pia's photos

DUST by Organic Merchant...

Chocolate Nut Muffins  by Organic Merchant, Photographed by Pia J B.

Chocolate Nut Muffins by Organic Merchant, Photographed by Pia J B.

It’s no secret that I’ve been an enthusiast of naturopath Chalimah Jeanne’s organic teas for many years. I first came across her collection when we moved to Sydney in 2011, while wandering through Paddington Markets. Chalimah has such a beautiful energy and incredible wealth of knowledge, and I found myself coming back for more. For those who’ve been around for a while, you might recall I featured her teas in a story I wrote for Country Style back in 2013, and have continued to use her teas over the years for styling projects and as gifts for clients.

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Last year I had the pleasure of collaborating with Chalimah to photograph both her new packaging (you’ll see these sensuous images soon) as well as the recipe cards for her new Dust Collection. Dust is a range of healthy & delicious raw cacao infusions, designed to improve mental focus and physical performance. There are six infusions in the range: Super, Sex, Soothe, Spark, Shine, and Spirit. Each one is designed specifically to enrich the characteristics we need to strengthen within us.

Chalimah wanted to create some beautiful recipe cards that show the many ways you can incorporate the infusions, as they are not only wonderful as warm elixirs but also scrumptious in pancakes, muffins, smoothies and popsicles. So one morning, she made an incredible array of some of her favourite foods and I came with my camera to photograph them all on her long wooden dining table.

Would you like to see some of the photographs? I took many, it was such a beautiful setting. And there was a gorgeous natural coppery light that came through, infusing everything with a warmth and glow. Here are a few of my favourites…

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Chalimah has been sharing a few of her delicious recipes on instagram and on her website, and I’ve included a few here for you. They are all so yummy…

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Nourish Bowl…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat hulls

  • 2 cups plant mylk

  • 4 heaped tsp DUST infusion of your choice

  • 2 tbsp chia seed/flaxseed

  • 1/2 cup fruit – currants/raisins (optional)

How to assemble:

  1. Combine ingredients into a bowl and soak overnight to allow hulls/seeds to soften.

  2. Once soaked, transfer to saucepan and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until thick and creamy. Add more mylk or water if needed.

  3. Serve into bowls topped with your choice of suggestions from the list below.

Suggestions to add…

  • Grated apple with cinnamon

  • Fresh figs with honey and walnuts

  • Poached pears with vanilla

  • Pomegranate jewels and pistachios

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Cacao Pancakes…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour

  • 4 heaped tsp DUST infusion of your choice

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)

  • 1 to 1.5 cups plant mylk

How to assemble:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir well.

  2. Whisk in mylk to create a batter.

  3. Set stove top to medium and add butter/coconut oil.

  4. Gently pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan using ladle/large spoon to create pancakes roughly the size of an orange.

  5. Flip pancakes over once bubbles have risen on the surface.

  6. Set / stack cooked pancakes on wire rack or plate and continue until batter is finished.

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Chocolate Nut Muffins…

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour

  • 1 cup ground seed/nut meal

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/4 cup DUST infusion of your choice

  • 1 tsp bi-carb

Wet ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plant mylk

  • 2 eggs or chia egg replacement*

  • 2 ripe bananas mashed

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts/frozen berries

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil/butter melted

*Chia egg replacement = 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp of water. Combine and set aside for approx. 10 minutes.

How to assemble:

Preheat oven to 180 ̊C.

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir well.

  2. In a smaller bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and stir well.

  3. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and combine (It’s OK if the mixture is a little lumpy).

  4. Spoon mixture into muffin tray or baking cups.

  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

  6. Cool in tray for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack.

Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

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There are more wonderful recipes at Organic Merchant so please head on over, along with more details about the full Dust range and where to purchase them. And Organic Merchant’s instagram is here.

Enjoy!!

With Love,

Pia xx




New Work: Begin your day the Ayurvedic way for Happinez...

Step One: an early walk in nature

Step One: an early walk in nature

This was another wonderful story of images for Happinez magazine, which I photographed in February here in Sydney. The brief was to create six photographs featuring each step of how to start the day with Ayurvedic rituals. I hadn’t realised until the magazine came out that the story was a feature for Bianca Fabrie’s new cookbook Holy Happy Belly - Bianca and I had worked together in Amsterdam a few times for various photoshoots when I lived there - along with being an Ayurvedic therapist she is also an incredible makeup artist - so it was such a great surprise to know we had collaborated on this without knowing it, from across the seas!

A couple of weeks before the shoot, I made a call out on social media for a model for two of the shots, but it was an encounter in my local cafe with my friend & fellow photographer Gaby who was dining with her dear friend & photographer Sam, that lead to Sam becoming my model for the shoot the following week. It was such a lovely morning, I took Sam down to a small beach on the bay near my home. The light was incredibly subdued, as it turned out there had been a fire of sorts in the area the night before which left a strange golden glow over the sky. Shooting with Sam was so easy as she is a photographer herself so she understood the process and needed little direction, it was such a treat to hang out together and get to know her through this experience. Thank you Sam!

The full story is in Issue Number 3 for 2019 available in The Netherlands out now. Continue on below to find out more about the creative process and a brief understanding of each ritual.

Step Two: Nasal Rinse

Step Two: Nasal Rinse

I really wanted to find a beautiful neti pot for this, and I went on quite the hunt across Sydney, searching Indian and wellness shops. I cannot remember where I found this one now! I think it was in Dr. Earth on King St, in Newtown. As soon as I saw it I knew it was the one - most of the neti pots I’d found were ceramic and ‘clunky’, this one being copper and slim was definitely the pick. Because really, nasal cleansing isn’t appealing, is it? At least this one would inspire us to try it!

Step Three: Dry brushing

Step Three: Dry brushing

These brushes were also from Dr. Earth, and I made the hand cloth from a vintage silk scarf. I have thoroughly enjoyed adding this ritual to my morning routine - I use the large brush for my body and the small one for my face before I hop in the shower each morning. It gets the skin tingling in the best of ways, I can feel my skin waking up to the day.

Step Four: Self massage

Step Four: Self massage

I wanted to create a rich, warm & nurturing set for these ideas, so I used the deep greens from the moodboard as my main backdrops, varying texture and hue as well as incorporating found foliage to give a tropical feel - a little nod to India. For this shot, I actually used one of my “Where Is My Heart?” photographs from the diptych as a surface, here is the photograph in situ in my studio to jog your memory…

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…in a moment of inspiration, I took it off the wall and laid it on the table, and instantly loved the effect of the soft focus flora. I also loved the grain of the paper, being cotton rag, it soaked in the light at the same time as creating a dreamy effect. Instead of a flat surface behind the bottles I created a foliage wall, building it up until it felt lush and layered. Those two little dark bottles of wonderment in the front are gifts from my beautiful friend Midnight Blue, and I cannot wait for her to release them into the world for everyone to enjoy, she is almost ready I am told! I will be one of the first people to share this news with you.

Step Five: Belly breathing

Step Five: Belly breathing

Sam is wearing a kimono from Fabrik Store (gifted to me some years ago by Gaby!), and the nail colour is wanderlust from Sienna Byron Bay, the ring is from my jewellery box, a slice of lapis.

Step 6: Green Smoothie

Step 6: Green Smoothie

This turned out to be my favourite photograph for the story. Again using '“Where Is My Heart?” as the surface, palm fronds for texture along with fresh berries and sprouts, it came together beautifully. I made the smoothie moments before I took the shot - setting up the glasses in position first. I love the layering of the ingredients in the glasses. The gold metal straw is from one of my favourite cafes in Sydney, Orchard St Cafe.

As I’ve been writing this post I’ve realised, with the exception of the nasal rinse, that I’ve been incorporating these rituals each morning since this shoot. The smoothie is something I’ve been making for some time, an incredibly healing recipe created by Midnight Blue, and I’ve been walking most mornings, along the water, after dropping Laly off at school. The dry brushing is a new addition since the shoot, and I strive to do 20 minutes of meditation each day. Self massage is also something I’ve done for many years. So yes, I would agree that these are a wonderful way to start your day the Ayurvedic way!

For more information, check out Happinez, Nummer 3 2019 along with Holy Happy Belly by Bianca Fabrie.

With love,

Pia xx

Photography & Styling: Pia Jane Bijkerk
Magazine: Happinez, Nummer 3 2019

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.

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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…

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

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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.

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

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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

Happi Health photoshoot: vitamin boost...

Vitamin B6: Coconut & Red Quinoa porridge with nuts, seeds & edible flowers

Vitamin B6: Coconut & Red Quinoa porridge with nuts, seeds & edible flowers

Here are some of photographs I produced for Happinez, for a story on how to boost your vitamin intake with certain foods, in the special edition called Happi Health that was published in The Netherlands a couple of months ago. It’s been years since I worked with food - I used to work regularly as a food stylist for magazines, catalogues and books around the world, sometimes styling the food myself, other times working with wonderful cooks & stylists like my dear friend Yvette van Boven, as well as Michele Cranston and Emma Knowles, and photographers Petrina Tinslay and Jeroen van der Spek were among my favourites.

I had forgotten how much I love working with food until this shoot. As I got creating, I was thinking, why haven’t I done this for so long? To be honest, I think it was because of the over-abundance of cookbooks, food magazines, food shows… it felt to me like there was enough already, and that it feeds that consumer energy, that need to fill up ‘the void’ in us with so. much. Also, there is so much incredible talent out there already, I felt like it was well and truly covered.

But I have a genuine love of eating well, sharing my love of nourishment with my daughter and her friends, and enjoying a beautiful meal with my friends and partner (we are often talking about food, as the French do!) I’m not an entertainer - I am not that friend who always has a fridge full of everything and can whip up something amazing any time of day or night. I’m not always in the kitchen. It’s more that it’s one of the mediums of creative expression for me - like painting is for some.

So having said all that, I do absolutely love shooting delicious food! Focusing on taste, texture, colour and nourishment. It’s why I am so looking forward to co-hosting the kids tasting workshop in a couple of weeks!

This shoot reignited that passion within me. With this story, it was the first time I’d photographed, cooked, and styled at the same time - I’ll just say this, it was bloody challenging to do all roles. A little bit nuts really, in hindsight. But the challenging aspects did not take away the joy! My studio was in full swing- every part of it was in use, the kitchen was abuzz - the oven on, the blender going, chopping boards and utensils in action. The walls were lined with canvas backdrops and wooden tabletops. There was music. There was mess. It was beautiful chaotic order - just the way I love to work.

I thought you might like to see the shots in their entirety, and to share with you some of the recipes I created to be able to get the full benefits of each vitamin I was asked to represent…

Vitamin K: roasted purple-skinned sweet potato with Japanese natto beans

Vitamin K: roasted purple-skinned sweet potato with Japanese natto beans

Folic Acid: roasted dark leafy greens & sprouts with sesame oil & micro herbs

Folic Acid: roasted dark leafy greens & sprouts with sesame oil & micro herbs

Vitamin E: avocodo topped with seeds, wheatgerm oil and edible flowers. Vitamin B12: homemade nori chips

Vitamin E: avocodo topped with seeds, wheatgerm oil and edible flowers. Vitamin B12: homemade nori chips

Vitamin A: roast carrot, pumpkin & sweet potato soup topped with micro herbs

Vitamin A: roast carrot, pumpkin & sweet potato soup topped with micro herbs

Vitamin D: delicious sun beams - soak them in! Vitamin C: grapefruit slices.

Vitamin D: delicious sun beams - soak them in! Vitamin C: grapefruit slices.

Here are the recipes for the roasted sweet potato dish and the red quinoa. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory (if not let me know and I’ll happily answer questions in comments)…

Roasted purple-skinned sweet potato with Japanese natto beans…

Cut a purple-skinned sweet potato in half lengthways and roast in the oven with an oil of your choosing (olive, coconut, whatever you like!), with a little salt. Top with warmed baby spinach leaves and natto beans which you can get in asian grocery stores. The texture is a little unusual - its very sticky, but don’t be put off, as with the combination of the sweet potato and the spinach, it’s delicious and so very good for you! Garnish with micro herbs (which are also full of nutrients).

Coconut & Red Quinoa porridge with nuts, seeds & edible flowers…

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rinsed red quinoa

  • 1 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)

  • 1 cup filtered water

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • maple syrup (depending on your sweetness needs, but for me it was about 2 tablespoons)

  • pistachios, pecans, whatever nuts you have on hand, activated and if desired, slightly roasted or warmed.

  • edible flowers if you have them

  • shredded coconut for garnish

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, bring quinoa, milk, water, salt, and cinnamon to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for around 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed,

  2. Turn off heat and let stand covered 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  3. Transfer to serving bowls. Top with the nuts, petals and shredded or toasted coconut.

With love,

Pia xx

Sacred Geometry for Happinez Magazine...

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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...

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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...

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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. 

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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. 

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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

 

 

LET'S BEAM...

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On Monday, I posted the above photo you see here in the frame on my studio shelf on instagram, with the message "we are human beams" written over it, creating the hashtag #wearehumanbeams. In the week leading up to posting this photograph, I was feeling these words resonate strongly through me. As I felt the powerful energy and importance of the meaning of these words, this moment I captured in this photograph came to mind. It was almost exactly 3 years ago. My Mum had just passed away, and I had taken Laly to my parents to assist my Dad with household changes. Perhaps we were staying there, I can't remember the details of that time, I just remember the intensity, the fatigue and how surreal it felt, like I was walking between worlds. I spent quite some time looking for this image in my archives, wondering if it was how I remembered it and my heart felt expansive when I found it: seeing the beauty and awe of that moment. When I took this photo, through the tidal wave of grief, I remember how it pulled me up to the surface - to the present - as I stood captivated by how my daughter's human form connected & communicated so wondrously with the sun, the sea and the sand. It felt like I'd witnessed a moment of real-life magic. I could see the sunlight radiate through her skin and her inner glow play with this light, encouraging it, nurturing it. There she stood before me as a human BEAM. 

This is what I saw, and this is what I posted.

However within a few minutes of posting it, I had someone I'd not heard from before called Vivienne comment something along the lines of "I wish you'd be more circumspect when choosing photos of Laly, this is inappropriate". It pissed me off, I admit, but I took a moment to reflect on her comment and try to see things from her perspective. I wrote a reply along the lines of, "I was absolutely circumspect when choosing to post this image. I understand some people see things differently, I respect that". I got the impression that she too respected that and I thought we had resolved our differences. But when I awoke the next morning, my photograph had been removed by instagram, along with all the comments - most of which I had not read because I was asleep - and I was and still am locked out from using the hashtag  I created #wearehumanbeams. 

That got me really pissed off. 

Then I sat with my feelings. And so much came up...

Feeling shamed, feeling like someone told me I was a bad parent, feeling like I'd been disciplined for something wrong that I didn't do, feeling like I wasn't good enough, feeling like I hadn't understood something, feeling confused, feeling violated, feeling misunderstood

How often had I been misunderstood in my early life? I think that's why I have spent all these years strengthening my ability to communicate clearly, to ensure that if there is a misunderstanding, I know that I've done everything in my power to communicate clearly.

Anyway after the anger began to dissolve, I felt the powerful energy of the experience sink in.  "Sure", I thought, "I get it".  I can see life from other perspectives -  again, it's something I have found as an important attribute to work on in life - and I'm all for safety, and I'm absolutely all for keeping our children safe. 

But this? So much strength came forth after the anger released. I realised that this behaviour, these emotional reactions from people, these restrictions from companies like instagram are EXACTLY why there are so many incredible souls too  scared to be themselves, to let their creativity shine, to lead a  creative, heart-centered  life. 

"Why can't you see what I see?" I wondered. It was really perplexing, I struggled to understand what was happening. But that's when it hit me like a brick: they aren't connected to their centre.

For me, I chose to post this photograph because of the art. For me, and so many of us I know, we are seeing the art, the beauty. But others simply can't see this - all they can see is a photo of a nude child. And that brings up all sorts of deeply disturbing emotions for them. Feelings they are too scared to feel, too scared to allow come up to the surface. They can't connect to their hearts, it's just too confronting. 

I know there are deeply damaged souls out there. And I understand that the people who report photographs like mine think they are doing good, that they are protecting me and/or my child. I understand they think they know something that I don't know. That I am naïve and vulnerable, and that they know better. But I know that removing this type of photograph - of which I was very discriminating in selecting to communicate the concept of being a human beam -  will NOT stop damaged souls from feeding their addictions. What this action does is even more damaging: It stops authenticity, art, talent and beauty from shining in an increasingly dark world. This action and the actions of these major communication companies are feeding the fear in the world - fear of seeing & experiencing life differently, of not conforming, of not standing out from the crowd. This behaviour stifles freedom and disconnects us from our heart centres. 

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What do you see? This is how I came to write My Heart Wanders in the first place:

What you see is a reflection of what you feel inside. And people would rather stop something like my photograph from being published than deal with the emotions that arise from what they see.

It's what you feel that matters. It's what this image brings up in you. It's not what I don't see, it's what you see and how that makes you feel. That's the purpose of ART:  it evokes our feelings, particularly those feelings that are trapped and stuck.

This is why I am so passionate about the importance of tapping into your creativity, because if we don't, we will become stuck like this: we will only be able to see things from the darkness, from the fear. We will rationalise our limited viewpoint as 'logical', 'reasonable', 'sensible', 'practical', 'truthful'. But that's not heart speak. Humans are not meant to only think with our brains. That would make us computers. We are also meant to feel, express, radiate from our heart centres...

We are human beams: We are light - traveling under the ocean,  above in the ether, and right here on earth for our lifetime. Every new idea we form is light. Close your eyes and imagine the the world at night, look how it lights up with the light we have created. We are drawn to light. Because we are light. And what we project is also what will be reflected back to us. 

So ANYWAY, in response to the removal of my photograph, I have made this...

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Because I won't allow anyone to take my art away. Instead, I'm going to beam my light BRIGHTER. My child is art, I am art, what I express is art.

And it got me thinking: How would you, my fellow creative souls, express the idea that we are human beams? I want to see your interpretation - I want us to make this art. 

And since I am no longer able to post using the hashtag #wearehumanbeams, it doesn't stop you from using it! 

So I got an idea - a beam of light: How about we come together as a mass creative collaboration and use this hashtag to create a body of incredible work, that showcases in each of our unique ways, how we would express that WE ARE HUMAN BEAMS. And to get you inspired and focussed, I'll choose someone to receive a 3-hour creative mentoring package from me, no matter where you are in the world.

If we can create an incredible body of work for #wearehumanbeams, if this becomes big, we can turn it into a book! Let's rock this place up!!  Vivent les artistes

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So in my usual fashion, I don't have deadlines and limitations on this for now - I will give it the freedom to expand - that's always the BEST place to start. And the only way this can happen is through YOU. For now I feel if we use the hashtag on insta #wearehumanbeams , spread the word - you can repost my new piece above "we are human beams" - and tag people in the post I write on insta, then you're in the collaboration. Even if you don't want to make something for it, let others know who you know would love to. Then, when you post your work for "we are human beams", hashtag it so others can see and follow your work, and tag me in it so I can see you want to be in the running to receive the mentoring package. 

Note: there are no limitations on how many works you submit. You can use any form of art - whatever your heart is drawn to. The idea is to ignite your creative spirit. Kindred spirit & fellow artist Midnight Blue already posted a wonderful video she made in support, take a look at the hashtag #wearehumanbeams on insta to see it! It will get you inspired! I don't know if, when I post this on insta, my hashtag will work so I will need to rely on you guys to repost it there for everyone, so they can see it in the hashtag and understand the project. 

Let's be human beams. Let's make the light shine bright. 

Fuck, I'm excited about this. 

 

xx

 

We are all made of stardust...

Stardust print installation , currently in my studio

Stardust print installation, currently in my studio

Having a studio has given me the space- physically and mentally - to embark on something I've been holding back from doing for, well, since I completed my arts degree at Uni some 19 years ago! While I was at COFA, I spent many hours in the dark room printing my photographs. I loved it. Every step of the process (minus the intensity of the chemicals) was a joy for me, I absolutely loved the alchemy of it. And to see the finished print was always exciting, it fuelled my creative fire.  Throughout my last two years of high school and into my Uni days, in those 5 years I spent most of my free time between classes in either the dark room or the library.

But since the onset of digital photography - which I have fully embraced in the most analogue way possible!  - I lost something of my work that I hadn't realised until now.  That is, the beauty and wonder of experiencing my photography in full colour and off the screen...

Stardust photographic print , limited edition, 11 x 14 inches

Stardust photographic print, limited edition, 11 x 14 inches

While visiting the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane a few weekends ago, I came across a room that reignited that lost part of me. It was filled with Australian artists I had studied all those years ago, intently, in books and galleries. As I roamed the room, little sparks lit in me with each work. I moved from Arthur Boyd, to Sydney Long, Rosalie Gasgoigne, and John Olsen. Every one of them had been an influence and inspiration in my years of intense study and making. Then I saw a piece that made my heart skip a beat, and took me to a long lost memory. It was a photograph called groundspeed (rose petal) by renown contemporary Australian photographer Rosemary Laing. In that moment of staring into her carpeted forest, I remembered how huge a role she played in my photography. She was one of my teachers while at the College of Fine Arts, and taught me everything I know about photography, both digital and analogue. And she was one of the best teachers I ever had. I remember how much she'd engage with each of us while we learnt the ropes of Photoshop. She was patient, kind, passionate and enthusiastic. She also gave me my best marks, which compelled me to learn more about my style, my motivation, my goals. While I looked at groundspeed (rose petal) and got lost in those memories, I felt a wave of gratitude and realised how lucky I was to have such a great teacher.

It also cemented in me how powerful it is to put your work out there, to move through those emotional blocks that stop so many of us from creating what we know we are meant to, and how important it is to have those influences in our lives - and why I love being able to be that person, that mentor, to artists around the world now. By making our work, by supporting each other and investing in each other's work, it's how we will thrive.

PiaJaneBijkerk_stardustprint_2.jpg

So it's with absolute delight that, having found the best pro printing lab in the city, I offer one of my most popular photographs Stardust as the first photograph released as a limited edition print on archival rag paper. This photograph is featured in my Festive ebook . As with all my books, I love creating visual stories throughout to capture your imagination and connect with your heart.  This photograph was created inspired by my work in redefining this intense time of year, by exploring the alchemy in each of us: The wonder that we are all made from stardust...

"Every element of the universe is made from stars, including us. As beings, each element within us was birthed in stars, the very stars that twinkle above us in the night sky and around the Earth. As humans both ancient and existing, we have held an everlasting fascination for stars, and knowing that we are made from stardust only enriches the allure and magic of the exploration of those tiny intergalactic sparkles that light up the deep indigo sky we look to each evening before we sleep."
Excerpt from The Everyday Alchemy eBook, Festive Edition. 

Each Stardust print is hand numbered, dated and signed by me. There are two sizes available, worldwide shipping is available (with free worldwide shipping for the next two weeks  - promo code in the info) all the details are available here.  When I say limited edition I mean LIMITED EDITION. Only a very small number will be printed. 

Thank you to everyone in my life who has encouraged me to print my work over the years. I finally got there! It took a while but the wait, I hope, will have been worth it. 

Vivent les artistes. 

xx