Media release - 28th October 2018
Local Artist and Arts Therapist, Michelle Morgan, is creating a new artwork every day for a year. ‘Mandala a Day’ is an exhibition celebrating the midway point of this involved and inspiring commitment.
“A fellow local artist, Jac Price, initiated the challenge, ‘Mandalas in May’. I found the practice offered me so much that when the month ended, I decided to continue for a year”, said Michelle.
Making art supports mental health and wellbeing through emotional regulation and expression, especially for emotions that may be difficult to verbalise. Some of the mandalas represent experiences of joy, grief, rage, doubt, or stuckness.
Art making can also be a wonderful tool for reflection. “While I make the mandala, I often recall significant moments of the day. This reflection time means I’m able to articulate and integrate the experiences I’ve had and what I’ve learned from them,” said Michelle.
Michelle describes ‘mandala a day’ as a spiritual practice. “A core of spiritual practice is commitment; showing up, regardless of what else is going on in life. The mandalas represent my ongoing inquiry around identity, purpose, and meaning.
“I bring curiosity, commitment and trust in the process. So often I turn up to the page with no idea of what I will create, but something always forms. Trusting this process helps me to cultivate a deeper trust in life, especially when things are difficult. The practice becomes an anchor point.”
Michelle posts a mandala image to instagram each day for accountability, and says that she’s grateful there has been strong community of support.
“Engaging with the community has been a really important part of the practice. It’s a big commitment to make a new artwork every day, so it’s been wonderful to receive reflections and encouragement from others on social media, and to hear about others picking up paints or pens to make their own art. I really hope that sharing the works in this exhibition will continue to inspire others to create”
Michelle is also offering a series of Creative Play Mandala workshops. “Creative play is incredibly important to health and wellbeing. In the Creative Play Mandala workshops, I’ll share some of my arts therapies tools to support people in their creative practice. A key message is that there is no right or wrong way to make art.”
A selection of the 186 mandalas will be available as limited edition prints. Nat from Upstream Colour Fine Art Printing says, “The pieces use a range of different media from watercolour to felt markers, and track a deeply personal and vulnerable narrative of daily life. It's been a massive pleasure reproducing these works on Ilford Textured Cotton Rag”.
The exhibition and workshops will be held at Lentil As Anything Thornbury from 1st November to 14th December, with a launch event at 4.30-6.30pm on Thursday the 1st November. Lentil As Anything is a not-for-profit social enterprise running vegan restaurants across Melbourne and Sydney on a pay-as-you-feel model. They rely completely on donations, and a good percentage of their workers are volunteers.
Purchase limited edition mandala prints: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/MandalaArtByChelle
Find out more about exhibition and workshops: www.cocooncreativeartstherapies.com.au
Follow the daily mandala posts:
Contact person: Michelle Morgan
Company: Cocoon Creative Arts Therapies
Exhibition Location: Lentil As Anything, 562-564 High St, Thornbury VIC 3071
Michelle Morgan is a registered arts therapist, community singing facilitator, author, and researcher who has been has been walking the path of healing and creativity for 19 years. She has worked in direct care and research roles in acute health, aged care and community health settings.
Michelle is passionate about the creative process, and facilitates gentle and supportive spaces for people to explore their inner world through the creative arts. While she has curated a number of exhibitions for others, Mandala a Day is her first solo exhibition.
Michelle is Director of Cocoon Creative Arts Therapies, and also works part time with Meaningful Ageing Australia, the national peak body for spiritual care in ageing.
Chelle is a practicing art therapist, researcher, and multi-modal creative. She regularly dives into the unknown to discover what is ready to be born, deepening her trust in the abundantly creative source. For Chelle, art is a means to inquire, express, and transform. If offers the capacity to soothe, making space for new perspectives and ways of being.