Joan Conway: Poet/Artist
I approach creativity by the back road, curious at what I will discover along the way. Diverse landscapes call to me. Unconventional routes of learning intrigue me. When I encounter clear vistas or uncomfortable terrain, I welcome each.
For the first twelve years of my adulthood I lived under the watchful eye of the Seven Sisters Mountains. There I birthed two precious sons (now wonderful young men), grew organic gardens, and created a home business, ‘Florae’, collecting and pressing wild flowers for a variety of homemade products from candles to paper.
I emerged from the bush in the mid-nineties and took my first creative writing course from artist/poet Leslie Barnwell. This resulted in an ongoing passionate relationship with poetry, nurtured by further courses from writers Gary Geddes, Sheila Peters, Leanne Boschman and Jacqueline Hoekstra and too many workshops to mention.
More recently I have combined this love for the written word with collage. I use words with images to express my relationship with myself and others, as well as my quest for beauty and spirit. On this path, I have traveled with art therapist Sheri Gaynor on a thirty day expedition, creating intention through art journaling, as well as with Annie Rousseau– facilitator with the ‘Painting Experience’, who introduced me into the wild territory of intuitive painting.
From the years 2000-2010 I have brought my commitment to the value of artistic expression to my work with youth at the alternate school, organizing many art projects from mask making to murals. It is a tremendous gift to participate in this process, watching young people gain greater clarity about themselves as they explore different mediums in a nurturing atmosphere.
In community, I organize and lead workshops, create group art shows and facilitate poetry circles, always with the intent of midwifing people to celebrate their own voice. I believe that we all have within us the ability to explore and live our lives more fully, more freely, when we embrace our innate creative selves.
I invite you to share in this journey with me.