Jenni Ivins – Mind Drawing Arts Practitioner

When a career officer asked Jenni Ivins what she wanted to be when she grew up, she didn’t know the label so she made one up, “A lady of leisure.”

The woman quickly turned away and asked the next child what she wanted to be. Had she asked further, she might have discovered she was talking to a young artist who would grow up to work with communities and eventually get qualified as a professional arts practitioner in writing and visual arts, though her experience would be much broader.

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She would develop a detailed style of drawing which can also demonstrate a basic communication truth: we don’t all see the same way when looking at the same thing.

Jenni is known in the community for her Mind Drawings and for bringing art to the people through popup activities that accompany exhibitions and other events.

She has just finished two weeks at the Cardinia Cultural Centre, where over one hundred participants enjoyed a range of activities before and after the school holiday pantomime and movies.

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Mind Drawing matching game and colouring sheets.

The Friendship Tree activities are always popular at the Mind Drawing pop-up workshops.

Although Jenni usually draws on paper with a 0.1 drafting pen, you can see a 16 metre Mind Drawing mural on the wall of Brunch on McBride in Cockatoo, painted with the community in December. The project is part of ConCom Arts’ Activated Art Spaces, with a section to be repainted by local groups every few months.

Mind Drawing Cockatoo ConCom Arts, Activated Arts Space

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If you ask Elise and Paul at Brunch on McBride for chalk, you can colour in or draw yourself, a dog or stepping stones on the section that represents the Cockatoo Creek (which is also what the town was originally called, did you know?). And you can look for the 4-leafed clover in the Mind Drawing.

Jenni is currently creating work for her Mind Drawing Children’s Stories exhibition that opens next month at Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy, before returning to the Cardinia Cultural Centre January-February 2017.

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You have an opportunity to have your own marks included in the touring exhibition. While creating the art, Jenni has worked in public at Burrinja, SECAN’s gate 6 studio and the Cardinia Cultural Centre. At each of these she invited the community to add their marks to collaborative drawings that will tour across the state with the exhibition.

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There will be a collaborative Mind Drawing created by visitors to Art in the Garden at Blackwood Studio on Sunday 23 October. The last drawing will be made in Port Fairy and will return with the exhibition, allowing audiences to look for commonalities and differences.

What would you like to add to the drawing?