Putting yourself out there in public, exposing your previously private hobby, passion or activity to scrutiny can be intimidating.
It takes guts. Requires support. Not to mention a dose of talent.
It also takes an investment of time.
It’s SALA Festival month, and all over Adelaide there are people who are risking their reputation, prepared to give it a go by hanging their artwork up in all sorts of spaces to be judged by the rest of us.
Talking Adelaide is full of admiration.
One such person is Suzi Ting, a trained artist (Adelaide Central School of Art) and former high school visual arts teacher who now works as a stylist and producer alongside her husband, photographer Randy Larcombe.
Suzi’s been aspiring to hold a SALA exhibition for some time and this year waited until the last day to shut her eyes, hit “send” and lodge her online entry.
With Randy’s support, she got seven pictures finished and called them Collected.
They’re gorgeous, pastel-coloured, layered drawings, charcoal is the main media.
“In between, I use layers of acryclic both thick and thin, like water colour, sometimes shellac or collaged found papers or printed papers, “ Suzi explains.
The subjects are seemingly inspired by Suzi’s domestic life. “I am a bit of a collector; of recipes, crockery, kitchen objects, and interesting ingredients, also natural objects like seedpods, shark eggs and nests," she says.
“Food memories often appear in my work for example the crockery I inherited from both grandmothers speak also of the moments we were brought together over shared meals. My father is Malaysian Chinese and I've always been interested in the difference in the approach to food between my Chinese side of the family and the anglo side.
“I also work as a prop stylist which means I can now justify, indulge my collecting more legitimately and these collected objects often turn up in my work.”
The titles of the drawings include: memories of laksa; a bowl of comfort; the art of tea; feeling wonton; nanna’s cup, grandma’s bowl; rock, scissors paper; and spilling beans.
“My creative background has been as a secondary art teacher and now photographic producer and stylist. I've always loved making things or helping others tap into their creative side,” Suzi says.
“Juggling this with a young family has led to me getting back to basics with drawing, though I have worked with printmaking, ceramics and painting in the past.
“Drawing is very immediate and suits my busy juggle of kids and work. Drawing for me is about simple mark making and fulfills the most elemental need to document my world in my own way.”
If you want to see Suzi at work and talking first hand about the process and her motivation - watch this great video below by Randy (click on the caption).
Suzi’s work is hanging in the popular café The Stranded Store, on The Strand, in Colonel Light Gardens, until the end of August.
And there’s already a few red dots alongside them.
Get out there and look at some SALA work this month – and admire not just the skill on show but the courage too.