~Michelle Saleeba From rifle sketches on deployment, to sketchbook doodles on planes, Ben Pronk is finding his artistic feet, and a sense of meditative calm in the process of realistic drawing. Working predominantly in portraiture there is an intensity and often an intimacy in Ben's work which is visually compelling. Combined with a sense of fun as he plays with medium, colour and symbol, you sense the release he gets from his creative process, as well as his enthusiasm for making art. A trip through Ben's portfolio shows an artistic awakening that is going from strength to strength. Army Art: What is your personal artistic journey? Ben Pronk: I’d never really done any art at school or as
~ Michelle Saleeba The most striking element of Ian Young's style is his sensual engagement with organic form. Traversing materials from clay and wax, to wood, bronze and photography, Ian is a versatile artist working skilfully across multiple mediums and techniques. Producing pieces that have strength and boldness in their gentle curves. Ian's affinity with natural forms, and his practiced ability to capture the essence of a subject, belies the complexity of knowledge and depth of skill he has with his tools and materials. Army Art: Describe how you came to start making art. Ian Young: My father gave me a set of chisels when I was a teenager and I began whittling pieces of wood. I scul
~Michelle Saleeba Chris McCalman has been involved with Army Art for 35 years. Drawing on her love of art and her skill at bringing people together Chris's continued participation, enthusiasm and hard work have ensured the annual charity exhibition has been a repeated success. This year Chris has taken on the role of Volunteer Co-ordinator. I was really interested to know how Chris became involved with Army Art, and what has motivated her to stay connected all these years. You won't be surprised to read it's the opportunity to give back to the community, combined with a general sense of wellbeing she feels from being a volunteer herself. Consistent themes amongst our Army Art volunteers.
~Michelle Saleeba This May is National Volunteer Week in Australia, and there is good evidence that volunteering not only benefits our communities it is hugely beneficial for us. There is something enormously gratifying about volunteering which leaves us feeling as though we get more out of it than we give. Volunteering has been shown to be fantastic for both our mental and physical health, and we feel it. We feel the benefits of being physically active along with that uplifting sense of social connection and belonging, and now researchers are measuring it! There is evidence that volunteering is particularly beneficial as we age, to stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness that can
~Michelle Saleeba From a young age Beth Law was encouraged by her parents towards self expression through drawing and painting. On completing high school Beth started studying art at Perth TAFE. This experience fostered a lifetime love of attending art classes run by professional artists. As for many people it was a good teacher who taught lessons that went well beyond the curriculum. For Beth, this person was Curtin University sculpture teacher Nola Farman who helped Beth to believe in herself and her creativity. A lesson that Beth, herself a high school art teacher, was no doubt able to pay forward with her own students. Retiring from her 30 year teaching career in 2006, Beth has embra
~ Michelle Saleeba I sat down for a Q&A with established WA glass artist and Army Art committee member Merilyn O'Shannessy to find out more about her stunning sculptural glass pieces and what motivates her to volunteer. MS: What inspired you to become involved with Army Art? MO: As an exhibitor, it was disappointing to see Army Art having the problem of obtaining committee members to keep the event going. As I have been volunteering for many years with other organisations, I decided to become involved to regenerate the event so it can continue in to the future. Tell us about your history of volunteering in the community, and why volunteering is important to you? I have been volunteering for