2015 reflection – Growing into the creative mystery

A message from MAC Director and teacher, Marco Corsini
Melbourne Art Class has had a massive year.

Marco Corsini, 2015
Marco Corsini, 2015

We have more students working at a higher artistic level than ever, with some magnificent achievements during the year. I’d like to thank all of our students who have trusted us to guide them and everyone that has followed us, liked us, enquired, enrolled or even curiously looked sideways at us as they pass the studio window.
Thank you to Lauren, Fenja, Althea, Carolyn, Jesse, Hilmi and Adrian for being the MAC team for 2015. I think we did marvellously and the feedback we receive confirms this.
Thanks especially to Lauren who has become the backbone of MAC, always giving a bit extra, always innovating and thinking ahead, also increasingly taking responsibilities from me and allowing me to focus on being a good artist and teacher. A little secret; Lauren has been working from Nagoya in Japan for much of this year, making the level of service she delivers even more remarkable.
Thanks to Hilmi who has taken MAC by storm with his Four Elements of Sketching courses and the technically thorough, Painting from Still Life course. Hilmi has a solid foundation in painting and we will ramp up access to those skills in 2016.
Carolyn has continued with her popular Floral Design courses for another year and most recently has brought us her Art Therapy and Mindfulness Practice, with which she had been working in schools in the region. In doing so, she takes MAC back to its early origins, with my focus on developing a creative sanctuary.
Jesse has continued in his quiet yet powerful way as our main Life Drawing teacher; with almost three years in this role, he has raised the bar and introduced an Advanced Life Drawing course. With so many students having passed through Jesse’s courses in these last years, we would like to offer the opportunity to access Jesse’s incredible skills at an advanced level.
We have welcomed Adrian Stojkovich this year as our newest drawing teacher. Adrian will continue to teach with us from time to time. Adrian is extremely talented and extremely well grounded in his training. It is very exciting to have him at our studio.
We are running more courses, with more diversity and more students than we ever have. If I take traffic at the MAC website as our indicator alone, then we have doubled our engagement with people in the last year. Each of our teachers continues to deepen in their area of specialisation as we get better and better at what we do. Each of our teachers continues to forge their way in their own practice with outstanding results.
As busy as this time of year is, Christmas remains very special to me and the vulnerability of the Christmas child in the manger reminds me of our own vulnerability, of creativity and of love. I saw that same vulnerability in a child I watched come into the world recently. I wasn’t there for the birth, but I have been fortunate enough to be at the births of all of my children, so I felt connected to the journey taking place. The child was a heartbeat and little feet pushed against the womb and out into the world, and then soon, she was in our arms. Last night she was tired and crying and I held her and soothed her as I had for my own children, until she fell asleep. She lay in my arms completely helpless, yet completely secure. Perfectly made, perfectly innocent, perfectly helpless. It will be a while before she knows what many of us know about living, before she knows indignity or violence. If we can believe in perfect love, then perfect love must be in such a child, a love which trusts and would never, could never hurt another.
I think most of us retain some part which is as vulnerable, and yet able to trust and love, as the new child. As a teacher I want to release creativity with art processes and the rich history of art providing a good vehicle for this. We can be receptive to creativity in a similar way to composer Phillip Glass’ description of being able to listen for the hidden underground river which eventually becomes a composition. I would like to think that we can create an environment where people can feel safe and an inner child can feel the joy of trust, an element of vulnerability of listening and then giving to the world through their creativity. I believe that when this occurs, we get closer to our own origins and to the heart of the creative mystery.
Happy and safe holidays everyone!