The Inner Limitless Space of the Artist

FT Stage 1, Wed 4th Oct, 10:00am, 1 Hour Facilitator: Yasmin Gurreeboo 1st Provocateur: Rosalba Clemente

How do we return to the heart of our practise and continue making our own contribution after loss, failure, wounding? How do we connect with the truth about ourselves ( as well as the outer world) and take responsibility for evolving and sustaining our own limitless creativity as artists? How can we keep our minds and hearts open to new possibilities as artists that embrace but are not bound by race, class, gender? How can we find ways to celebrate being artists and belonging to a race of Artists more regularly in our own local environments?

Key Points (Updated Live)

  • Rosalba, generously drawing on her own experiences, discussed the limitless space within ourselves as artists, alongside the limitations within the industry. It is a paradoxical situation we are faced with. The industry cannot save us from our pain. But we have to work in an industry that limits us — the tension between these two is the issue we face.

  • We as artists have every capacity to be limitless. She drew on an image she tells her students at Flinders Drama Centre: ‘You are a deep-sea diver. Each time you go a bit deeper, even if it’s a centimetre, you find something greater and deeper within yourself and the work. So dive, come up for some air, and go back down again, and again, and again’

  • Rosalba shared her experience as an artist who came from an immigrant family that built their life from scratch in Australia. Through her artistry, she actively delved into stories that represented her people and their experiences and brought them to the stage.

  • She undertook a project that came from this place of limitless space within herself; she dove deep and had all the expectations of it being a wonderfully, rich, fulfilling experience for all involved. She took on the responsibility of taking artists through a process which was very psychologically heavy not only for herself, but all involved, and that was quite straining. No regrets in doing the work, but it certainly took a toll on the artist.

  • Going into these depths don’t always end up the way you hope. In working with others of a similar experience, you can still be blinded by your own privilege or blinded by assuming people don’t see or hear you.

  • An inherent part of Rosalba’s artistry has been a conscious self examination. When you get through to deeper layers of yourself, then you get to see yourself as you truely are. And as artistic truth endures beyond all adversity. We must keep breaking through to the next levels of our own humanity, and this can reflect in the work we make. We are protean — ever growing, ever changing, ever evolving.

  • Rosalba assured the group that your inner space can never be taken away from you. You can take an experience and give birth to it with unlimited imagination.

  • Empathy and love are our gifts as artists. This makes us open and vulnerable. We are broken in order to break through. This can be difficult.

  • Last words: keep your sense of humour, reach out, stay connected, you’re allowed to go into your cave, but not for too long, get help, review your values, rest, eat, exercise, open up, take responsibility and cheer on others. What will you do to replenish your limitless space and what will you do to help others do the same?

  • From discussion afterwards, people were very touched by Rosalba’s open and vulnerable sharing, which allowed other to open up about their own experiences of being vulnerable and being our true authentic selves on stage.