1. Tell us about you, your creative journey and how Inside Art Space came about.
Hi! I'm Sherry - the real Mrs Q! I'm a Perth based artist and educator who enjoys making sculptures and taking photos.
A bit about me - I grew up in country WA, graduated with a BA in Art from Curtin University in 2003, I then spent 9 years living in Melbourne, where I was employed in the arts and started my art practice. I have exhibited in artist-run spaces and public galleries around Australia and overseas. I also completed my Graduate Diploma in teaching over east so I could teach art in schools.
Misty Canyon 2013, sculptural installation at Incu Melbourne. Photo by Jesus Manongdo.
After living in Melbourne, I decided to return to Perth and have been busy with my art, teaching, family and raising my daughter Oona. I started Inside Art Space because art and art-making is my passion and I enjoy sharing art and its benefits with kids. Young students can realise their passion for art through making, becoming confident in themselves, having fun, learning about artists, thinking about the world differently and experiment with alternative ways of making that aren't available in schools. Also, I felt as an employed teacher, it would be great to offer specialised, focussed art teaching that would complement the curriculum. I've always had the intention of keeping the class sizes small to offer individualised attention to each of the students.
2. Can you tell us about some creative career highlights?
I have been practising as a visual artist for over 10 years. In my practice, I like to explore themes such as the landscape and cultural heritage and often use found objects to explore the feelings and memories they evoke. One of my career highlights was when I was invited to participate in a prestigious group exhibition at the gallery at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC in 2012, called Lie of the Land: New Australian Landscapes.
In 2013, I went overseas to do a 3-month art residency in Manila, Philippines. The residency had so much personal significance for me as it is my cultural heritage and I hadn't been to the Philippines since I was a young child. It allowed me to experience my heritage directly and reconnect with extended family. I ended up meeting my husband over there! Overall it was an unforgettable experience!
And I was the lady who made the giant tent sculpture out of soft toys at Sculpture by the Sea in Cottesloe 2018! I was very grateful to receive financial support for this project. All the toys were sourced from charity shops around Perth and also from online marketplaces. It was a big, ephemeral work in a very public place, so logistically and technically it was quite a challenge!
Pictured in front of Sly Village, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2018. Photo by Richard Watson.
3. How do you incorporate creativity into everyday life with your daughter?
Children are instinctively creative. Oona spends a lot of time with me either working in the art studio or preparing for classes so she is exposed to art and creativity a lot!.
Aside from that, as a family, we also do creative things every day both structured and unstructured. This can be anything from reading a picture book at bedtime and talking about the story and pictures, drawing or creative family challenges! Oona is almost 6 and quite competitive so turning creativity into a "challenge" is a huge motivator for us and her to be creative at the moment. We often do family drawing challenges that are timed - I let her pick the theme and then dad chooses the winner! Being creative in the kitchen is also fun. Last night we did a "make your own milkshake" challenge. We used a pen to draw different ingredients onto cards and each person picked them out of a bowl and made a milkshake with their picked ingredients.
4. What is on the horizon for Inside Art Space now that business restrictions are lifting?
We decided to pull our class program when the virus came in March, then the business restrictions came in, so during that time, we were able to focus on rebranding and creating our new website. We have also increased our online offering to include a beautiful selection of art books and art kits.
Over the next few months, we are going to be focussing on our blog and building up our community engagement. We will be offering an online drawing class, and have an interview series - this is the first one, as well as book reviews so you can see how amazing and inspiring these books are. And of course, art-making, teaching tips and product reviews!
Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, we are getting ready to relaunch an online class and soon our term program. We decided to take more of a cross-disciplinary approach with this term's program with and integrate it more with other subject areas, so more STEAM and literacy focussed, but still the same art-making fun!
To find out more about Mrs Q.s artwork, you can see her artwork here, or watch a video here