A common anxiety for creative minds is the idea of sitting still. The idea of not working on something, contributing, getting hands dirty, keeping your mind active, getting lost in ideas… it’s enough to cause panic. Don’t get me wrong, I can sit through a Game of Thrones marathon like nobody’s business, but not without the pang of guilt that I really should be doing SOMETHING.
So last Sunday, I decided, was going to be dedicated to relaxing… Well relaxing in my own special addicted-to-being-busy way. I started the day jumping on the light rail and heading to the Powerhouse Museum for this years first FastBreak – A Day of Ideas.
Supported by the Foundation for Young Australians, this was a morning of 10 incredibly inspiring young speakers sharing their ideas, challenges, experiences and projects changing Australia for the better.
Hearing from the likes of the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, Shea Spierings, who is travelling Australia collecting stories and experiences from Australia’s youth to present to the UN, to the Artistic Director of Milk Crate Theatre, Maree Freeman, who is facilitating a safe and creative theatre space for homeless and marginalised people, through to the director of Secret Garden, Clare Downes, who has built one of the most successful and collaborative creative festivals in Australia.
It was just past noon and I was already exploding with brain tangents about changing the world, mixed in with feeling a little under-accomplished. But mainly changing the world. It’s amazing the outset you have for the rest of your day when you’ve started it being hit with inspiration bombs.
From here, it was off to the Museum of Contemporary Art for a little gallery therapy. After falling in love with the Museum all over again since Art Bar earlier in the month, I knew I couldn’t miss the last chance to see the Chuck Close Exhibition.
And boy am I happy I had the chance. An exhibition which is equal parts beautiful, intriguing and obsessive compulsive, I was lost in the incredible display of process and experimentation. The sheer amount of diversity in technique and outcome, from mezzotints, woodcuts and etching to handmade paper pulp and intricate tapestry, reflects such an incredible iterative practice and dedication to his craft. If this doesn’t motivate you to keep pushing your creative boundaries, nothing will.
To finish the day, I jumped back on the train and headed to The Domain to checkout the Spectrum Playground. Food, music, art, beer – a premise I cannot fault. Transforming the area into a creative pleasure garden for 2 weeks, the playground is worth spending a day or evening, even if it’s just to visit the Nosh Pit to feast (think Mary’s burgers, Black Star Pastry, Messina, Nighthawk Diner to name a few.)
On the walk in I was whisked up to make my own light art portrait (decided against posting the picture, I look far too excited/shocked by the flash), and then meandered through the big open playground past beer making workshops, music stages, art and installations. Possibly due to the looming grey clouds on the horizon, the area was emptying out, leaving scattered picnic tables, clusters of delicious food trucks with no lines and art galleries in shopping containers, making me feel like someone threw a festival just for me.
And I made the most of ALL the food I could squeeze in before the running back to the station in the rain, laughing, picnic blanket overhead, Messina in hand.
So while it may not be a traditional definition of relaxing, a day filled with creative adventures was just what I needed. A mix of getting away from the computer and being consumed with work, but still exploring meaningful creative and thought provoking events that completely rid me of any guilt!
Ok… I feel pretty guilty about how many Bao I ate…