Our podcast exploring creativity as an antidote for challenging times. Featuring interviews with makers and artists who share their personal stories of how creative practices have helped them through tough times.
Produced and hosted by Jennifer Macey
Sometimes the benefits of a regular creative practice don’t just come from the making but whom you’re creating it with. Michele Elliot is a textile artist who was trekking in Nepal after a residency in India when she found herself in the middle of the massive 2015 Gorhka Earthquake. Michele returned safely to Australia but suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She began to re-evaluate her entire artistic practice and found comfort not only in those repetitive Kantha stitches, but in reconnecting with her local community, teaching workshops and leading a sewing circle at Tender Funerals.
For some people there’s no separation between creativity and life. Their home, their clothes, even the food they eat is a work of art. Annie Werner has built a handmade life, from the straw bale home she shares with her partner and two children and many animals, to the hand sewn and hand knitted clothes she wears. The one time Annie couldn’t knit or crochet was while receiving chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. In this episode we talk about living with cancer, about what she packed in the car when her house was threatened by the Black Summer bushfires - her knitting - and how she built her colourful, handmade life.
How do you get your well-being fix from your creativity if it becomes your job? Joshua Heath studied photography at Art School but as a working photographer the the camera came to represent a tool of the trade rather than a form of artistic expression. After reading the Artists Way, Josh began painting using Posca pens on A5 coloured sheets of card. And then, at the age of 38, Josh suddenly had a stroke - and everything he knew about life, work and creativity turned upside down.
Sport and creativity aren’t often considered a natural match but when Ernest Bukasa plays soccer it’s like watching an artist on the field. Ernest arrived in Australia from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 11 years ago as a refugee. He played soccer with his brothers on the street and in the local park until he was introduced to Port Kembla Football club. Ernest was on track to playing for Sydney FC. But a rare neuromuscular disease put a sudden stop to his dreams. Soon after, Ernest discovered poetry and found the floodgates opened to his feelings.
Is it sustainable to pour all your heartbreak into songwriting if you’re a singer songwriter? Bec Sandridge’s Debut album Try and Save Me is danceable, rockin' disco-pop, but where the songs talk honestly about sexuality, mental health, self-care and naturally break-ups. In this episode Bec talks about being vulnerable in her songwriting and says that she’s learnt it’s not always sustainable to wear your heart on your album’s sleeve. She brings us close into her world of making music, playfully, joyously.
In 2020 we all experienced some sort of cabin fever. But for Drew Fairley - a cabaret performer working on a cruise ship - cabin fever became a scary reality when he got caught up in the chaos of the Covid19 outbreak. The cruise ship, Drew was working on, was ejected out of Australian waters leaving Drew and 2 other Australians in a diplomatic limbo. Literally stranded on the high seas. To keep boredom and fear at bay, Drew turned to his craft and using props found in his cabin he made hilarious and sometimes poignant video skits for Instagram.
How do we as Australians reconcile the collective trauma of dispossession and the cultural disconnection of Australia’s First Nations people? For Kirli Saunders, a proud Gunai woman and Award Winning Poet and Author, healing comes from writing. In this episode Kirli talks about reconnecting with her language Gundungurra which she weaves into her poetry collection, Kindred and Bindi, a novel in verse for school kids. Bindi was also written in response to the catastrophic Black Summer bushfires that devastated Gundungurra Country in the Southern Highlands. We also talk about establishing a self-care creative habit and how writing poetry in Language is both a form of resilience and resistance.
A new podcast by MakeShift that explores creativity as a prescription for challenging times. Can sewing, knitting, painting, writing or singing be good for us? Even if we're not very good at it? What are the mental health benefits of a creative habit? In The Making talks to artists and makers from different disciplines about their creative practice and how it helped them through a difficult time. They also share the tools in their creative first aid kit.