On a recent visit to Little Orange supported studio, I tried to navigate there while holding my mobile phone in one hand while riding my bicycle at the same time. This is never, ever a good idea. Sense prevailed, and I ditched my precarious riding, and stopped and asked a taxi driver. He kindly pointed me in the right direction.
I finally arrived at my destination – Campbelltown Arts Centre. I was a few minutes off schedule, but as soon as I entered, I was greeted with warmth and enthusiasm. My bicycle was even given a resting place inside the Arts Centre!
I was soon ushered up a few flights of stairs to meet the administration team that supports Little Orange, an inclusive studio for emerging Western Sydney-based artists with disability.
We then went down again, and into the studio. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, and it was clear that the Little Orange practitioners were intently focused on their artmaking and hard at work in a fully-fledged working studio for emerging artists. The art practices within the studio were as varied as the artists themselves, ranging from ceramics and performance art, to drawing, painting and mixed media.
Meeting Imogen and Michelle
I spent most of my time with two visual artists – Imogen and Michelle.
Imogen, a spirited and enthusiastic artist, had an entire collection of works on paper to show me. She likes to draw; often experimenting with bought and handmade stencils, and has a good eye for colour. Her list of interests seemed never-ending: brick walls, flowers, letters, animals, buildings, ducks, puppies, snakes (especially pythons) and 90s sitcoms (in particular, Seinfeld and Will and Grace). The collection of work that she had on show was varied indeed. Her interest with Seinfeld has also inspired her to develop her own performance piece – a play in which she will take on the role of Jerry Seinfeld.
Michelle, another of the Little Orange artists, is a teacher by profession who works across a multitude of media. She had some fascinating works to share including MRI images (her own) that she had photographed and digitally manipulated. She also showed me a beautiful and delicate work called Siren – ink and watercolour on Yupo paper (which happens to be 100% recyclable, waterproof and tree free). After we photographed Siren in the clear light of day, Michelle agreed for us to use a detail of it on our 15 March e-newsletter banner.
After stumbling a little on my way to meet the Little Orange artists at their Campbelltown Arts Centre studio, it was wonderful to be welcomed into their creative world. Little Orange is the perfect name – you can feel the warmth and creative energy radiating between the participants and out into the open air.
To learn about other amazing things happening at Campbelltown Arts Centre, you can visit their website.
Feature photo (top): Imogen with her artwork outside Campbelltown Arts Centre
Words by: Wanda, Imogen and Michelle
This page was first published on 24 April 2018.