Though her journey as a working artist began quite recently, Crissea Grovenor’s life has always been filled with creativity. With a Mother who worked in the theatre, her childhood was grounded in the performance arts, offering her a colourful environment and a deep love of music. As a young child, she used to paint and draw unusual and abstract images using pastels and charcoal, and she studied clarinet with a principal of the West Australian Orchestra. Moving to Perth at fourteen was truly an awakening for Grovenor; driving across the Nullarbor, then living in Cottlesloe, she became attuned to the Australian Landscape, to the sea, to blue skies and to plenty of sun. It was intoxicating and inspired her to write poetry and engage her imagination.
Fascinated by creativity, Grovenor continued to pursue music, poetry and art, though ironically failed Art at the Leaving Certificate as she could not conform to the curriculum! After traveling extensively through Europe, Grovenor returned to Sydney where she worked at Fisher Library in the University Library of Sydney and pursued arts education through various workshops and courses including Silver Smithing with Ernst Pfenninger, a Swiss Master goldsmith and silversmith; and Contemporary Art Weaving with Therese Stacher Meyer. Grovenor exhibited in a mixed exhibition Surrealistic, Abstract and Works of Fantasy at the Garrison Gallery in Rozelle.
Following this time, Grovenor suffered a crisis of confidence, destroying much of her poetry and artwork, and abandoning her creative pursuits. In the subsequent years, Grovenor’s career steered away from the artistic, though her work has always been imbued with an interest in the world around her and a thirst for knowledge. She has worked at the Australian Associated Press as a Senior Services Computer Operator and during that time travelled intensely within Australia. In 2000, she trained as a professional Equine Therapist in Body-work and Cranio Sacral Therapy. She worked with race horses for ten years then in 2008 participation in a three day clinic with Carolyn Resnick in California inspired her to get her own horses and train them with Carolyn Resnick’s Waterhole Method to Liberty Dance.
In March 2013, following a severe bout of illness, Grovenor enrolled in a course with artist, psychotherapist and creativity expert, Noula Diamantopoulos, Unfolding Your Creative Self. Attending this course was the beginning of Grovenor’s emergence as artist and over the course of 2013 and 2014 she threw her energies into further training at Diamantopoulos’ studio, including Cetta Pilati’s Marble Mosaic Direct Method; The Art of Spontaneous Mosaics; Sacred Geometry; Creative Shaman; Painting with Encaustic Wax; Spontaneous Way; Mixed Media Painting; Primitive Sculptures in Clay; and personal development courses, The Happiness Tree and Yoga for your Brain.
Committed to her continued growth as an artist, in the summer of 2014 and 2015, Grovenor attended a 3 day workshop in the Blue Mountains at the Katoomba studio of Audrey Rhoda, exploring oils and a beeswax layering process. Following this she attended a master class with Audrey Rhoda in March 2016.
In 2014, Grovenor received a Certificate of Commendation from The Mosaic Association of Australia and New Zealand for her work entitled “Evolution of Glyph” in the exhibition, Surface Play, then in 2015 her work was featured in The Goddess Within, an exhibition at a local artist studio. She has sold artworks to businesses and private collectors in Sydney and surrounds, and looks forward to building her career and passion for the arts.
The movement towards my art making originates from various sources. Something moves me, a spark sets me alight. It could be a poem, a found object a leaf hanging from a tree by a spider’s thread.
Maybe it is a piece of music, or an intense emotion that provokes me to write a poem or a walk at dusk. Maybe a significant experience from the past resurfaces. I am intrigued where is this idea image or feeling going to take me. I contemplate while sharing territory with my horses as they munch hay. I am in the present observing the natural world and the spark begins to find roots as I delve and ponder.
Then I might do some research on symbolism, or mythology or whatever feels relevant. I make notes and drawings. What has this process and journey revealed? What medium is indicated? I question I always question. Is it a visual landscape or seascape with strong imagery and symbolism? more suited to my collage style or does it want to express itself abstractly in acrylic layers or be extricated from oils and beeswax layering. Is it about colour, or texture or a call for a specific mosaic design. Maybe the possibilities of encaustics and mixed media beckons.
So then comes the departure point, This embodied journey has evoked an ‘intention’ It is a visceral feeling; and a fluid map of possible direction. Now I begin the work and I abandon all thoughts and ideas. And move with the flow and song of the piece as it manifests.