) that I was also diagnosed with OCD, ADHD and now Autism. I now realise those things have also been a huge barrier for me in not just the act of writing, but also in creating connections, putting myself out there, submitting work, and taking chances. It took a lot of work with my psychologist in understanding the way my brain works before I was able to take the huge step which was submitting my poem into the mindshare awards.

What are you hoping to achieve with your writing?

Writing makes me feel good and that’s the main reason I want to do it. If I can make other people feel good when they read it, that’s a bonus. If I can help other people understand things about me, or people like me through my work, that’s even better. Mostly though, as long as I can keep writing for me then I’ve done everything I have set out to achieve.

What advice would you give other writers who are just starting out?

Read a lot, and learn from it, but try not to compare yourself to others. It’s ok if you suck, we all suck sometimes, some of the best writing started out sucking quite a lot. The best way to get better is to make mistakes and learn from them. Reach out to other writers in your community, especially ones whose work you admire and enjoy! Sharing constructive feedback among peers can be an amazing opportunity for your work to grow (for example, without feedback from my friend Dom, my poem would have had a different ending line which wasn’t anywhere near as impactful as the one it ended up with.). Be authentically you. And don’t be too hard on yourself if none of these things come easily or naturally. All of the advice I’ve just given is stuff I have to remind myself of every single day and I still don’t always manage to follow it. It’s ok. Nobodys perfect.