Lisa Kennedy - Featured Article
How does one juggle ‘their innate desire to create’ with ‘motherhood’?
Lisa Kennedy, a visual artist from regional NSW in Mudgee, has a compelling story which we feel will resonate with many artists nationwide. We are currently preparing for Lisa’s upcoming solo exhibition with our corporate partner WOTSO Workspace in Pyrmont and, as it is International Women’s Day today, we have decided to share her journey. How does one juggle ‘their innate desire to create’ with ‘motherhood’? It was a delight to discover where Lisa’s inspiration and motivation comes from and what she’s working on now.
Lisa is a part of a group exhibition at Gallery NWC in St Leonards for the month of March. A portion of the artists in these shows, like Lisa, have never exhibited their work outside their hometowns. Opportunities such as these, enable them to branch out and have their work viewed by fresh audiences. There are mixed emotions for Lisa as she speaks about her vulnerabilities and excitement. Within her own community, there is a feeling of being loved, a sense of warmth and encouragement. Exhibiting in the city brings with it a fear. It is incredibly courageous for artists like Lisa to step outside their comfort zone.
Lisa is also a mother of a two-year old daughter. All mothers out there know about the juggle in life, where we prioritise our children whilst still needing and wanting to do something for ourselves. It’s not an easy juggle and one which Lisa is akin to. Art is a part of her daily existence. It’s part of her soul and being, an outlet in which she can express herself and find solace in the world.
Over the last couple of years, she has had to adjust her practice to fit in with motherhood. For her, creative expression is an important part of her life and one which needs to be fulfilled. Instead of spending concentrated hours on highly detailed pictures of birds and animals, Lisa has adapted her practice by lowering her expectations of herself and finding other avenues to express herself artistically. “I’ve learnt to adjust by rolling with whatever comes out of me in the moments I have”.
At present she is working on a collaborative project where she is co-writing and illustrating a children’s book. She grabs time while her daughter sleeps in the morning or in the quiet hours of the night–to do what she loves. It offers her a time of stillness amidst the busyness of daily life. Even before motherhood when Lisa worked as a veterinarian, art played an important part in her life. By sitting down and drawing at the end of the day, it became a kind of stress release.
At the beginning of the year, Lisa set herself some realistic goals around her art. She realised that if she didn’t move with intention, the year (and possibly years) would pass her by. The group exhibitions at Gallery NWC, her upcoming feature exhibition at WOTSO Pyrmont and the collaborative project she is working on are things which help Lisa to have focus and structure whilst fulfilling her innate desire to create and share.
Lisa can be found on Instagram @art_by_lisa_lisakennedyart. Her work is for sale and can be viewed in person at Gallery NWC, Level 1, 62 Atchison Road, St Leonards. Solo Exhibition by Lisa Kennedy at WOTSO Pyrmont ‘Gallery 2’ will take place between 21 April 2023 and 14 July 2023. If you would like to meet Lisa, consider attending her ‘Meet the Artist’ event at WOTSO Pyrmont, Thursday 18 May 2023, 5-7pm