Life is full - creation, erosion, rebirth exudes my every movement...
Having been back in Australia for less than four months, I am blown away by the enormity of everything that has happened. Learning how to stay balanced within myself as I fly from the highs to the lows, savouring everything in between for the lessons both obvious and unseen.
- At times, not much else to do but give thanks to spirit (spirit: the molecular level of energy [i.e.everything] that connects ALL things; thoughts; ebbs and flows and ripples), for all the guidance and support that I receive - unbounded, unconditional extremes of relating that continually teaching me how to delve deeper into love and acceptance. And so life is a showering of reciprocal blessings… whether circumstance seems ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There is a continuum of experience and for sure, things are never what they seem.
Collaborations Festival: Big Thank You to Arlene, Ned and little Kashali for inviting me to paint in the 4th year of their amazing magical festival. It was undoubtedly one of the most grounded and open hearted festivals I have been lucky enough to be a part of. Spirit had it from the start. Minutes after confirmation came through, I ran into Adam and Mellow, a beautiful couple that I met and played with at Bush week… Standing in lifeline, chatting about the outcomes of life’s mysterious unravellings, Mellow told me that she had just received a cancellation in Bali and was now coming to Collaborations without a plan. Adam being super magical with a camera made us a complete team and spirit birthed the eventuation of the avatar vision for Collaboration Festival. What happened in Collaborations was beyond our wildest dreams, with Mellow becoming more and more spectacular as I layered her with new skin… Live Body Painting of Sacred geometry had a deep impact upon us and those who watched us. It brought to life the sense of us all being on a spiritual journey - out and about to discover our own inner magical creature and mathematical perfection of our soul… Yes indeed this was a perfect piece :) Crowned with Mellow’s own exquisite headpiece creation, skulls and feathers alluding to our insides and outsides whilst the blue sky body of the avatar, and the overlaying threads of sacred geometric lines spoke of the space in between the physical and non-physical worlds. Collaborative practice cannot be undermined. Working together is the recipe for alchemic transformation of ourselves; and humanity at large.
As with all faery tales, the joy of success is not the whole picture, and it seems that we must wade through life’s breakdowns in order for lessons to be revealed. Without wanting to fail twice, I am cautious about how to tell this story, a story about one woman feeling exposed and exploited through my work - an extremely painful outcome that stretches far from my intentions - and yet points to a discrepancy in this process worth examining. Whilst I do not want to add to the feelings of exploitation by sharing this story from my perspective it feels important to share what I have learnt:
A few weeks ago, I met this beautiful woman. She has autochthonous (better word for indigenous) lineage and I felt connected to her from the moment I saw her. I was both excited and tentative to tell her about my project here in Australia because of the intimacy of it, the honesty and trust required for it to come about authentically, and the sensitivity of the issues between original and introduced Australians.
Despite feeling confident of my intentions, my anthropological background gave me perspective into the sensitivity of this work against the backdrop of Australia’s bloody history. I felt sick to the stomach at the thought that I could and most probably would be grouped into “white Australia”. I do not relate to the culture of anglo mentality; I have eastern european/israeli jewish background. I have barely lived in Australia throughout my adult life and for as long as I have known the dirty details of Australia’s history (conquer, kill, attempt genocide, effectively give up/fail, give money to make everything better, and largely sweep the situation under the carpet), I have only felt less and less a part of this story. It is not uncommon for me to feel like stranger here in Australia, amongst Christmas carols and “Australia Day” bbq’s. And yet - it cannot be denied, I am white - I was born here, in Sydney - The first time I met an Original person was in high school, where there were two originals out of 600 students, about half of which were from various Asian countries. 13 years travelling around the world and living in continents of every corner, sitting with the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich, I do not wish to be grouped into any category. I am a human, on earth, trying to make my way, my intention is to serve humanity and the earth as much as I possibly can - but I am a human - and there is no doubt that I must feed myself first in order to feed the world.
“The Spirit of Oz” highlights the significance and value of non-financial exchanges. It is a way of making this experience accessible to those who cannot afford to pay whilst allowing me the opportunity to create something meaningful whilst I live here in Australia. It is a simple exchange. Art for Art. You can either pay me for the artwork and its entirely yours - or you don’t pay for it and its yours to enjoy and mine for all intents and purposes. For me, this is like maths. The finished artwork becomes my property - my art, for the purpose of sustaining me and my life so that I continue creating projects that serve the earth and humanity. As money is just another form of energy, one that the world recognises with ease, selling my art is how I intend to continue making it...
Undermined by this discussion of money is the reality, that of a far deeper exchange between myself, the one I paint and the rest who see the work, than money could possibly offer. The energetic exchange of body painting is powerful and I imbue my brush strokes with intention of well-being and abundance. Those who get it, shower me with blessings for my life and I feel the blessings ripple back and forth. It is hard to express quite how profound a gifting ceremony this process can be and has been.
Here in Australia, I have encountered a different experience; aka ‘a big fucking mess’. Indeed, the road to hell is paved with good intentions...
So, what happened…? in short: I didn't manage that the paperwork was read and understood, nor were my release forms signed before we began and completed the work. I wasn’t clear as clear can be. Work was done, confusion was met, trust was broken and everyone ended up feeling shit. Of course there are plenty of wonderful details to this story but I won't bore you all with that...
Despite having to rubbish one of the most powerfully stunning and magical pieces… I have officially learnt a few extremely important lessons that I wish to share:
Lesson #1. Do not rely on people to read paperwork! I must be accountable for people understanding what this is all about.
Lesson #2 - Read documents out loud to ensure clarity and chose the images together for behind the scenes social media posts.
Lesson #3. State the value of the money-free exchange so people understand what they are receiving. ** Even magical faeries who live as humans have to eat…
Lesson # 4 - Add cancellation clause in contract.
It has been a painful and very important round of lessons. I stayed in Australia because of distinct vision to connect with the original australians and paint. I have dived into the fire as I tend to do and entered a very complicated and sensitive arena of Australia’s people, the historical-to-present relationship and dialogue between white and black. I feel like half the issues are lying dormant because people are not talking about them and so I invite conversation in this area... Better we learn how to engage through respectful dialogue and discussion rather than silence ourselves for fear of saying the wrong thing. This is how we grow to understand one another and heal.
Having been burnt, and run out of steam for now, the project is on hold while the ash settles and lessons solidify. Many other wonderful things are in the making and its important to focus on what we want to create.
As a fiery faery, Its not easy for me to be still. It never has been. I have always been a frenetic spirit, darting like a firefly from here to there to everywhere… I have grown to understand that I must harness this energy if I wish to expand in the ways of my dreams that are so enormously huge. And so here I am, ready and willing to embrace the settled life for a time.
I arrived in my old home of Mullumbimby a few days ago, a place known as the biggest little town in Australia. Once upon a time felt like home, once again, …could be. I am going to stay here for a while, grow some roots, connect to the land and myself. Blessed to be welcomed back by dear friends, old acquaintances from the streets - feels like family. Staying in a little caravan thanks to Avichai and Sarah, I enjoy my moments playing with their magical 3 year old son ‘Khayam’, (meaning: existence), brings joys to my every moment whilst reminding me how wonderful it actually is that I still have time to myself… Grateful for what is.
Last week was my birthday, a celebration of my own existence. I got an opportunity to acknowledge a pattern that has run through my life - moving too fast for my own good. Born in a flurry I smashed my way passed my mum’s pelvis and covered my head with big bumps and bruises before I had even begun. I feel like I have been racing my way through life for some reason and now, 31 years young, its time to slow down. All the goodness of life must be savoured in order to be felt. I have had the biggest year of my life and its time to sit with it all… and breathe it in. Digest the journey and consolidate my being-ness.
For my fellow seekers, travelling the path of exploration, integration and self-reflection; Asking the questions: “How can we connect to ourselves even deeper; see ourselves in each other; and celebrate the earth through everything we create in life?”.
May we learn how to talk to one another, see truth through the experiences of one another, and bless the process of growth no matter how painful it can be… Life is a constant process of hurting and healing. Nothing more and nothing less. It is perfect in being imperfect. Moving on, letting go with love, and opening our hearts to infinite possibility. Life’s too short to hold on to anything.
Blessings of peace to all.
16 years world traveller, internationally recognised award winning body painter with a background in Anthropology, Orly delves deep into the enquiry of what it means to be a human being and ceaselessly expresses her art whilst following her heart. Nowadays, specialising in mimitism (camouflage), Orly's current expressions are a moving living creative and expansive entity that represents her passion for re-merging humanity with the earth from which we came, sustainable conscious living, healing the sacred feminine as we learn to respect our mother earth and advocacy for balancing commercial gain with global and local contributions.