Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stress bag

Yeah, I am a real 'stress bag'. I remember in my early 20's, a clairvoyant said to me 'why do you get stressed?' Derrrrrhhhh - like asking me 'Why do you breathe?', so over the years I have tried different strategies including meditaion, massage, pills, self help books - you name it..... About 15 years ago I created a  special series of mixed media fibre based works. I called them 'Put your Problems in a Box'.....[and send them out to the universe or to sea, etc]. It worked for a while. Here are some of the results.

I now accept the fact that I am a stress bag and see it as part of the passion I have for life, my principles, my art and my friends and family. I still get 'stressed' and all too frequently have to suffer the consequences. I feel that putting my problems in a box no longer works for me - the issues are still out there in the ether, so I have a new strategy.
A few days ago I wrote some of my issues on some eucalyptus leaves then added them to my rapidly decaying 'Gumleaf Garland' which was part of the 'Sculpture on the Edge' exhibition last June. It has been hanging over the rail on my deck for 9 months, through all that rain, and has become home to all manner of strange creatures. I love the way it is breaking down - the creatures [some sort of worm and spider judging by the soil droppings and the web structures] are doing a wonderful job. It never ceases to amaze me how Mother Nature takes care of all things. I am allowing her to take my problems and decompose them back to the essential elements to be used as energy in another form, another time, and another place.
Gumleaf Garland in the garden exhibition.
Gumleaf garland today
...and with my 'problem' leaves added.
I think the idea of the Buddhist prayer flags has morphed into my wabisabi consciousness.


  1. Hi N

    I love the idea of worries decomposing...but some of the errkkkier bits of the garland are not for me! Hope the worries drift away and don't return.

  2. vive le stress, présenté ainsi!

  3. Join the club Noella. The Problems in a Box series is a great idea. For me, the best way to keep worries at bay is to create art for hours on end, knowing I won't be interrupted. Bliss!

  4. Beautiful ... in each image story ... :-)

  5. If only we could put our worries in a box, or on a leaf, and thus dispose of them. However, the thinking process required to make these things often excludes extraneous issues from invading the brain, thereby giving us some small respite from care. Just keep working!

  6. I always enjoy your wabisabiart posts, but this time I wanted to reply and say what a great philosophy it is to create visuals to represent the worries and the resolutions. Also, I was lucky enough to see the gumleaf garland when we visited you last July. Your strategy reminds me of the south American worry dolls that you put under your pillow at night so you can sleep stress free. I have seen that work with small children.
    Helen Mc

  7. Love this post Noela, great way to deal with all kinds of stuff, turn it into art. I just put all sorts of old bills through the shredder and into the compost pile, the great circle continues. Thanks

  8. Noela, wat a great way to get rid of your stress, should work this way, you're doing wat you like best, create, relax, forget...... xx

  9. mmm... what a lovely way to help 'let go'.... energy can't be destroyed, so like you say when putting worries in a box they are still there... allowing them to transform in a natural process is much more holistic... transmuting them into something wonderful & life-giving.

    Really appreciating your work, or should that be play, over here noela.