Healing and Magick
When first meeting Townsville artist Imogen Rogers, her colourful and vibrant persona is the first thing that hits you,the same can be said of her artwork. Bold, bright, childlike and full of expression, are further descriptive terms for both artist and art.
However, not long into our conversation more layers begin to unfold. Imogen's depth and conscious intention with each word she speaks becomes obviously reflected in her work.
"I see beauty and wonder in children's art. As a child you're spontaneous and allow life to inspire you. I want to embrace that and I hope the 'innocence' of that comes through in my work" Says Imogen.
Imogen is very forthcoming in explaining how she uses art to manage and self-heal Bipolar Disorder. Whether she's experiencing joy or a 'darker' day, Imogen uses art to process overload, sensitivity or anything else going on in the inner and outer realms.
"I want to capture the full spectrum of human emotions. I don't share any of my 'darker' pieces though they are for my healing alone. I feel the world needs more joy so I would rather just share that".
"Art is healing for everyone , A gift", Imogen states. "I love that colouring books are so popular now with this realisation. That's awesome to me".
"Cooking is also a healing art for me. The play of flavours,textures, colours- it's like painting, like making little spells full of intention".
After finishing art school in Sydney, Imogen took some time off to travel to India. It was during this journey she had somewhat of an epiphany regarding her life and how she expressed herself through art.
"When I came home I realised I was painting in a totally different way". No longer did she aspire to live the 'expected' life of an artist, holed up in a studio creating intricate masterpieces; but to focus on her life as the canvas to the masterpiece she is continuously creating.
"The whole experience opened me up. I started getting inspiration from so many different places that never would have occurred to me before". Imogen explains.
It becomes clear Imogen is guided by her intuition in all aspects of her life, which is so strongly linked with her creativity.
"Painting seems like having an Angel on my shoulder".
Imogen remembers her first foray into painting as a child being a powerful moment. "Looking back, it was a very intuitively led experimentation, she giggles.
Residing in Christchurch, New Zealand, her mother brought her aquamarine powder paint. "Pouring the powder into the water and mixing it, I felt like a little Witch (laughs). I remember making those first brush strokes while standing at my easel and feeling pure joy".
In April this year (2016), Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in townsville held Imogen's exhibition 'Myth, Magic and the Goddess': The paintings depicted female form and female symbolism in Imogen's signature bright, bold, playful style.
The exhibition's theme and subsequent works have been brewing in her mind for many years, stemming from a desire for women to embrace their power through 'wholeness'.
" We aren't used to seeing women in positions of power, not just society or workplace wise, but also the power of standing in their own skin, embracing all there is about them good or bad, their intelligence, creativity, independence; Imogen explains.
"My desire is for all people , regardless of gender, race or whatever, to be embraced in their fullness and as whole individually by themselves and society"
During our chat Imogen shared that she is already working on potential ideas for a new exhibition.
" I want to develop my pencil work and really reflect on how our inner and outer landscape informs each other" Once again, Imogen touches on deep subject matter that would seem cryptic, from anyone else without her analytical eloquence.
Where does Imogen find inspiration and fun in the tech world?
"Instagram is wonderful because it's full of surprises. Everyone is an artist creating their own life and I'm really excited by how it connects us globally opening up a bigger community. I make some great discoveries there, I find art I want to eat", shares Imogen with another infectious giggle.
"Artists are so vital, they make us question the status quo and reflect society back to us. There will always be a place for artists. They show us how to change, how to be the Phoenix rising- creating new life, new form, how to be reborn- reflecting the changing nature of self and humanity back to us".
Yeah I dig this chick.