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Amanda’s living a creative, artistic life

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Knockbacks, upsets, setbacks and breakthroughs have always been par for the course of living a creative life for Amanda O’Bryan. 

Her first solo exhibition was planned for last year but cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdown.

Now, her artful dream, a quarter of a century in the making, is about to be realised when her exhibition Aqueous – made of water opens at The Owens Collective, Islington, on 29 April.

An award-winning designer, author of Daily Acts of Creativity, which promotes the benefits of creativity for wellbeing, a creativity coach and artist who runs workshops to aid personal growth, Amanda is also an ovarian cancer survivor and no stranger to surmounting the obstacles life throws her way.

She always knew that art and creativity were important to her.

But, when told at university that she had two choices, to be poor as an artist or to be an art teacher, she decided to become a graphic designer instead.

Amanda enjoyed a highly-successful and awarded creative career until her cancer diagnosis several years ago, at which time, during recovery, she had the opportunity to re-evaluate and reimagine her life.

“I stopped to ask myself, ‘hey, what do you really want?’ she explained.

“In a full-circle moment, I wanted to paint, just like I did back when I was 19, I wanted that dream for myself.

“That young artist girl never really left me, I left her, and coming to the exhibition now, I’ve had the opportunity to meet myself again.”

Her exhibition explores the emotional connection between water as an essential life force and the creative process of transformation and growth through lyrical abstract paintings that are energetic, expressive and very beautiful.

Amanda’s work is forged through the fluidity of water and paint, creating organic floral shapes that are gestural in colour and form.

Both water and creativity are amorphous, always changing and adapting to the surrounding forces, in a constant state of flux.

The Lorn artist uses this in her artistic process, flooding raw canvas with watery glazes and veils of paint with layers upon layers bleeding through the work.This process mirrors her approach to both creativity and life.

“The most important thing I know about art and life is that creativity is an expression of love,” she said.

“In these Aqueous paintings, I practice that expression of love, with my heart, hands, and mind and pass it on, in ways that connect us all.”

Connection, positivity and global healing are central to her creative life and something that she strives to communicate to others.

In a crazy, scary world, where we are bombarded with negative imagery and depressing world news, Amanda uses the power of her art to transmit joy and love back into the world.

And, she believes in “walking the talk”.

With the world facing a code red environmental disaster in the form of climate change, Amanda does what she can to minimise her impact and believes that everyone has the same responsibility.

Her paintings are created using Australian 100% non-toxic acrylic paint, she doesn’t use solvents, she saves every plastic container and re-uses it in her studio, she uses raw canvas with no chemicals and cuts up old clothes to use as paint rags.

Committed to living a joyful, creative life and to share that process with others, her next project is to launch a six-month creative coaching and mentoring program.

Designed for multi-passionate people who are ready to break through the lack of confidence barrier and heal the “not-good enough” syndrome, she hopes to unlock their unique creative advantage to bring about real change in their lives.

A second exhibition is planned just before Christmas at the Leda Gallery in Newcastle.

The current exhibit will continue until 8 May.

For more details, visit www.creativequeenbees.com/

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