In Conversation : Creative Women

An inspirational and fun day of talks wrestling with the idea of creativity. Once again we delve into what makes creative women tick. Designers, crafters, visual artists, poets and musicians explore their creative process: where to find inspiration, committing to a work practice, discovering the art of collaboration and building an audience or community. Each of the talks cover the speakers’ work and practice.

A celebration of International Women’s Day, held annually in March, we will also look at issues that confront female artists, challenges and obstacles to overcome, and insights into pursuing a creative life.

Each of the guest speakers will be ‘in conversation’ with an equally impressive interviewer, ranging from fellow artists to journalists.

Nicole Monks in conversation with Amala Groom

Amanda Brown and Lindy Morrison in conversation with Joanna Goodwin

Pepa Martin and Karen Davis in conversation with Emma Blomfield

Cath Derksema in conversation with Michele Morcos

Emilya Colliver in conversation with Jo Kelly

Sara Mansour in conversation with Sara Saleh

A lunch of nurturing, nourishing and delectable wholefood will be prepared by Holly Davis, inspired chef, educator, co-founder of Sydney’s Iku Wholefoods and author of recently published ‘Ferment’.

At the end of the day you are invited to join us for a glass of wine and a private viewing of the exhibition Sanguine with works by Anita Larkin, Jenny Pollak and Margarita Sampson at the Bridget Kennedy Project Space, just 2 mins walk away at 53 Ridge Street.

Thank you to our supporters:

Food by Holly Davis, The Constant Reader Bookshop, YOKE Magazine, Olive & Moss, Parker’s Organic Juices, Serendipity Ice Creams, Brewtown Coffee Roasters, and Bridget Kennedy Project Space.

Here is some feedback from last year!

Inspirational, more more inspiration!  What a fabulous day beautifully orchestrated, outstanding organisation beautiful food much laughter and a tear or three.  Congratulations to one and all who were responsible for collating a day with such diverse and artistic prowess. I had the most wonderful day which will stay in my memory for many a day and look forward to an encore next year! (Sue, 2017)

I just want to thank you all for such a truly wonderful day on Saturday. Not a glitch and just a real buzz! Well done (Jane, 2017)

Tutor: Michele Morcos

Michele Morcos is a multimedia visual artist with a studio practice in Sydney, Australia. She graduated from UNSW Art & Design (Collage of Fine Arts) in 1999 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting/drawing) and a BA Honours in Art Theory. Michele has exhibited her work in seven solo exhibitions and over twenty group exhibitions throughout Australia. She has been selected twice as a finalist for The Brett Whiteley Art Scholarship and also for major prizes such as the Mosman Art Prize. During the past 1o years, Michele has worked and taught in a number of art galleries including Object: Australian Centre for Art & Design in Sydney. She has also completed a number of Artist-in-residence programs in Australia & overseas. In 2016 Michele collaborated on a public art project with DoeandDoe to create a ten minute hand drawn animated film for Transport NSW’s Wynscreen project, while exhibiting a new collection of works for her seventh solo exhibition at Koskela Gallery in Sydney. Currently Michele has an artist studio on Australia St in Camperdown, and at this moment she is exhibiting a new installation artpiece in the red project: a group exhibition curated by Alison Clark for North Sydney Council’s Coal Loader Site in Balls Point Waverton,

Tutor: Emilya Colliver

Emilya Colliver is the founder and director of Art Pharmacy, as well as Culture Scouts and Art Pharmacy Consulting. After studying in London, she went on to work for some of the top art institutions and collectors in the world, such as Lisson Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, The British Museum, Eskenazi, and the collection of James Birch Esq, before returning to Australia. Emilya now lives and works in Sydney with her husband, and two children. Emilya is a skilled curator and strategist with a passion for supporting the Australian arts community. Emilya and her team offer art and culture consulting services to a wide range of clients across the private and public sector, working with businesses, government, local communities, and artists. She has a genuine passion for supporting Australian art and art practitioners. Emilya is a respected member of Sydney’s creative community, being involved in grassroots projects such as exhibitions, pop up shows, art tours for Sydney Contemporary, and in her capacity as an MCA Young Ambassadors Committee Member. Emilya was a finalist in the 2017 NSW Chamber Business leader award, the 2015 InStyle and Audi 'Women of Style’ award, as well as the 2014 NSW Business Chamber 'Young Entrepreneurs' award.

Tutor: Jo Kelly

Director of People, Place and Partnership (PPandP) PPandP is a boutique, specialist consultancy that has been operating for 12 years in Sydney. With expertise in place planning, place making, strategic communications, stakeholder engagement and place management, PPandP has been contracted to work with local and state governments as well as large corporates. Jo Kelly has a wealth of experience in the do's and don’t’s of procurement and governance including what works, what doesn’t work, and how to put your best foot forward. In a world where all I’s need to be dotted and T’s crossed, what are the key tips to ensuring that this process is as smooth sailing as possible? Jo will share her top tips as they relate to the creative industry.

Tutor: Pepa Martin & Karen Davis

Founded in 2006 by designers Pepa Martin and Karen Davis, Shibori textiles is a boutique textile agency renowned for pushing the boundaries of this ancient Japanese craft with modern applications and a relaxed Australia feel. By exploring and modernising old techniques on modern fabrics the pair injects a strong design element into their work making an old craft new again. Shibori fabrics, wallpapers and leathers have been used by Australia’s top designers and architects with their designs seen in venues all over the world.  Pepa and Karen authored two books Shibori Recreated: shibori in the 21st century which documents the reinvention and recreation of the ancient Japanese art of shibori and Tie Dip Dye a beginner dyeing book targeted at a new generation of dyers who value subtle and modern designs. With the flexibility of their trade, the pair has collaborated on some unique projects including; a full scale dip dyed hot air balloon, fabric inlayed surf boards made by McTavish and Sibella Court as well as a home wares range with Lee Mathews. Shibori continues to grow with more and more exciting innovation and design application through collaborations all over the world.

Tutor: Joanna Goodwin

Joanna Goodwin is the Director of North Sydney Community Centre and the curator of In Conversation: Creative Women. Joanna has had an extensive career in arts and cultural management for organisations including Brisbane Festival, Ensemble Offspring, Sculpture by the Sea and The Alliance Française French Film Festival. Joanna is a founding Director of Toby’s Estate Coffee, established in 1998.  Joanna’s family has owned an 18th century barn in the South West of France for 40 years.  She dreams of being there long enough to establish a garden full of vegetables, read books, set up a pottery studio and maybe one day establish a bi-lingual writers festival. 

Tutor: Sara Saleh

Sara Saleh is an Arab-Australian human rights advocate, grassroots activist, creative artist, and  media commentator who has spent the last decade working with various international organisations including Amnesty International Australia and CARE International in Jordan, campaigning for human rights, gender justice and racial justice. Focused on refugee and asylum seeker rights, Sara has gone from the UN in New York to the refugee camps of Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. A poet and writer whose work explores themes of displacement, migration, identity and women, Sara’s first poetry collection was released in August 2016, and she continues to perform nationally and internationally. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies including Bankstown Poetry collections, and A Blade of Grass (2017). In 2016, Sara had her theatrical debut in the National Theatre of Parramatta's production, The Cartographer’s Curse. Sara sits on the board of national advocacy organisation GetUp!. A Master of Human Rights Law graduate, she is currently completing her Juris Doctor at UNSW.

Tutor: Lindy Morrison

Lindy Morrison has been a member of the PPCA Board, as a representative of registered Australian recording artists, since 1994. Lindy toured the world as a drummer, with Zero (1978 – 79), The Go-Betweens (1980 – 89) and Cleopatra Wong, (1990 – 93). She is presently playing with Dave Mason (The Reels) in The Sandy Shores and Alex the Astronaut. Since 1993, Lindy has worked around Australia as the musical director or performer in shows, parades and festivals, and has led drum and music workshops with many diverse and varied community groups. She now works with Waverley Council on music programmes at the Bondi Pavilion and teaches Music Business at TAFE Ultimo. Lindy has a Bachelor of Social Work and is the part time social worker for Support Act Ltd—the benevolent society for musicians and workers in the music industry. In 2009 she completed her Masters in Legal Studies at UNSW. Lindy has been a passionate advocate for artists’ rights throughout her career. In 2013 Lindy was awarded an Order of Australia medal for service to the Australian music industry. In 2015, she was awarded the APRA Ted Albert Award.

Tutor: MC - Bron Mandile

Bronwyn Tait Mandile is a mother, writer, editor and ideas generator. She worked for 15 years in corporate marketing before abandoning ship to become a full-time writer. Over the past five years, Bron has been an editor at both Kidspot and Mumtastic and written for countless online parenting publications. She is a passionate advocate for working parents, writing extensively on life balance, common sense and strengths-based parenting and the ‘good enough’ parent. Her general life philosophy is that we don’t have to be ‘successful’ in order to be a success. Bron has written the popular blog Maxabella Loves for almost eight years, has been a speaker at Problogger and a judge for Kidspot Voices. Through her new parenting website Mumlyfe, Bron aims to help parents of tweens and teens to flourish, so they can nurture enlightened, passionate kids who make a difference.

Tutor: Sara Mansour

Sara Mansour is a graduate lawyer who co founded Bankstown Poetry Slam in February 2013. She writes about the political in a very personal way, and is passionate about the use of poetry, particularly spoken word poetry in empowering people, especially youth. An Australian born, Punchbowl bred Muslim, she has been heavily involved in community work and the arts since BPS' inception, performing locally and internationally, facilitating workshops and featuring on numerous panels. In 2016 and 2017, she programmed and executed "Real Talk" a ZEST award winning project that delivers free spoken word workshops to students across Sydney high schools.

Tutor: Cath Derksema

Cathleen Derksema graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Textile Design from Curtin University in 1984. In the 1980’s Cath worked for John Kaldor, fabric maker and established ARTPARK in 1989, developing handprinted homewares in Paddington, Sydney and selling original artwork locally and internationally. In 2003 Cath established Prints Charming, and until 2013 developed fabric ranges for the American and Australian markets with licenses in New York. She opened a retail / studio space in Annandale in 2009 and began licensing to Spotlight Australia. Cath has worked as a freelance designer out of the Susan St Studios in Annandale and the iconic Blackwattle Studios in Glebe. In 2016 Cath established Happenstore on Parramatta Road, Annandale. It is a multi-faceted retail, workshop and event space. It is a creative space for genuine like minded people, makers are yearners. A place to come, to make, to learn and become inspired. An authentic and unique destination to celebrate artistry and friendship.

Tutor: Amala Groom

Amala Groom is a Wiradjuri conceptual artist whose practice, as the performance of her cultural sovereignty, is informed and driven by First Nations epistemologies, ontologies and methodologies. Her work, a form of passionate activism, presents acute and incisive commentary on contemporary socio-political issues. Articulated across diverse media, Groom’s work often subverts and unsettles western iconographies in order to enunciate Aboriginal stories, experiences and histories, and to interrogate and undermine the legacy of colonialism. Not wishing to create reactionary works which tacitly allow contemporary political operatives serving the colonial ideology to set her artistic agenda, Groom seeks to create works which proactively and creatively unpack and undermine the Colonial Project, the on-going philosophy of colonialism that has imperialistically subjugated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples since 1770. Groom is currently a Director on the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) Board and is the sub editor for un magazine issues 12.1/12.2.

Tutor: Emma Blomfield

Emma Blomfield is a stylist, author and co-founder of The Decorating School. Emma works ‘virtually’ across the country decorating sheep and cattle stations, inner city apartments, family homes in leafy suburbs, retail stores and commercial offices. Emma hosts interior decorating workshops in small country towns up and down the East Coast. In 2015 Emma and fellow interior nerd Sonya Pala of EcoLuxe established The Decorating School an online service teaching homeowners the principles of decorating and how to realistically achieve a beautiful home. In 2018 Emma published her first book HOME – a timeless classic suitable for any coffee table or bookshelf. The book is based on the workshops Emma runs across Australia. Emma regularly contributes to, Adore Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The Life Creative, Inspired By This, and many more publications.

Tutor: Nicole Monks

Nicole Monks is a trans-disciplinary artist of Yamatji Wajarri, Dutch and English heritage. Living and practicing in Redfern, Monks is informed by her cross-cultural identity and her work takes its focus from storytelling, as a way to connect the past with the present and future. Her designs take a conceptual approach, often embedded with narratives, and aim to promote cross-cultural understanding and communication. A designer by trade, Monks crosses artforms to work with furniture and objects, textiles, video, installation and performance. Across these varied forms of contemporary art and design, her work reflects Aboriginal philosophies of sustainability, innovation and collaboration. With adeptness and sensitivity, Monk’s practice weaves together Aboriginal history and philosophy with contemporary Western thought and resonates with a wide Australian audience. In addition to her solo practice, Monks is also well known for her success as a collaborative artist and as founder of blackandwhite creative. In 2016, Monks won the Marika Memorial 3D Art Award at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in Darwin, Northern Territory, and is the recipient of the 2016 Arts NSW Design Mentorship Program. She is currently on the Design Advisory Panel for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) and has been Committee Member and President on the Art Gallery of New South Wales’, Young Members Committee.

Tutor: Amanda Brown

Amanda Brown has been composing music for the screen since graduating from AFTRS in 2000. She has written the scores for several feature films including The Family, UnIndian, Son of a Lion and Look Both Ways and co-composed music for Red Obsession and Kings of Mykonos. She has a long list of television music credits and has won several industry awards including the IF Award for Best Music (Son of a Lion), an APRA Award for Best Documentary Music (Sidney Nolan; Mask & Memory) and WOW Best Australian Composer 2011. She has released multiple soundtrack albums in addition to an extensive discography of work with a range of artists including silverchair, The Vines, Youth Group and The Church. Amanda has also had a career as a multi-instrumentalist in several bands. She was a member of The Go-Betweens, with whom she recorded two albums (Tallulah and 16 Lovers Lane) and toured the world. She has toured with artists including R.E.M, The Apartments and Toni Collette and has opened for various musicians including Bob Dylan, John Cale, Marianne Faithful and The Neville Brothers. Amanda is a writer director board member and screen music ambassador with APRA, the Australian Performing Rights Association.