Cassy Oliphant – painting

I’ve run away!  Ok well only for 2 nights, and I’m still in Yorkshire (didn’t need to cross the border/use the Yorkshire passport).  I needed a smidgeon of space to recalibrate and get painting again – Christmas, New Years and Kids bdays got me well out of the habit – and my desire to sink into making art is often interrupted by my lovely kiddos – which I wouldn’t have any other way – but these quieter moments are so deeply appreciated.

The 16% scheme is a really forward-thinking funding initiative offered by Pyramid. Offered to all the artists and core workers, it enables us to have a day a term to develop our own creative skills and direction. It was telling that I didn’t utilise it for the first couple of terms it was offered – between my community arts work, and being the mother of a small kid, I hadn’t managed to carve out the time. Which is why this paid day felt like an actual retreat when I got to it.

I really believe in creating creative opportunities for everyone, and supporting mother artists is something I feel passionate about. Traditionally institutions and organisations haven’t recognised that primary caregivers face barriers to sustaining careers in the arts – unable to attend events and network on evenings/ having to pay for childcare for work that can be financially unstable etc.

This initiative gave me the kick up the bum to refocus on my own art-making. I spend a lot of time facilitating other people’s creative pursuits, which I love and is a wonderfully rich process. But having time to regenerate my own creative direction is so necessary, and means I do a better job in my community arts work. Massive gratitude Pyramid – thank you!

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