Roslyn Burns: Backing Myself

“I just want people to back me,” said Roslyn Burns in 2012. Little did we know that those very words would make their way into an ABC Open video produced by Ruslan Kulski and released in 2013.

Clearly one of the best ways to get people to back you is to back yourself. And, that’s exactly what Roslyn did in the years after the release of that video.

Project Funding

Success with an application to Community Living and Participation Grants (funded by Lotterywest and National Disability Services) meant that Roslyn would be able to pair up with a series of professional artists and work towards a solo exhibition at her dream venue, the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries.

Architectural detail of Roslyn's dream exhibition venue

Architectural detail of Roslyn’s dream exhibition venue

Artistic Team and Vision

Helen Seiver was the Consulting Artist on the project, and she identified artists Amanda Doust, Anastasija Komarnyckyj and Marina Troitsky as ideal collaborators for Roslyn.

The vision was that Roslyn would work with the artists in their studios or would paint en plein air. Another focus of the project was that Roslyn would experiment with different ways of applying paint to canvas and paper.

A detail of Roslyn's visual landscape at Anastasija's

A detail of Roslyn’s visual landscape at Anastasija’s

A total of 18 sessions were held in Bunbury and Chapman Hill. The first session was on February 17, 2015, with the final session being November 17 of that same year.  Two support workers from Activ – Fay Harding and Tracey Musham – accompanied and actively supported Roslyn with her arts practice.

In this post, we will share with you part of Roslyn’s amazing journey.  But first, special thanks to the photographers for this post:  Carensa Watts, Rob Cox, Marina Troitsky and Amanda Doust.

On the Water’s Edge with Amanda Doust

Roslyn and Amanda chose the shore of Bunbury’s Koombana Bay as the location of their four en plein air sessions. They focused on the sand dunes visible in the distance along with the boats in the Bay.

In the Garden with Anastasija Komarnyckyj

Anastasija’s back garden in East Bunbury proved an inspiring and colourful en plein air experience for Roslyn. The results certainly speak to the vibrancy of the surroundings.

In the Country with Marina Troitsky

Marina’s studio in Chapman Hill (outside of Busselton) was the setting of the final 10 sessions of Roslyn’s project. There was plenty of experimenting, with printmaking being a focal point.

The experience with Marina challenged Roslyn to create her largest work ever:  True Colours.

What the Exhibition Looked Like

The exhibition was curated by Helen Seiver in consultation with Roslyn. Ultimately called ‘Backing Myself’ (which, of course, picks up on the first spoken words from that 2013 ABC Open video), it was beautifully hung and looked just stunning, colourful and joyful in the Convent Gallery of the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries.

The Opening

It was a beautiful opening on Friday, March 11 with 85 guests. During the speeches, handmade paper flowers were presented to artists Amanda Doust, Anastasija Komarnyckyj, Marina Troitsky and Helen Seiver; to the creative team of invitation designer Sharon Hinchliffe and photographers Carensa Watts and Rob Cox; and to opening night speakers Julie Waylen from National Disability Services and Donna Mazza from Edith Cowan University.

Sales were brisk on opening night, with Roslyn eventually selling 21 of the 47 works on exhibition.

What’s Next

The gorgeous Head of the Otter – created while at Marina Troitsky’s – has now been framed thanks to our generous friends at Southern Picture Framers. It’s been entered in the Dardanup Art Spectacular, and will be on exhibition opening Friday, April 29 at the Dardanup Hall.

For more information on this upcoming exhibition, visit here.

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At Art Partners, we love to get things just right. If something’s out of place in the above post, let us know right here.

31 thoughts on “Roslyn Burns: Backing Myself

  1. Carensa Watts

    Well done Roslyn, all your hard work has paid off! Looking forward to seeing even more of your work in the future 😊

    Reply
  2. Johanna

    Such talent! Loved the different locations and the beautiful representations Roslyn painted. Well done Roslyn for such incredible sales too 🙂 Go Art Partners, you are amazing too.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Johanna for stopping by. Isn’t blogging a great way to share Roslyn’s experience with those who might not live in Bunbury or who might not have been able to get to the opening or exhibition? It’s great that you’re able to be part of it by seeing these beautiful visuals and offering a comment! Best from all of us at Art Partners.

      Reply
  3. helenseiver

    Congratulations Ros, it was an absolute pleasure to be part of this journey with you. You are such an artist now!! What next? How are you going to top this amazing exhibition.

    Congratulations too to Wanda for hanging in there and bringing the project to such a fabulous conclusion. Hard work sometimes with lots of differences to contend with but you managed it so well done.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Hello Helen! You’re absolutely right. This post is somewhat incomplete without a paragraph on challenges and learnings. It was written, but axed given space limitations. Here it is: With any project that goes on for so long, there is bound to be a shifting landscape. We were reminded that flexibility and resilience are key to adapting to new situations. Also, painting en plein air has its risks. A few of the February sessions on Koombana Bay were very, very hot. And, it was drizzling with rain more than once at Anastasija’s. One rainy session had the crew working in the carport – that happened to be the day the team from the South Western Times came to visit! It didn’t prove to be the best backdrop for a photo shoot. Finally, accessibility issues were ongoing. Special thanks must go to Marina and partner Colin for sorting out ramps that enabled Roslyn to access the Chapman Hill studio. And, thanks to Latasha Kirton at Activ for successfully sourcing funds for Roslyn to have a portable ramp.

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Hello Rob. So glad that you made it to the opening night celebration! And, delighted that you’ve now acquired a wonderful work by Roslyn. We look forward to seeing it on the Enable wall.

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much waferal for checking out the post. Yes, Roslyn’s journey has been amazing. It hasn’t been without its challenges, but this exhibition outcome does show what can happen when there’s a long term commitment. Thanks for your ongoing interest and support!

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much seizetheday20 for checking out the post. You’re right, it was a super impressive effort. Great that we could share the journey with you via this blog post.

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Hello there Kathy. Lovely to hear from you. Yes, Roslyn and the whole artistic team are super inspirational and talented. Great that we could share this outcome with you even though you are so far away!

      Reply
  4. Craig Holland

    What a wonderful journey and achievement Roslyn and what a fantastic exhibition and event. I know that Roslyn’s work will be found in some prominent places across Bunbury and beyond!

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Great to see your name popping up in the comments thread Craig! We hope this is the first of many visits to the blog. Wonderful that you could be with us for the opening of the exhibition. Such a super memorable evening!

      Reply
  5. Lyndendale Gallery

    I was so glad to be able to attend Roslyn’s opening and to meet her. I commend her for the beautiful works. My favourites were her garden works. They were so vibrant and joyful. I look forward to seeing more of Roslyn’s inspirational works and also to revisiting the entry at the Dardanup Art Spectacular.
    Great effort, Roslyn! Keep backing yourself!

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much Lyndendale Gallery! So lovely that you were able to be with us at the opening and meet Roslyn. Your gallery has a special connection to Roslyn given that you have been selling her cards for a number of years now. You’re part of the narrative! That’s wonderful!

      Reply
  6. Anastasija Komarnyckyj

    Ros, a belated apology for not making it to your opening night which by all accounts seemed fantastic. I still had packing to do and left for the airport at 0300 Saturday morning so unfortunately it just didn’t work out for me. You were very much in my thoughts however and, contributing in a small way to the attainment of your goal was an absolute pleasure. The photographs look wonderful; well done.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Lovely to hear from you Anna. We missed you on opening night, but somehow knew we were in your thoughts. We have saved your paper umbrella for you. So, we promise to get that to you. Love, Ros and the Art Partners team.

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Yes, most joyous. But, you’re so right. Perseverance is just so critical for a complex project with an extended life. Travel safely!

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much Rob for checking out the post. Yes, having 21 sales was a huge accomplishment. That’s probably quite rare. And, thanks again for visiting the exhibition, and taking those shots. Until the next adventure…

      Reply
  7. Jane Cousins

    A wonderful body of work – many congratulations!! I have the paper flower and one of the art works near my desk at work – thank you 🙂

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Jane. It’s lovely to hear from you. It’s great that Roslyn’s exhibition is able to live on through her artwork that you have within sight. Lovely that one of our twirling whirling flowers made its way to you. Thanks again for all your support.

      Reply
  8. Elizabeth O & Louis Ariano

    Good work Roslyn! As we can all see, many people are behind you and appreciate the work you are doing which is inspiring. Keep up the good work and we wish you well in all your future endeavours.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Hello to you both and thanks for staying in touch. It’s great that you can enjoy and appreciate some of the Art Partners outcomes via the blog. Thanks for your ongoing interest and support.

      Reply

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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