“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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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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