Local art exhibit empowers women, gives to community

Mother, Lover, Sister, Daughter – a celebration of femininity and the beautiful bonds that tie, unite and empower women.

Group and author talks, and drawing workshops were amongst the activities during the event. 
Photo credit: Lachlan Bradbury.

May 16th, 2017.
By Lachlan Bradbury 

The Warringah Creative Space in North Curl Curl was host for the well-received art exhibit Mother, Lover, Sister, Daughter which ran from May 2nd to 14th. Hosted by artists Nicole Ballingall and Sophie Hardcastle, the exhibition aimed to celebrate the concepts of femininity and to empower women through art. The exhibit and its several workshops were met with an overall positive response from attendees.

Ballingall, a seasoned local artist, wished to go against-the-grain of what she sees as an area which  is traditionally known for only showcasing landscapes.

Maternal bonds were one of the themes expressed in the exhibition. Photo Credit: Lachlan Bradbury.

“I’m sick of being safe,” She said, explaining that the Northern Beaches is typically known for exhibiting landscapes and beachscapes.

“I wanted to give back to the community,” Ballingall added, Mother,  Lover, Sister, Daughter acted not only as a display of art, but also gave locals (particularly women) the opportunity to explore female perspectives of art and connect with other women about health, wellbeing, and empowerment.

The exhibition was also one of emerging artist Sophie Hardcastle’s first forays into public art exhibition.

Harcastle (pictured) wished to challenge preconceived notions of the Antarctic landscape. 
Photo credit: Lachlan Bradbury.

Hardcastle, who recently returned from trip to Antartica, saw the exhibition as a chance to challenge the stereotypes:
“Antartica is usually considered a very masculine landscape,” Hardcastle commented, “I wanted to reframe it.”

Several of Hardcastle’s pieces feature photographs of the icy landscapes she captured, with hand-drawn depictions of the female form overlaid on top.

“Women are limitless and empowered.” Hardcastle said.

Pieces featured in the exhibit included sculptures of the female form, oil-paintings, and depictions of motherhood and relationships.

An intimate and theoroputic group session was one of the several workshops which took place during the event. “Working with Sophie is fabulous.” Ballingall commented. Photo Credit: Lachlan Bradbury.

The exhibition was met with an overall positive response from attendees, who were mostly women. The atmosphere during the group-talks was intimate and personal, with many of the women present discussing personal stories and feelings about feminine issues regarding mental and physical health, and the daily struggles associated with being a woman.

Female empowerment was a common theme amongst both artist’s pieces.
 Photo Credit: Lachlan Bradbury.

When asked about the women who attended, Ballingall said, “It gives me  hope.” as she noted that throughout the exhibition it was mainly young women who had been present, whom she described as a group of “fully dynamic women.”

A portion of the proceeds of the exhibition were also donated to the Manly Women’s Shelter, which Ballingall felt was an important thing to do for her community.

Upcoming events for Ballingall include a carving workshop in New England in June, and upcoming events for Hardcastle include an exhibition on her Antartica experiences in August.

You may find more information on Nicole Ballingall on her website www.factory5.com.au
And more information on Sophie Hardcastle on her website

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Above: A selection of work at Mother, Lover, Sister, Daughter.
Photo Credit: Lachlan Bradbury.

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