Akka Ballenger Constantin

Describe your artmaking practice.

I am an emerging artist with special interest in visual art and poetry.

My current body of work has a minimalist approach whenever possible, eliminating superfluous details and focusing on the essential that is often unseen. I concentrate on the movement fluidity, transformation and use of colours through a synaesthetic process, employing various senses to enhance an artistic experience. My work is never unilateral; words and/or music complement images most often.

When, how and why did you get into it?

My father gave me my first camera when I was six: it was love at first sight. Later on, learning to write and draw, I found new ways of expression.

What ideas do you explore through your art?

Several themes occurring in my explorings are:

– Transience and the many ways we transform in a lifetime.

– Temporality and connection (or disconnection) with our place.

– Belonging versus feeling displaced.

Who/what influences you as an artist?

Nature. I need to be close to nature – trees especially – and explore that particular interaction, finding beauty in the mundane.

Freddie Mercury has been a lifelong influence; I could possibly quote a song for any life situation or working mood.

Of what are you proudest so far?

Re-emerging in a new country, a new language and a new discipline. I am just finding my feet; therefore I remind myself to stay humble. Looking at what I achieved, I look instantly at ways of improving too.

The most difficult project (most rewarding, too) involved writing and recording about 60 poems for Art Sound FM. It was delivered in four languages within a very short timeframe – just over two months.

I am also very grateful to be an Artist in Residence at Playing Field Studio next year.

What are your plans for the future?

Dream more, write more, make more images. Collaborate with other artists.

My biggest dream at the moment is to publish a book with the Stories from my Grasslands poems and images.

I have started collaborating with a very talented composer, Harvey Welsh, and we are looking at having a CD out in the near future.

I am working on Permission to despair disappear – a project tackling estrangement as a result of feeling overwhelmed in a fast paced, changing world.

I’d love to see this project commissioned, or in a future exhibition.

What about the local scene would you change?

I find other artists very supportive, but in terms of institutions, if I could change something, it would be providing more opportunities for ‘late bloomers’. There aren’t many options or opportunities for individuals emerging past a certain age.

What are your upcoming performances/exhibitions?

For the last two years I have been working on A Hat of Many Dreams – a contemporary collection of portraits and interviews aiming to document our moment in time for the future generations. The first stage of the project is an individual photography exhibition next year. I would love this to eventuate in a book, too.

In a couple of months, I am going to be part of Anthology – a collective alternative photography exhibition at Belconnen Community Services (September 18 – 29).

Contact info:

planetakka.blogspot.com.au

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