When Jo Canham of Blarney Books and Art asked Pakenham arts practitioner, Jenni Ivins, to introduce the Port Fairy community to her quirky Mind Drawing style, she sparked an idea that formed the blueprint for Jenni’s arts practice.
The artist uses a project approach, engaging online and real world communities during the research and creation stages, so she can tailor themes in the work and elements of the project in response to feedback she receives.
When Jenni was the Autumn Kid’s Zone Artist at Burrinja last year, she created activities that children could do alone or with their family and added a pop-up treasure hunt to encourage visitors to explore their local facility. One of her Mind Drawing business values is to enable communities through the arts.
“Sometimes people are a bit intimidated or shy about visiting an art gallery or even their local community centre,” said Jenni, “so I set up my treasure hunts in different locations, leading participants around the building, on both levels.
“When they reached the end, they found me creating a Mind Drawing on the theme of a children’s story. I had lights and camera and I explained that I was taking photos as I drew, with the aim of making a stop motion animation.”
Many visitors told Jenni they would like to draw, too, so she facilitated a community collaborative drawing, giving visitors the opportunity to add their picture or to build upon someone else’s marks.
A collaborative drawing was made in each of the four municipalities where Jenni worked on the project: the City of Casey, and Shires of Cardinia, Moyne and Yarra Ranges.
“People were thrilled at the idea that their drawing would travel with my touring exhibition and would be seen by other people across the state,” said Jenni. “They were also interested in finding differences and commonalities in the works.”
In November - December 2016 exhibition opened at Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy. During the last week, Jenni was the Artist in Residence at The Artery, in the neighbouring town of Warrnambool. As well as participating in the rich culture of the area while she was there, she also delivered Mind Drawing writing and drawing workshops to their community.
The second tour stop for the exhibition (9 January – 9 February) is the Cardinia Cultural Centre, where Jenni delivered January school holiday workshops and free activities for local families supported by the Cardinia Shire Council.
A special feature of the Cardinia phase of the project, will be the launch of the Mind Drawing Children’s Stories book!
Fans have long been requesting a book of Jenni’s Mind Drawings so they can study the pictures and look for the four-leafed clover at leisure. Others want to colour the finely detailed pictures.
At 7pm on Wednesday 8th February, at the Cardinia Cultural Centre, in Lakeside Drive, Pakenham, Mayor Cr. Brett Owen will officially launch of the book and the touring exhibition.
Jenni is pleased to invite her home town and neighbouring communities to attend. If you can’t make the evening event, there will also be prelaunch celebrations at the exhibition, at 1pm on both Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th of February, where the book will be launched by Cr. Graeme Moore.