Over the past three years, from humble beginnings, this group of women has made me feel braver and stronger than I really am. They have inspired me and given me joy. They have even carried me, perhaps unknowingly, through some hard times. And most of all, they have made me a better artist. 100%. Hopefully, I have been part of that for each of them too.
All round, we feel pretty lucky that we found each other.
Our Art Collective grew out of a volunteer project here in Tamworth, where we live. All of us put up our hand to do some painting for the Tamworth Adventure Playground, back in 2015. It was a community-funded project to create a vibrant, colourful space where our kids' imaginations could run wild. And through our regular Sunday afternoon art-dates, getting ideas and materials and templates and paint colours sorted for the playground, we formed some new friendships. Some friendships that we knew were a bit special.
Through that project, we discovered how much we enjoyed creating in each other’s company, so much that after the playground was built (and decorated!) we decided to stick together.
Since then, the Tamworth Regional Art Collective, as we dubbed ourselves, has been lucky enough to find more projects to keep our weekly get-togethers creatively focused. And through each of those new projects we have been able to contribute to the beautification of Tamworth’s urban landscape. In three years, our Collective has completed four electrical box murals, 3 NBN box wraps, 2 major mosaic installations and a community light-projection event, alongside all of our own personal art projects.
Through those joint projects our collective passion for art, social change, and creating better communities has not only made for inspiring company, but has pushed us all outside of our creative comfort zones and allowed us to take on opportunities on a larger scale than we ever could alone. And within that amplifying energy, we have become individually braver, more experimental, intuitive and bold in our own art practices.
This exhibition feels really special.
When we first met as playground volunteers, we were strangers, standing at very different points in our art careers. But through the forging of relationships and the pursuit of our common passions, we have all arrived here together - each of us on an even footing, all stronger than we started, and all in this together.
Please join us for the Opening next Friday, we'd love to see you there.