nature

New Work: The Confetti Effect for Happinez...

The confetti is actually over 50 years old - it was in a box in my grandmother’s home many years ago and I’ve kept them all this while. They are made from tiny shapes of paper and I just love them. For the diary shot above, I combined them with petals and pods found outside my studio entrance. The beautiful ribbon is from  Tinctifolia . Little glimpses of joy are never far away.

The confetti is actually over 50 years old - it was in a box in my grandmother’s home many years ago and I’ve kept them all this while. They are made from tiny shapes of paper and I just love them. For the diary shot above, I combined them with petals and pods found outside my studio entrance. The beautiful ribbon is from Tinctifolia. Little glimpses of joy are never far away.

PiaJaneBijkerk_AestheticsOfJoy_birdsnest_confetti.jpg

Here is my latest work for Happinez Magazine, featured in their Intuition edition, out now in The Netherlands. The assignment was to create 6-8 photographs inspired by the book and talks by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Ingrid’s concept with The Aesthetics of Joy is devoted to a simple, powerful idea: that our greatest source of joy is the world around us. The art director wanted me to come up with simple ways to showcase this, through little things in our everyday lives - be it a new page in your diary, light & shadow play, or nature. My assignment was to translate this feeling to a colour range that fitted with their moodboard for the issue. I also needed to give the concept a bit more depth, meaning and spirituality. To say I enjoyed creating this series is an understatement - it was pure joy…

PiaJaneBijkerk_AestheticsOfJoy_flowers_withlight_IMG_0114.jpg

I foraged most of these flowers from the beautiful nature reserve down by the water near my studio.

PiaJaneBijkerk_AestheticsOfJoy_mooncookies_IMG_0060.jpg

Moon cookies! I made these using all natural ingredients with only a little coconut sugar. If you’d like the recipe let me know and I’ll write it up in a seperate post.

PiaJaneBijkerk_AestheticsOfJoy_IMG_0074.jpg

Citrus and pomegranate seeds are bursting with joy! This shot came together beautifully,

PiaJaneBijkerk_AestheticsOfJoy_sparklers_nooverlay_shadowplay_1.jpg

The sparklers were quite smoky and I was worried the studio fire alarm would go off!! It was a tricky shot but I love the effect. And the shadow and light play I created on the studio porch, using the sun as my muse.

xx

The Ever-Evolving Wreath Tutorial...

My ever-evolving wreath for 2018: it’s wild & free, like my heart.

My ever-evolving wreath for 2018: it’s wild & free, like my heart.

How are you feeling as we near the end of the year? The frenzied energy is well & truly upon us! For those like me, who feel… what’s the word… resistant? Yes, that’s what it is for me - resistant…we might feel inclined to retreat and search for solace at this time amidst all the busy-ness. That is what compelled me to write my new book Festive Season Reimagined - to find ways to reconnect with our inner strength, resilience and joy. That’s our intuition - it’s something we all have, something that no one or no thing can take from us: it’s our heart, our jewel, and I absolutely love supporting people in finding their heart and letting it take the lead in making their everyday decisions. It’s a way of life that is unique to you and when you are living it, you’ll know. It’s a wonderful feeling.

PiaJaneBijkerk_everevolvingwreath2018_3.jpg

Last week Diana Moore from Home Beautiful wrote a lovely post about Festive Season Reimagined, featuring an extract on the “ever-evolving wreath”. If you have signed up for my emails and instagram after reading the Home Beautiful post, welcome! I then posted on social media a photograph of my ever-evolving wreath for 2018. It took me only a few minutes to make, and it now adorns the front door. I asked if anyone would like a tutorial and the answer from many was yes. Then I realised what I’d said!

One, I’m not great at tutorials because I work in such a free-flow way and two, it’s the end of the year and life is hectic enough! But it is so much fun to make these wreaths and it’s one of the most effective ways to connect to our intuition, the nature around us and embark on the journey of reflection, so here it is, my super simple tutorial which is just as much a tutorial on intuitive play than it is making the wreath. I’m a 3-stepper, which means whatever I create needs to fit into 3 easy steps because anything more I find we lose our intuitive connection. So, are you ready?

STEP ONE: FINDING…

Find yourself a loop of some sort - it can be a discarded embroidery hoop, a piece of heavy wire that can be looped (even a coat hanger pulled into a round shape, leaving the hook at the top for easy hanging), a bendable branch, anything at all. This one I have is the top of an old basket that someone had thrown away. I love the organic shape of it…

PiaJaneBijkerk_everevolvingwreath2018_4.jpg

The other part of the FINDING is to collect your botanical materials! Find something in abundance that can be the backdrop for your wreath. This year, I decided not to go with green as the backdrop and instead was inspired by a dried up patch of seeded grass in our neighbourhood, a place we have walked by hundreds of times this year, never thinking much of it until I began looking more closely at the flora along the walk to school and found the beauty in it. What can you see when you walk in your neighbourhood?

PiaJaneBijkerk_everevolvingwreath2018_6.jpg

I picked big handfuls of it for the wreath, and also gathered whatever else touched my heart - some beautiful wattle, a few kangaroo paw, golden reeds, flowering lemon verbena, and the star of the wreath: a branch of fuchsia bougainvillea. Then I found some ribbon to hang it with, a few bits of string and my scissors…

PiaJaneBijkerk_everevolvingwreath2018_5.jpg
PiaJaneBijkerk_everevolvingwreath2018_7.jpg

STEP TWO: ASSEMBLING

So for the assembling, I gathered the grass into three bundles. I wanted to have an off-centre wreath, allowing the basket loop to be exposed, so 3 bundles is all I needed, but if your heart wants to have a full covered wreath then you just create more bundles! With the 3 bundles, I tied them onto the loop with string. No fancy floral wire required, just use what you have on hand. And don’t be too precious, perfect or neat. I find the quicker you work the better, otherwise you start to overthink it and criticise your work - if you realise you’re doing that, let those thoughts float away like clouds - there is no place for them here!

PiaJaneBijkerk_everevolvingwreath2018_8.jpg
PiaJaneBijkerk_everevolvingwreath2018_9.jpg

Use the grass bundles as well as the string you’ve used to attach the bundles to the loop as your place of attaching the accent pieces - just stick those pieces into the string and thick grass, it will hold them in place and if it doesn’t, tie a bit more string around to hold it in place. You can keep adding foliage to cover the string until you are happy with it.

STEP THREE: REVIEW

For this step, you need to hang it up either in the place you want it to go, or just on the wall with some tape so you can step away and see it in place. When you step away, you’ll see some empty areas, or you’ll see where you need to tweak the foliage or add more foliage. As my main art medium is photography, I tend to ‘look’ through the lens so to speak, when I look at something I’ve just created - not literally, just in my mind… it’s an automatic thing for me from years of working in photography, but what might help for you is to put your hands up in front of you in the shape of a square camera lens, to allow you to block out all other distractions around the wreath and see it ‘through the lens’. You could also cut a square or rectangular piece of cardboard out of a larger piece of cardboard to act as your ‘review lens’. It might sound silly but it honestly works! It just helps you to focus on what you’ve created and not get caught up in what else is going on around.

When you step back, you may also see bits of grass hanging loose and out of place, so grab your scissors to cut those bits off - don’t pull them, just cut them, otherwise you might end up pulling large chunks out of place. Again, I tend to be loose and free here, not making it too neat, because the beauty is in the freedom (as it is in living whole-heartedly)…

PiaJaneBijkerk_everevolvingwreath2018_1.jpg

After I hung mine in place on the front door, we had a huge storm sweep through the area, but it held up well, there were a few bits loose but I just pushed them back into place. And I still add to it when I see something I like, that’s why I call it ever-evolving, because it’s something you can continue to play with over the season.

I’ve posted more about the making of this wreath in my stories on instagram if you’d like to check it out, my handle is @piajanebijkerk, here it is.

In book news, Festive Season Reimagined sold out of its first print run in less than a month! A huge thank you to everyone who purchased a copy last month. I’ve ordered the second print run which will be ready in the next week or so, for those who are patiently waiting with your orders, thank you! And if you’d like to purchase a copy, please click here for all the details.

But for those who really want to read the book now but aren’t feeling patient, you can purchase the ebook. And today, I’ve decided to do a flash sale for the ebook - just for 48 hours, it’s on sale at only $10. So if you’ve wanted the book but haven’t been able to purchase it for whatever reason, here it is now for you in ebook form, at the lowest price it will ever be, please enjoy…

Reflection is a BIG part of growth at this time of year, and I’m delighted to let you know that Shona Smith - my fabulous podcasting pal & I have released a bonus episode for our podcast “It’s All Up From Here”: it’s all about how to reflect on your parenting. It’s a fun, thoughtful, raw & honest episode, I hope you enjoy it, click here and scroll down to the end to have a listen. You’ll also find our last episode of the season there, all about Christmas or as I call it, the Festive Season. Shona and I couldn’t be more opposite in our feelings about this time of year, so if you feel like a laugh, have a listen! And tomorrow, I have another wonderful announcement that is also for your listening pleasure, to get you well and truly inspired to reflect.

And on Patreon, I have uploaded the next piano composition, with another one coming in a couple of weeks - when you join me there, you are able to download all the songs for the year so far to create a playlist designed to connect you to your intuitive heart space, and learn more behind the scenes of what I’m working on and where I am on my personal journeying.

With love,

Pia xx

A Deck for Wonder-Walking by Amy T. Won

IMG_7107.jpg

My friend across the pacific and fellow artist + heart wanderer Amy Won has just launched her long-awaited kickstarter campaign offering her 2nd edition deck of 32 wonder-walking cards, and I had to share this with you because I know so many of you will love this as much as I do…

39b47cfb6b42467c7a0805c5b97e43f1_original.jpg
c2d209e7dd311b2e64491378b8eedd49_original.jpg

"This is an invitation to the human experience: A call to open our eyes and see more, feel more deeply, and observe closer.”

I absolutely love the way Amy sees the world around her. I have been enamoured with her enchanting watercolours and creative outpourings for years, and I’m so excited for her to be creating this collection and sharing it far & wide. Amy has featured my piano composition titled “All this, yes” from my Spirit & Flight album as her background music to her launch video which is so beautiful, I am honoured. Check out her video here.

31b1fafa0a0177662f14a89c51fe70a0_original.jpg

Amy has poured her heart and soul into this project, she has an incredible eye for detail and an understanding of what we seek to experience in our everyday…

IMG_7106.jpg

Only days into her campaign Amy has reached more than halfway to her goal, and it’s easy to see why when you peruse her page, there is so much to enjoy. I’d love to see her reach beyond her goal to enable her to offer her stretch goals, one of which is a printed version of her beautiful Journal of Wonder-Walking, currently available as an ebook.

I’ve learnt over the years that most people have no concept of how much of our individual time and energy goes into projects like these. I once had someone comment on my first foray into crowdfunding when I self-published Little Treasures: Made by Hand that they were disappointed that once I had reached my crowdfunding goal I was still promoting it and encouraging sales. Rarely having received comments like that in the past, I was dumbstruck and felt guilty for a long time, as if I’d done something terribly wrong by believing in my work and wanting to share and expand it. I began a journey to understanding that most people don’t know how much work, skill and personal funds go into these creations, and that most artists who take the brave steps towards something like crowdfunding or self-publishing, will never receive enough money to pay for their own time because of the current value system of the world, but are incredibly grateful for whatever they receive to pay for the hard costs like printing, framing, and any services they need to outsource. Because I’ve lived this all my life, I couldn’t comprehend that others who have not lived this, did not know this. So hook, line and sinker, this commenter got me! I finally snapped out of it, but learnt a valuable lesson: I gained a knowing from my core that I will always give my all in what I do, and I am allowed to receive money for it too! And so it’s with absolutely pleasure that I encourage and share the work of other artists and creators whose work I adore and know how beneficial it is to our everyday expansion. I know that by investing in work like Amy’s, we are building the world we want to live in…

3456989ff14424e16ee3475534b57dd9_original.jpg

“In a world of vicarious living, we can choose instead to discover life for ourselves… I believe that a reconnection begins with a walk and a wonder.”

IMG_7105.jpg

A big congratulations to Amy for bringing this beautiful work into the world, and I wish with all my heart that you reach your goal so that people around the world can experience their surroundings in a new way. Click on the button below to learn more…

And to visit Amy’s wonder-filled instagram, please click here.

I’m also delighted to let you know that Amy & I are in the midst of collaborating on something amazing together! Which, once we both get through our current projects, we will announce. I’m incredibly thrilled to be working with her and can’t wait to share our news. xx

Festive Season Reimagined by Pia Jane Bijkerk

FestiveSeasoncover_1.jpg

I’m delighted to let you know that my new publication, Festive Season Reimagined is at the printers and will be ready for shipping from October 29!

For those who don’t already know the journey of this book, I wrote the beginnings of it in 2016 and released it as an ebook which was titled The Everyday Alchemy Festive Guide. It was in response to my deep yearning to move through this time of year in a very different way. I was tired of feeling drained by the frenzy of the season, with all the rushing around, consuming, and the general expending of so much valuable energy. This year I decided to embark on creating my own printed version as I had a lot more content to add to it since I'd learnt from another 2 years of experiencing the festive season in this new way. Would you like to see some of the inside pages? Here is a sneak peek…

festiveseason_inside1.jpg
festiveseason_2.jpg

Here is some insight into the contents…

“In this beautiful 80 page handbook, author + artist Pia Jane Bijkerk has created a visually inspiring & intuitively formed anthology of ideas for those among us looking to connect deeper as the year completes its cycle, no matter where we live in the world.”

I created this book for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and essentially, for the child within. It will open up a path of discovery in finding  fresh ways  of experiencing the festive season with great joy  and a sense of renewal, without stimulating  over-consumption and stress. Nature has always been the foundation of all that I create, and you will notice this among the pages. This is one of my favourite new images for the book…

festiveseason_3.jpg

As with all books I create, this one is highly illustrated, combining my photography, stories and sharing ideas of my own as well as those from creative souls around me. I’m releasing a small eco-conscious print run which I am printing locally.

It will retail for $30 AUD, but I am making the first 50 available now for pre-order at a special price of $25. The book will have a soft launch at my next speaking event at the Turn Out fete at the Locomotive Workshop in Everleigh, Sydney on October 27, where I’ll be speaking about the power and importance of intuition in our lives. I’ll be signing books at the event, so for those who have pre-ordered, you can let me know you’ll be at the event and I’ll have your copy available. For those who are not able to come along to the event, you can still pre-order with shipping, and I’ll send it off to you on November 1. It is also available for independent retailers, just send me an email if you’d like to purchase them at wholesale.

And for Patreon members, all receive a 10% discount code they can use across my website for the duration of their patronage. For those not yet a member, you can find out more here.

Thank you to all who have supported me in this project over the last couple of years, through purchasing my original ebook, sharing my work with your own social media networks, and becoming part of my patreon collective to enable me to keep creating freely and wholeheartedly.

FestiveSeasoncover_500px.jpg

I’ll spread the news on social media over the next 2 weeks - lifting my hiatus while I release this into the world. I’d love your help in letting people know about it, so if you would share it on your social media and friends, I’d be so grateful. This is a book I have produced independently, which means I rely completely on us as individuals to share it, purchase it, and support it any way we can. I would love to be able to continue making these types of work and in the future I’d love to grow the collection to include work by others.

Okay that’s it from me for now. Let me know if you have any questions!

With Love,

Pia xx



Sacred Geometry for Happinez Magazine...

happinez_summer_2018.jpg

Here is my latest work for Happinez Magazine, featured in their Zomer (Summer) edition, just out now. The assignment was to create 8 photographs of sacred geometry, with a handmade, organic and natural touch. It was actually very challenging, but so much fun. Researching the meaning behind each symbol was interesting, and coming up with unique ways to show these symbols had my mind in a twist. I went with the flow of the twist, and it all eventually unravelled, creating these photographs over about 4 days in the studio...

PiaJaneBijkerk_happinez_summer2018_square_IMG_0006.jpg

The idea was to start with the simple shapes like square, circle and triangle, and then progressing to the more complex symbols like the dodecahedron, octahedron, tetrahedron, icosahedron. Everything from this shoot I made from materials I had already in my home (like the collection of marbles from my childhood) and studio, as well as fallen flowers and branches from the neighbourhood...

PiaJaneBijkerk_happinez_summer2018_circle_IMG_6216.jpg
PiaJaneBijkerk_happinez_summer2018_cube_IMG_0044.jpg

These perspex cubes were part of my old stylist's kit - I'd had them made about ten years ago. I love the play of nature with them here, the soil and roots and sand make the shot. 

PiaJaneBijkerk_happinez_summer2018_dodecaeder_IMG_0030.jpg

This gorgeous Japanese handmade dodecahedron was given to Laly by my dear friend Kylie on one of her trips to Japan a few years ago. When I have a commissioned shoot like this, I walk through my house looking for inspiration, and when I saw this on Laly's shelf I knew it had to be in this shoot, and it made me smile to know that it was given by Kylie, so special. The bougainvillea grows in abundance at the entrance of my studio building, and combined with this fabric from Major & Tom, this became my favourite photograph of the collection. 

PiaJaneBijkerk_happinez_summer2018_icosaeder.jpg

And then came the biggest challenge of all: the mother of all symbols, the icosahedron. This was the only symbol I didn't have a plan for, and left it completely up to my intuition to figure it out. Which was apt - the icosahedron symbolises water, which is as we know all about movement, flow and change. It's also connected to emotions, and can be used to enhance the creative process. The process for creating this was beautiful - I played with different materials, and then before I knew it I was being guided to paint some bamboo skewer sticks with streaks of white, then I cut them into sets of equal lengths and laid them ever so carefully onto this stunning backdrop - a lightly waxed indigo dyed piece of fabric given to me as a gift from one of my mentor clients, Bernadette. I love that these beautiful handmade gifts that I've lovingly received over the years have become a part of my work, it shows the power of the collective and how we can enrich each other's creativity (remember this little velvet box?).  Through this process, I didn't know what the outcome was going to be - I didn't see the end result and then work toward it, instead I allow each step to happen with absolutely no knowledge of what is about to transpire. I understand some people become frozen with fear if they don't have a concrete plan for everything, but I get excited. To me it shows there is so much room for possibility, and my intuition is free to play. I placed eucalyptus buds at each point. The second shot here I just love - I messed up the pieces to show the transience, which for me is just as beautiful - to create beauty, and then let it go. 

I made some video footage of the behind the scenes which I'll put together and share on my Patreon page for those who are interested in the behind the scenes. 

xx

 

 

Aboriginal Shibori Workshop...

PiaJaneBijkerk_aboriginalshiboriworkshop_IMG_7231.jpg

One Sunday last October I attended a wonderful workshop at the artist run exhibition space, Barometer in Paddington. The Memories of Country Aboriginal Shibori workshop was hosted by Eva Nargoodah and her daughter Ivy who are from Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia, as well as Kirsten Smith from Memories of Country and Alison Muir from Muir and Muir

I've never done a dye workshop before, and I wanted to do one that involved using Australian Native plants and foliage. Sitting with Eva and Ivy, learning about how they have incorporated this knowledge (which, beautifully, was passed to them from Kirsten) of dyeing into their everyday creative process and expanded it to create their own unique dye pots using bush medicine, was very special.

Here's one of my little bundles, ready to go into the dye pot.

Here's one of my little bundles, ready to go into the dye pot.

A few of the workshop attendees beautiful bundles gathered on the pavement outside the gallery, awaiting the dye pot.

A few of the workshop attendees beautiful bundles gathered on the pavement outside the gallery, awaiting the dye pot.

I made two silk scarves at the workshop, one using freshwater Mangrove Bark and the other using Eucalyptus, along with wrapping them around pieces of rusty iron, steel wool and fresh leaves to create patterns. After letting the cloth bundles sit in the dye pot for a while, we all took them home in small plastic bags and left them to sit in a dark area for another week, before rinsing them out and drying them on the line. They are the most beautiful pieces of silky cloth, I love them and hang them in our room when I'm not wearing them as head scarves...

PiaJaneBijkerk_aboriginalshiboriworkshop_IMG_7233.jpg

"Country holds layers of memory – we memorialise our chosen countries using their indigenous dyes and patterns on cloth to reconnect and raise awareness of the history beneath. In remembering we also uncover earlier selves and collective memories from our ancestoral histories." Memories of Country. 

Here are some more photographs from the incredible scarves that Eva, Ivy, Kirsten and Alison made, which were available to purchase during the exhibition...

For more information, you can read this article from dyehaus about the dyes, and you can follow Kirsten's creative bush adventures on instagram or facebook. I also met Abi Rae at the workshop, and have loved observing her make & sell her incredible creations via instagram, you can follow her here @leafandcloth. Also check out Global Sisters for beautifully made pieces, enabling women all over the world to become financially independent.  

xx

International Women's Day...

self-portrait, capturing joy... "dance like no one is watching" March 2016  .................................................................

self-portrait, capturing joy... "dance like no one is watching" March 2016

.................................................................

In the imbalance of our still-standing patriarchal society, there has been the need to mark one day of the year as International Women's Day. Is it just me who finds this absurd? Because obviously, every day is #internationalwomensday. I've seen posts on social media to celebrate "the strong women", and calls for women to "be bold". Because we live in a society with a skewed perspective, being bold & strong is what is seen to be 'best'. But here is what I've learnt: As a young girl, I was taught by example that the only way I could be heard was to be loud - a characteristic I did not possess - to talk over the top of the dominant men in my life (& there were many!). But when the fire in me sparked, triggered by a topic I was passionate about & needed to be heard, I was told to shhhh, shut up, be quiet, and "who do you think you are!". This I know is not unfamiliar to many, and has been acceptable behaviour in the past. But now, we are in transition. The female energy is bursting forth and it's pretty incredible to be alive right now, to be witness & part of it. And here's the crux of it: Women don't need to be 'bold' to exist. We don't need to be loud. We can be soft, we can be quiet, we can be gentle, or whatever the fuck we feel like being in the moment. We are enough, just as we are right now. 
Right now. And always. 


I've not told this story before, but when I was birthing Laly, I had the most wonderful knowing - all the bullshit I'd been fed over the years about being 'lesser' because I was female was stripped bare as I felt the eternal flow of birthing, of being female - there is nothing stronger or bolder in life than to be female: We ARE it. 


And to restore balance the call is to recognise & celebrate the feminine energy in you - no matter if you're male or female. To recognise & celebrate the feminine energy in nature and life. This is a special time of change in the world, and all of us are a part of it. We are opening. 

 

.................................................................

Posted on instagram on Saturday, March 11, 2017. Here are some comments from the post:

 

jesse.made.itYes, yes & beyond yes! My perspective of these particular times has been exactly this...an opening...a time for healing...an emerging of what needs to come forth. It's been hard to explain to others, so it makes me feel at ease to read your thoughts. I feel confident as an American we will learn our most important lessons during these most challenging times. Where we are is exactly where we need to be. And, the female energy will rise because of it! ✨✨✨

 

anthesisbotanicalsYes, yes and yes!! As a female, and the mother of a male, I want {with ALL MY HEART!} to celebrate the feminine and masculine that shines through me, those I love, those I find hard to love and those I share the planet with. If I can achieve this I know I am evolving, expanding and growing. This energy that waxes and wanes is most certainly not of one gender only. Our genitals and genes are just exterior markers on maps that illustrate worlds we have yet to explore. Our energy is first and foremost HUMAN! Thank you @piajanebijkerk - Thank you!! Here's to the feminine AND masculine within us all. Here's to faith, love and tolerance. They have ALWAYS been the victors - no matter what the war. 💛💛💛

 

nylaadamsPreach, sister. Your words helped me connect with why my gut/heart finds this day absurd too. For me, it trivializes the all-pervasive feminine power that flows through ALL. I get that this day may foster discussion for some... but when women unapologetically own the power of the feminine every day, there is no need for a 24 hour reminder. Without intending to, the day is actually trivializing and demeaning. And who are we reminding of the "value" of women with this day?? Certainly not other women. There's no international men's day for a reason. When we no longer identify as a group who needs this "type" of recognition, we will finally realize that, as you say, we ARE it.