Artist Reflection by Tess McAuslan-King
GetInTouch Byron Bay Art Resident
Submission: Poetry & Reflections
Tess McAuslan-King (she/her) is an artist and mother living and working on Yaegl Country in the Clarence Valley of Northern NSW. Tess works with a variety of clays, layered glazes, lustres and vitreous enamels to investigate materials and processes within her practice. The majority of her works are semi-functional in nature, highly decorative, hand-built vessels or sculptures hinting at the vessel form. Many kiln firings are involved in achieving the layered and luminous surfaces. Tess completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with First Class Honours at RMIT in 2016, majoring in Object Based Practice. She has exhibited regularly with various commercial galleries and artist run spaces since this time.
Artists are collectively overworked and underpaid and I’ve definitely been having feelings of not only physical exhaustion but also creative depletion. The experience of being in my body while at Little Company provided reprieve, a somatic experience akin to the flow state I feel while hand-building my pottery. I use my hands constantly and have a special relationship with gesture and touch in my work and this experience was a beautiful reminder to take care of my body that is so important to my sense of creative identity. My hands and body are also so intertwined with my role as a parent, which I find so physically demanding. The residency was restorative for me, helping me to better connect with my kid after the time out. In particular I was able to fully access my imagination during the guided meditation as my senses were deprived by the light therapy. This gave me a feeling of creative activation that I'd not felt for a long time. Images were clear in my mind
I would also like to acknowledge the collective pain so present in the world right now and that taking part in an exchange such as this with Little Company is a privilege not accessible to everybody. Freedom of minds and bodies from physical and mental pain should be available to all.