Lisa Behan – Artist in Residence

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Photo by Charles Zuber

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Photo by Charles Zuber

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“I’ve done Lines a couple of years now. I actually have felt thrilled every minute this year – the festival has really lived up to my expectations. Lots of juicy art talk and I’ve really got a lot from working alongside likeminded people.

“These days, I’m painting. I had been feeling totally unbalanced – I was spending all of my time organizing everything and everyone else, and then I recognized that I needed to do something ‘rightbrained’ and creative. I always have done yoga – and walking really helps me: my goal when I walk is to have peace of mind.

“The process of doing the work is what I really love. I’m having an exhibition in October at Brisbane Institute of Art, and I’m currently working towards it. I want to have thirty pieces to choose from. I’m working in acrylic on board.

“In my paintings I’m exploring colour, and that’s lead me to think about the visual cortex and how we see. And this has in turn led to looking at images of the human brain – and reading lots of information about neuroscience – the left and right brain balance. Brain science is fascinating. And I’m so happy to learn that neuro-plasticity exists, and that the brain can change and become more flexible, more responsive!

“Let’s see, how does my work here connect to my paintings? My pieces here seem to come from a combination of the walks that I do around Kedron Brook (at home) and the walks that I do here around the gorge: its connected with my walking which I consider to be “thinking clearing house time”. While building here the ideas come very easily. As for The Contemplation Cave  — I didn’t know what I was going to build it out of – the pandanus leaves just weave together so easily and they look so beautiful . And then Sharon challenging me to see how high I could build the walls – that was really great and pushed me to think more about how I could use the leaves more effectively. And now, six days later and after the storm, it’s still standing.  I was working in it during the storm and it was very cozy. It’s still standing!

“I’ve got a lot of insight into people and their processes from having art conversations with the other artists here. I work very much from both my head and my gut – I do both. I am an autodidact and I read constantly. I read and I try and pursue a balance. I’ve just finished Ruby Wax’s book, Sane New World, and always read Jon Kabat Zin – the father of mindfulness. My fiction reading lately has been Gail Jones from WA – Black Mirror – about the Surrealists. And of course lots of books on neuroscience discoveries.

“Nature is the way for people to stop being busy. I am against the notion of when you greet someone and their answer is, “busy, busy, busy”. We need to slow our lives down. Living the fast life is not correct for us as a species. I have periods of being busy – and nature always gives me that space to slow down… and notice. Brain science and neuroscience really do talk about the stress of constantly making decisions, and how constantly making micro decisions (like to tweet or not to tweet) make us anxious and less healthy physically. Early research on using computer games shows we are changing our attention spans. Nature gives us the immersion in our true place to be.”

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