By Gabrielle Hall
In the busy world of parenthood, work, and life, Barossa artist Janelle Amos has found peace and reignited a passion for connecting with nature.
The result has been beautiful works of art. Mandalas created from the environment form an aptly named ‘Self Pollinate’ project that reflects her journey of growth.
“It has been a personal practice for me, something that brought me back to life – because as every mum does at some point, with two young children at the time, I just had to find my own way,” Janelle says.
“It was how I found stillness amongst the chaos and it sparked a little creative centre in me that I’d denied for a number of years and let me breathe again, it was just incredible.”
Janelle’s mandalas are collections from the environment around her arranged into amazing patterns, photographed, then amazingly left to be swept back into nature and shared as limited edition fine art prints.
So in tune with the environment around her, Janelle says nature leads the way in the design of her mandalas.
“We live in the back hills of Seppeltsfield, it can be windy and we ‘feel’ the seasons, and I let that be part of my work,” Janelle says. “I try to work mostly outside in the elements and the more I play with the nature, the more it has a little whisper about it.”
Janelle says the nature pieces also have a way of truly reflecting her emotions, which are often also felt by those viewing her art.
“It was quite a significant moment that literally stopped me in my tracks, my hands froze up, I couldn’t interact as I had with the environment around me,” Janelle says. “About a month after the fire I went for a drive, it was the eeriest thing, everything sounded different, everything just felt paused and petrified.
Then about a month later again I went back out because I wanted to see the gum trees coming back to life, such an act of resilience and recreating itself in a different way.”
The experience also ignited a deeper artistic spark, urging Janelle to pick up a paintbrush again, adding abstract paintings to her fold.
You can see some of the artworks currently on show at Smartart Gallery on North Terrace, College Park, and Artisans of Barossa Tasting Room, Tanunda.
Janelle’s ‘Still Point’ exhibition of mandala prints and abstract painting will also feature during the 2017 SALA festival in August at Peter Lehmann Wines. Visitors will have the opportunity to “play around” and create their own mandala, or take part in a Self Pollinate workshop with Janelle (limited places).
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