|Riona in the Gunyah studio|
After finishing my PhD degree, I stopped making art full time. Utterly burnt out in 2016.
The urge and the trickle of the desire to create began towards the end of the year 2019 when I applied and was successful for a Gunyah residency. I spent the entire year planning and dreaming. And longed for it to happen “now”. Life was so hectic, even with COVID, losing one job, resigning from one, and starting a new job and a business at the same time, I had no time for art.
Busy work life with poor balance.
I was so grateful to just get away and do something purely creative.
Once I arrived at Gunyah, it was a familiar environment as I spent summers as a child not far from Gunyah. The first night I was excited and set up everything and had a dinner looking out the cove.
Next day, I hit the ground running doing videos, sketching and planning.
Then… 24 hours later, I got stuck! Mentally stuck.
I was surprised. I completely could not function creatively.
Thank goodness for the Residency. If I was at home or at a studio, I would just give up and focus on my job or house, neglect my art again and again, possibly for months if not years, not dealing with it.
The residency – I was in a space that I had to deal with my mental mindset. It was a very good opportunity to do this. I needed this. I finally broke through on the Saturday (halfway!) and my creativity changed when I went back to my grassroots of my art education, right all the way back to when I first learned to paint, and then travelled with my memories, the people who were part of my creative journey and my skill sets, exploring and finding myself again and I slid into the creative groove that was mediative, into the zone. And I know I prefer this art style and it is not “modern”, so I removed the pressure of myself to be on the ‘trend’ and do what I am confident in.
I worked and explored colours across two main mediums and felt more in the groove. While I have not yet found what I want to do, I am more comfortable and letting go.
After the residency, I got offered a studio space/office space which to me, the universe is saying I need to do this! so this is my journey into reclaiming my creative side and explore being a full-time artist down the track. Will be applying for exhibitions in 2022.
I am grateful for the opportunity!
|Riona Tinda, Field study of the North Arm Cove, 2020, acrylic on canvas|