Embedding myself within the experiences of creative country women, I use photography and story to explore the meaning and value of creative expression and how this manifests itself for a selection of women in country Victoria. I portray the challenge presented by this farming landscape, both physically and culturally; I explore how creative expression articulates this reality; I uncover the participants need to nurture and express this creativity; I also touch on issues of identity and meaning.
The complex interplay of how people fit into their setting, how place, space, time and culture intersect is demonstrated in the German term 'landschaft.'
The link between my art, myself and the collectivity process included in my work gives solidarity of voice that becomes a tool for validating the creative substance of these women.
My findings reveal that these women are inspired by their surrounding landscape. It incites them to create. In many cases they innately use a palette of readily available mediums, often gleaned and improvised from their surroundings.
Creativity is an essential means of sustainability for these women, providing a sense of self, well-being and happiness in an unpredictable and often harsh environment.
This exhibition comprises the practical component of Julie Bennett’s PhD research.