A feel good great Aussie story going down at the moment is the one about the leather-clad bike riding Graeme Stevenson and his capable colourful creative team. They travel around Australia endeavouring to help ‘Put Some Colour in Your Life’.
Finalists in the 2013 Business Excellence Awards in Tweed Shire, the team are enabling artists so that they will better interact with each other, the Australian public and importantly, generate funds as well.
Australian artists today need to pursue excellence. It is their creative spirit and their willingness to share their gifts that have profoundly shaped and uplifted Australian society in the past, and it will do so in the future.
The values that helped make us wealthier and healthier have not changed, but we could ask will the methods that have got us this far continue to work?
Art is a platform on which communities can engage and articulate ideas by holding visual conversations about life. It provides opportunities for creativity and cultural engagement for everyone.
Learning about art helps us all to expand our knowledge and appreciation for each other, as well as to have an empathy for each other’s stories as we seek to attain ‘21st century enlightenment’.
Team member Mealie, Amelia Batchelor lives just outside Murwillumbah in the beautiful lush green area that is northern NSW. There she runs her own studio.
Mealie’s Art House is jam packed with a diverse array of paintings, sculptural and other works. She is a very accomplished artist both indoors and out.
The team recently filmed an episode of their latest series-featuring Mealie, which will be shown nationally this coming Sunday evening at 7pm.
Mealie will be showcasing her chalk art, which recently moved into being produced in 3D, drawing in deep perspective.
She has used her chalk art as the impetus to fulfill an important assignment for promoting the very successful American horror drama television series ‘The Walking Dead’, which is going great guns on Foxtel in Australia.
In this show Mealie explains the process for producing such a work. She was the perfect artist for the task because she also understands how important it is to maximize the creative opportunities inherent in the digital age.
Her ‘Zombie’ Art has a touch of ‘almost-reality’ and its the sort of interactive art that kids everywhere and of all ages seem to enjoy.
She also has what all those working in the arena of arts, both visual and performance need to display these days; a sense of daring, imagination and innovation.
Amelia is able always to see the most positive aspects of what she can achieve and how to go about it clearly.
She knows that style is and should always remain as it always has been, full of possibilities.
Being a complete professional is part of Mealie’s persona; she has an amazing ability to think beyond the square and is readily adaptable to changing modes and fashions.
Amelia was one of the very special people I encountered on my journey. She and I worked together daily on the Big City Draw over a six month period, to bring to fruition an important 13-day community event on Brisbane’s 150thcelebratory calendar (2009), for which she was artist in residence.
Over the period of the draw Amelia inspired everyone with her quiet dedication, her inspiring drawing, her multiple skills and wonderful abilities.
Pleasantly painting indoors and outdoors is about being forward thinking, capturing the moment, expressing the joy of life and displaying characteristics that define contemporary art in every age; confidence in execution, structure, form and style.
Culture and creativity are mainstream elements of Australia’s social and economic life and they are an important priority for all governments around the world because it is about stimulating new thinking and social innovation in an ethos of collaboration.
The ‘Put Some Colour in Your Life’ team are artists in their own right, as well as quiet achievers.
They are helping the artists they promote establish their own criteria and to understand the’intrinsic benefits and artistic excellence of art.
This can be entirely frustrating when all around them is the visual and published evidence, including government statistics that prove the point.
They led to the Federal Government establishing its Creative-Australia-Policy after extensive consultation with the industry.
Developing a relationship with the imagery of the world in which we live is part of a life long learning process and a journey we all need to take. Gaining an appreciation for the visual arts in our society should be integral to both our personal and professional development process.
The ‘Colour in your Life team are doing their bit, helping to shape savvy citizens for our ever-evolving society and this will be the business of the arts sector during the next decade in Australia. Inspiring others to imagine the modern world.
Creator Graeme Stevenson, who is team leader is well travelled in his own right and has a very impressive artist’s CV of his own.
He has donated a great deal of his work to assist the preservation of wildlife and other charities over the years. He is now putting back into the community that nurtured him, as well as sometimes gave him a hard time.
His outlook is refreshing, just what the 21st century and Australia needs as he highlights the ideas and values, which transformed our world over the last two centuries, as he goes about helping others to imagine the future.
How can we safeguard the future of the arts per se in the midst of a world economic population paradigm shift? Well, not without a lot of hard work.
Having talent helps, but as Graeme and all the other artists he promotes, including Victorian regional artist John Anderson would likely agree, having a successful life in the environment we enjoy is all about getting on with it, working your butt off and keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind.
The arts in Australia, and indeed in all nations and cultures around the world, are central to establishing national identity and with them they bring about social cohesion and economic success.
They create an environment that is not only green and sustainable, but also one that is enriching in the way we live in it and deal with each other. The Put Some Colour in Your Life September Art Competition winning entry by artist Jules Summers inspires the comment...can you be ‘cocky too’.
The … Colour in Your Life team have a mission to both inspire and encourage people to adapt.
They leave behind negativity and rigid thinking and are completely in touch with the very wise words once said by twentieth century anthropologist Margaret Mead who noted
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle 2013
Put Some Colour In Your Life
Nationally on Freeview Channel 4ME throughout Queensland ; Channel 74 – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth? and on Channel 64 – In regional NSW, VIC, ACT and the Gold Coast. Recently the series graduated to being on the Aurora channel on Foxtel as well.
Graeme Stevenson: Phone 0407 238 969
Amelia Batchelor: Mealie’s Art House
Graeme & Mealie – Put Some Colour in Your Life 2013