Artists live for their passion, its an undeniable force. And the family of an artist is always surrounded by beauty, creation and music. I have met many artists in my years and each time its easy to see in their eyes, the world reflected back a little differently. They notice shapes where there aren't any, sunlight that gently touches a curve and casts shadows, the way fabric shifts in the breeze and the colours that stand out in the rain. They see reality through a sheen of imaginary. There’s a well known term, ‘struggling artist’, but through my eyes as a child we were as rich as they come.
Our childhood farm was the source of adventure. The house yard was a swathe of green, a jungle of tropical plants and jasmine flowers, a home for fairies and frogs. A strong Jacaranda tree was our play ground, to climb and build crazy swings in, or disappear up into its branches to read a book in peace. There was a pond with tadpoles, and hiding places so good the neighbours kids had no hope finding us. And just over the fence, a paddock full of horses.
Our mum ran a small riding school, and every afternoon the farm would be buzzing with kids; strangers for riding lessons, bored kids from down the road, friends from school, our farm was like a magnet for anyone told "go outside and play." It was 5 acres on the edge of a little village. We rode our bikes to primary school and the local swimming hole with its huge rope swing.
In summer we would wake in the already-warm morning, squeeze surfboards into the car and drive the 20 minutes to the best beach in the world, "Diggers". Hours were spent swimming, collecting shells, exploring the bushy headland, reading books with mum, finding starfish and sea anemones in the rock pools, and waving in vain at Dad to come in because we're getting hungry now. Eventually we would all rinse off and pack back into the car, with a sudden craving for hot chips and big cool glasses of coke. We'd collect supplies, drive home with the windows down, tumble exhausted into the cool shady house and settle in for a movie afternoon, surrounded by everything a kids heart can desire.
In Winter we would wake up to frost, the ice sparkling across the paddocks, and on a few occasions the horses water trough frozen over. We would throw hay to the horses with numb hands, watching the steam rise from their nostrils as they whirled and pranced in their excitement for breakfast. Stomping back to the house, we'd open the door to the crackle of fire and the smell of porridge cooking on the stove.
The farm is ingrained into our being, and though we each lead our own lives now, we carry our farm with us forever, and our memories are encapsulated in the jewellery that was inspired, designed and created in that warm workshop on the farm.
A Memory from Jess xxx