14 March 2024

Art collaboration ‘A Day At The Mill’ to unleash creativity and connection for budding artists

| Kellie O'Brien
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A Day At The Mill Timbermill Bulli

The eight artists leading A Day At the Mill at the Timbermill Studios in Bulli in May. Photo: Supplied.

Budding female artists will get to immerse themselves in four art styles under the guidance of eight professional artists from Bulli’s Timbermill Studios as part of ‘A Day At The Mill’.

Holly Eva, one of the artists involved, said the full-day event with an indulgent champagne lunch aimed to encourage women to embrace their creative side and form meaningful connections, while completing four beautiful artworks they could take home.

Alongside that, she said the Timbermill had long allowed the Illawarra’s vibrant art community to make a living from its art, and the inaugural day-long artistic festivities in May further supported that for the professional artists delivering the workshops.

“Another artist and myself were chatting in the studio and asking, ‘What can we do?’ because art sales are a little bit slower at the moment,” Holly said.

“With the economy changing a few things for us artists, we had this concept of bringing all the artists together to create one big workshop to present to the community.

“It works in both favours – we’re giving, they’re receiving and we all get to have a great time as we share skills we’ve learned.

“Above all, this day is about connection and about loving yourself enough to give yourself that gift of just coming along and spending a day.”

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Holly said the concept would bring eight art teachers together, who would double up to provide four workshops throughout the day.

“For example, I’m with my friend Ally (Winchester), and we do a lot of textile and beadwork as well as painting,” she said.

“We thought, ‘Well, why don’t we share the beading skills that we’ve learned instead of it just being painting.’”

Holly said Lisa Barry and Alison K Lawther Burke were combining their drawing skills to present drawing with ink, while Rebecca Brennan and Roseanne Plunkett painted seascapes and would offer a soft seascape workshop with palette knives.

She said Renee Kamaretsos and Kera Bruton were floral artists but would be putting a twist on their art workshop.

“Kera works with texture, so she came up with this concept of working with dried flowers with textured paint, almost like a mosaic method,” she said.

“They’ve got broken pots and reclaimed objects to be squashing into the texture to create this modern-day little floral artwork.

“It’s something that’s not on the market that is really sweet and precious.

“So they’re getting four different types of creativity thrown at them.”

She said each workshop had gone through multiple stages of ideation to come up with the final four concepts.

While all skill levels were welcome, she said they particularly wanted to attract people who didn’t normally get the opportunity to paint or draw who wanted something that was “easily done without pressure”, while getting their minds thinking.

“We do it full time, but when you give what we’re experienced [with] to somebody that’s not painting full time, it blows their mind and it makes us feel great,” she said.

“It’s so important to express yourself, even if it’s just arranging flowers or making a pair of earrings for yourself.

“Be proud of that because that’s not what we do every day. Most women are either working or looking after kids and don’t get to tap into that.”

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She said the collaborative spirit driving the event also reflected the supportive nature of the Timbermill Studios, where each of the artists not only used a studio space to create and thrive in their individual art businesses but willingly supported each other’s work.

“Everybody here gets along really well, which is quite rare,” she said.

“There is such a peaceful feeling in here which creates wanting to support each other.

“As an artist, sometimes you can feel very isolated and like, ‘Oh, this is not the norm’, so there’s connection for both parties,” she said of the event.

Holly said the day would include an indulgent champagne lunch by Pony and Wolf Bespoke Pop-up Picnics, which would create a romantic setting to “make women feel loved and supported”.

With a goal of 15 to 30 participants, she said long term they wanted to host regular events with more artists and teachers.

“There’s actually room for more growth,” she said.

“We wanted to get Petra our candle girl and Callum our cactus guy involved, so if this first one is successful, it’s only going to get bigger.”

Book tickets for A Day at The Mill on 25 May at the Timbermill Studios, Bulli.

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