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Happy Chance : Creative Gathering : Northern NSW

  • Jo Olive Studio Doon Doon Road Doon Doon, NSW, 2484 Australia (map)

Happy Chance is a creative workshop weekend and a special gathering.


It is two immersive days of natural dyeing, bookbinding and experimental mark-making in the pristine Doon Doon Valley in Northern NSW.

At its very core, this weekend is all about the liberation and acceptance of your creative self – no matter what that is or how it looks! You can leave your inner critic and your self expectations at the farm gate! It’s about challenging yourself to let go of every little (and big) doubt you’ve ever had about making marks and crafting beauty. It’s going to encourage you (with cake and tea and laughter) to create without boundaries, to experiment and to question the norms. You’ll ask, what is drawing, what is a book and what is my visual language and you’ll celebrate every incident, accident, mistake and “failure”. It’s about trusting the creative process, trusting your inner voice and allowing yourself to switch off that oh so critical brain!

Over two full days, Jo & Ellie will be guiding you through a number of projects that will inspire you to keep making for months after you leave! We’ll be crafting a long stitched hand-bound sketchbook, amply filled with naturally dyed pages plus an experimental book-binding session with pages gleaned from our experiments in making marks. We will be folding fun instant books, pounding flora into DIY art brushes and wrapping our final works in a custom furoshiki. – all within the surrounds of Jo’s country studio and gardens. From beginning to end these two days are a meditation on filling the soul with beauty and calm and with extended lunches for stimulating conversation and a no-rush policy, this event is one of relaxation, experimentation, inspiration and ease.

While this workshop is more about the process than the outcome, you will go home with finished pieces as well as a full-of-possibility bubbling over brain. Ellie & Jo are both practicing artists, working in their own instinctual styles. They’re excited to share their processes while helping you discover your own visual voice, or just have a weekend of delving deeply into a thoughtful mindful yet extremely fun process.

Dates: September 16 & 17, 2017

When: 10am- 3pm each day

Where: Jo Olive Studio 574 Doon Doon Valley Northern NSW

Cost: Early Bird $300 / Regular $350

We will make:
+ Botanically dyed paper
+ 2 x hand bound bespoke books – one with botanically dyed pages, one with instinctual mark-making pages
+ A hand painted furoshiki
+ Smaller ‘make mistakes & more past fear’ books
+ Paint brushes from nature

Workshop fee includes morning tea (home baked cakes) and long lunch (vegetarian), and as many cups of tea you need during the day. All paper and fabric materials are included in the cost. Accommodation is not included – please ask us for a list of nearby places that will make your weekend feel like the best retreat ever!

Jo Olive  is an artist and multidisciplinary maker whose work is characterised by an enduring interest in the mapping of place, the fugitive nature of memory and the documentation of her emotional and historical connection to land. Her work favours intuitive mark-making, abstraction and the automatism of line. It is an intensely personal, cathartic creative process in which visual elements are simultaneously lost and found through the physicality of scratching, sanding, puncturing, concealing and disclosing. Her current practice includes mixed media works on paper and timber, drawing, painting, mark making, printmaking and the crafting of artist tools. As a maker, she is also able to interpret elements of her arts practice into utilitarian objects that transform the everyday, objects such as textiles and letterpress paper-goods.  |||  IG@jo.olive.artist

Ellie Beck is an artist working primarily with textiles, with a nature based underpinning. Her work evolves from time spent in quiet moments in her rainforest home as well as immersed in the domestic duties of motherhood. Ellie finds she is most creatively herself when she moves past fear and allows a freedom flow. She works with botanical and natural dyes, loom weaving, hand stitching and crochet, but often finds herself drawn to paper, texture, found objects, photography and writing, as well as cooking, flower play and more. Being a multi-creative means that Ellie finds everyday a new experience of developing and discovering her artistic voice – not having boundaries and rules to her practice. She shares her creative and slow living world through her popular Instagram @petalplum and @ellie.beck.creative  and blog Petalplum.

Later Event: November 11
Create Slow : Stitch, Dye & Weave; Yamba