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Creatively Speaking

The adventures of a travel concierge


Dear Friends, I'm delighted to share the latest interview in my Creatively Speaking series where I'm sharing conversations with artists, creatives, dreamers, doers and those pursuing their passions with the aim of discovering their story and inspiration.  Today's conversation is all about travel.  Travel has had me under her spell for many years - it happened during my first big overseas trip in my early twenties. I headed off to travel around Europe with six girlfriends for six months.  What an adventure we had and so many memories were created - we still talk about it today! I was excited to catch up with Jean Wethmar from Glam Girls travels who also has a love for travel (is there anyone that doesn't???); so much so she set up her own travel business taking small groups of women on travel adventures to India, Morocco, Africa and more. I could listen to Jean's travel stories for ages but all good things must draw to...

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Frida, heartfelt thanks and …. the winners are


Dear Friends, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all the wonderful messages, shares, reposts and support I've had for my exhibition - Homage to Frida.  It was an amazing week.  From opening night, to celebrating Frida's birthday with champagne, re-creating our Frida look and doing the biggest, highest most colourful flower crown yet to talks about the exhibition (and my first Facebook live!) - it has been one big celebration of Frida and a whole lot of fun.  My creative cup is overflowing and my heart is full! To be honest, doing a solo exhibition was a big step for me on my photography journey.  It wasn't until my sister Meg pointed out that I was doing a SOLO exhibition, that it sunk it.  It was an OMG moment.  If I thought about it for too long, I may never have done it. It was only through the encouragement of friends, family and...

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The enduring legacy of Frida Kahlo

Frida with Costa Rican singer,  Chavela Vargas

I was first introduced to Frida Kahlo when I did an art elective during my science degree (we could choose two elective subjects from any discipline - most chose to enhance their major study, I chose to do an art and a music subject).  I vividly remember our lecturer talking about Frida, her life, and her paintings.  Drawn to her style and the way she depicted her pain and suffering through her paintings, Frida has had a lasting impact on me.   I've been fascinated by her art and her life ever since.  Frida's art, her incredible personal story, her strength and bravery touch people in deeply personal ways as many can relate to her life and see some of her experiences reflected in their own (even if only a little).  Her legacy seems to become stronger and stronger as the years go on with new generations of people and in particular...

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Homage to Frida – A photographic exhibition

Frida blog banner

This exhibition was inspired by four women who bonded over their love of Frida Kahlo and how Frida’s story connected them to their own stories of pain, vulnerability, and their struggles to make sense of it all. The personal nature of Frida’s work and her determined spirit are reasons why so many of us gravitate to her. The women who developed this body of work are photographer Kris Ashpole; hair and make-up artist, Sabrina Melei, performing artist, Carly-Anne Evans; and stylist and set designer, Meg Ashpole.   The series aims to tell the story of Frida’s experiences and her struggles with the traumatic physical and psychological events that took place during her life.  Objects and stylistic cues are used to reference the autobiographical nature of her work, the ever-present themes of death and questions of mortality, her strong individualistic nature, and her suffering.  Exhibition Events:   We are hosting several events throughout the week: Thursday 5th July, 6-8pm:   Opening night ...

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The life of a professional cabaret dancer


When you meet someone following their dream, leading a very different life to you; you just have to find out more.  From dance classes in rural NSW to the stage of the Paris Lido, Leah's amazing dance career has taken her around the world from the Cannes Film Festival to the Warsaw Opera, with 6 months in a circus motorcycle act thrown in for good luck!  Leah sure is kicking up her heels and living the dream. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting and photographing Leah in Paris recently - we had such an amazing time taking photos in some of Paris' most iconic locations. Currently dancing in a new show in Macau while on a break with Le Lido, Leah generously took time out from her schedule to put her feet up and chat about her life as a dancer. Tell us about yourself, your background and what motivated you to...

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The creative process of a Roman jewellery designer

John Hopper

Coming home with mementos from our travels is something we all love to do and I'm no exception.  I see so many beautiful things on my travels, but to be honest I get a little worried that something I would love to have at home just won't get through our strict Australian customs laws.  So sometime ago, I decided that I would collect jewellery - a great way to instantly bring back memories of my travels. Last year, my trip to Italy was short one and I was focussed more on photography than searching for a piece of jewellery that would remind me of Italy and that I'd love forever (my preference is stumble across it rather than seek it out).  Based in Naples and then Rome, it was a short trip and I came home empty handed, but with lots of incredible memories and a stack of photos. Back home, I...

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Naples, a Vespa and Caravaggio


If you love Italy and art, like I do then Naples, Vespas and Caravaggio are three words that will make your heart skip a beat.  The question is, what do these three things have in common and how have they influenced and inspired Jacqueline Bawtree, photographic artist, writer and storyteller? Welcome to the first in a series of interviews called Creatively Speaking where I'm sharing conversations with artists about their creative inspiration and processes - something I'm endlessly interested in as I continue my own artistic practice in photography. Jacqueline and I started working on this blog back in 2014 and it's been an on-going conversation that we've finally finished to launch this interview series.  Jacqui and I first met when we both worked for a communications agency in Sydney.  Over the years we've shared a similar journey pursuing something we both love - photography.  I have deep admiration for Jacqui's work and I’m excited that she's my first interview...

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