We had an overwhelming range of creative submissions this year for Kaleido Issue 04.
This issue’s theme is all about balance. How do take better care of our mental health while pursuing our creative passions? How do we better support ourselves and others within our industries?
It was so hard to narrow it down to our winners, but here they are.
The balance of creativity is forced to float somewhere between work and play; making a living and letting your mind wander into the wild. Creativity insists that we take time to cultivate ideas, to try new things, to bring it all together and then to reflect. Yet we’re all too busy working part and full time jobs, keeping our rentals in a decent state and passing out because we are tired, stressed and underpaid. ‘Balancing ACTion’ depicts that unrealistic sweet spot where the creative exists, somewhere in between turning in the latest TPL report and letting yourself daydream; between meetings and making a masterpiece.
‘Raduga Fantasies’ is driven by themes of perfection, female gender and lucid dreaming. The work looks at how as women we strive for perfection and what the driving forces are behind these desires, which if we continue to pursue could lead to our eventual destruction. The work seeks to find the balance in our mind and body through the use of the female form, which is scared, bleeding and oozing conscious mythical formations.
‘Lovers’ is a series showing the love between two people, but more so what it actually means to be in love and trust each other. It not only deals with the theme of love, but also how it feels like to care for each other when both struggle with mental health issues. This can sometimes mean that you’re trying to keep someone’s life and mind also balanced, which is very important for me.
‘Teeter’ is a little self-reflective stream-of consciousness zine/comic exploring self-doubt, anxiety and the eventual acceptance of one’s imperfection. It’s about a personal feeling – that sometimes I’m performing some ‘balancing act’, flitting between different publicly or privately displayed ‘masks’ or ‘selves’. It’s about finding solace and safety in the stasis of withdrawal – but the eventual stagnation terrified stillness brings. What one can do instead is influence outcomes in little ways – even if it means reaching out, or making mistakes. Imperfection is just perfect!
This little comic itself is riddled with mistakes, being compositionally off-balance, messy and gritty – but I suppose that’s very much in the spirit of the thing
Life is never easy. When we look around at the world through eyes opened by the harsh light of past experiences, we are confronted with greed, envy, lust, and pride. As a mother, the world we view can seem so overwhelmingly hard, so horrifying. We want to protect our children from the dangers that lurk before them, but in doing this we would live an unbalanced life. We have a choice. The world has equally such beauty and life, such mystery and majesty. It is within our ability to balance the dangers of the world with the sheer magic of life, and help our children to grow not only in wisdom of the dangers, but also with optimism and potential. Being a mother is about balancing the truth that may lay out there in the world for our children, and revealing to them the wondrous mystery in order to inspire them to continue to explore the world.
I am a self taught artist from Vancouver, Canada and all my pieces are mixed media and hand painted around fully functioning lighters.Balance itself is a huge issue everyday for me. I have chronic vertigo from a past brain injury and sometimes just crossing streets can be full of anxiety. Art has been my therapy and distraction for over 10 years. It helps with my nervousness and depression. I spend a lot of time inside so painting becomes a lot of my world which can be isolating, but never boring. My grandfather Ladislav Guderna was a great surrealist and a huge inspiration in my work, we both created our own worlds with humour and attention to detail. I believe I inherited his need to constantly create and having an endless supply of ideas.
I recently found out that someone close to me has suffered from an eating disorder for nearly half of her life. It crept into her life, seeking control. I may never know the amount of courage and determination she accepts each day, but I sure know the incredible inspiration of the woman she is to me, and how privileged I feel to document her journey.
‘Lagom’ is such a fitting word for how her body is just right. No body is perfect; I hope we all have the ability to come to terms with that at some point in our lives. This series was not about documenting an eating disorder, but to illustrate an individual healing process and journey of self acceptance.
She, like all of us, are on our own personal journey towards balance in each aspect; to feel each part of our lives in harmony.
Light versus dark; Nature versus concrete; Organic versus structure. Balance is the constant compromising between two opposing forces, taking over certain ways while giving in to some other. Natural green vines curling their way out of a concrete grey ledge – somehow they manage to create this agreeable harmony.
With a balance of warm and cool colours, and the careful arrangement of paper clippings, ‘Warm Blooded’ reflects the creative balance strived to be executed in all of my works. Merging imagery of warmth and cozy-ness alongside flowing cool scales, this piece reminds us what it means to be warm blooded. To make this distinction however, you must have balance with the contrasting elements.
The Universe will always remain in balance. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We already live in a world of duality. Hot and cold, good and bad, we have our ups and downs, lefts and rights. Even in our own lives the balance of the universe is shown. Courage is preceded by fear and doubt before certainty. The balance of these variables we all face, both sides of the hemisphere, must always remain in full balance. Exploration of the unknown will always be at the forfront of humanity.
VB and Kegel Exercises
This piece is a reflection of my experience and awakening to feminism and my own femininity as an artist. Trying to to understand the pressures and reality of whether ‘having it all’ is even possible. Trying to balance looking the part, acting the part and actually being the part as a reformed introvert.
Ecdysis is the stage in a lobster’s life cycle where they shed their hard shell in order to grow.
‘Clawed’ is inspired by the idea of shedding our negative thoughts by balancing our emotional and rational responses.
B R E A T H E
‘B R E A T H E’ is an exploration of the monkey mind and how trying to stay calm, chill out and breathe can help with the challenges and cycles of fertility. It is overwhelming and can be quite consuming. It’s an acknowledgment of being in limbo and finding a balance between chaos and calm. Through collage and painting I am exploring my own thoughts, feelings and physical being whilst going through fertility treatment and trying to find balance in my life while on this journey. This reflection also reminds me of the busy nature of our lives, and having a million things to be thinking about when really we should be thinking about our physical and mental health. Balance, Nourish, Nurture, and Create.
If you’d like to see these pieces plus so much more in our print edition, make sure you grab a copy of Issue 04 from our store.