Artist Reflection by Sabina McKenna
GetInTouch Melbourne Art Resident
Submission: Video Diary
Sabina McKenna is an Australian writer and curator of Nigerian-Irish heritage. She is the creator of The Where Are You From? project, a photojournalistic project sharing the stories of people of colour based in Australia.
“For many people of colour living in communities with a white predominance, the question Where are you from? is a regular encounter. While this question might be considered harmless, it can be othering and tiresome to constantly explain your existence. Where are you from? was created to celebrate, educate and raise awareness about the BIPOC identity, through thought provoking art and storytelling. Therapy for some, an education for others; the project stimulates the vital conversations about belonging and acceptance that need to be heard and shared.”
Making the time to be still is something I seldom see among my arts worker friends and collaborators. We are at once extremely driven and capable of achieving literally everything, 15 hour day—no problem! Several projects at once, and a day job—piece of cake! But mastering the skill of rest is something we are constantly aspiring to. Creatives are some of the most talented, driven and underslept people I know, and as one of them myself I can deeply relate.
For this reason, the Little Company Get in Touch residency was the most meaningful intermittent getaway. I loved drifting off to sleep in my chair, under warm LED lights, several times a week. I relished every moment of the skincare rituals that followed as I sat, cheeks flushed as though I’d just emerged from a hot shower, slathering lotions and oils into my hot skin before heading back out into the world. I delighted in the mere thought of having these appointments marked out in my calendar—an hour just for myself, in which there was nothing to do but enjoy, meant so much to me amid the business of day-to-day life and endless to dos that normally consume my thoughts.
Concluding my retreat with the ultimate Ritual; the face, body and skin treatment that has changed the way I think about self care forever, I was left feeling so energised by the whole experience, and grateful for the reminder that, especially as creatives, our rest is sacred and in fact integral for our creative expression and output.
I hope this inspires others to step away from the desk and treat themselves! Or at the very least to carve out an hour among the chaos to truly be still.