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  • Publication
    Paul's Letter as a guide to online worship: reflections of a denominational survey during lockdown
    (Practical Theology; DOI: 10.1080/1756073X.2022.2108805 ) 2022-08-27 Sandercock-Brown, Grant
    A nationwide denominational survey in Australia revealed that most Salvation Army congregations moved to online worship during the COVID pandemic and that their leaders planned to continue online worship after lockdowns and restrictions had lifted. Therefore, it is timely to reflect on the creation and delivery of online worship. This comparative study seeks to draw parallels between online worship and the apostle Paul’s letters to distant and dispersed congregations and so address the question: can the creation and narration of Paul’s letters to Rome and Philippi offer insights into the shaping and effectiveness of online worship?
  • Publication
    Who is an artist, and who cares anyway?
    2022-02-01 Byrne, Libby ; Pattenden, Rod ; Goroncy, Jason
    What are we claiming when we say, ‘I am an artist’, and why is it that some people are able claim this sense of identity whilst others do not? Is the artist’s identity a vocation emanating from some implicit need or desire associated with our survival or is it a social currency employed to locate and amplify our voice within the larger human story? The philosophical and theoretical constructs that inform our thinking about this question profoundly shape our capacity to respond to the desire to be seen and known in this way. Jacqueline Millner’s CARE project engages artists to explore, interpret and enact their practices as a means of privileging time, attention and holding space in the negotiation of our trans-substantive relationships. If the choice to identify as an artist requires the capacity or need for care, then taking up this possibility redefines how we care to live, both individually and communally. Within a faith community, the way in which we care and are cared for can become increasingly democratised when we locate the work of the artist and the practice of making art in the public realm of congregational life and invite those who care about what is happening, to take up the call to live and work together in this way.
  • Publication
    Sinking like a stone in the studio
    2021-06-01 Byrne, Libby
    So, the timing is strange…but believe it or not, the day before I was scheduled to hang this exhibition, Sinking like a stone, at Whitley College, lockdown 6.0 took effect in Melbourne and the process of waiting began again. An exhibition is ready and waiting, but the work is still in the studio. Waiting, and then waiting some more. You can see it here, clothed with a purple velvet blanket, waiting to leave the studio and hoping to see you soon. For several weeks I hope that things might change quickly and we would be able to reschedule the hanging of this work in 2021. Living into that hope was helpful at the time but before too long, hoping seemed to became a constraint in itself. By mid September I realised that I needed a way to share this work with you in a different way and so I returned to the music Malcolm Gordon created in A pocketful of smooth stones, looking for a word or a sound to lead me on. In listening over and over, I finally heard what I was feeling and name it as grief. As Be Gentle with Grief echoes through the studio I am slowly learning to be gentle with myself, with my expectations and hopes. I am learning how to not push through the gift of this moment and to wait, sitting with what it means for me to want to see and be with other people in these disembodied times. The reality I am sitting with is that having begun to explore what it means to Sink like a stone, the curation of this new digital artwork tells the story of what it has been like for me, being with these images in the studio, wondering what it means for me, and for you, to exhibit the images and ideas. In curating the work as a digital artefact I heard Malcolm’s words until I found my own. The making of this work enabled me to name the experience I have encountered in each of these artworks and so the waiting and being with has once again become an important part of the process. This video offers a glimpse into what I have seen, felt and heard in the studio whilst making this body of work and now sitting with it, re-membering over and over, the experience of being in worship in disembodied times. Having shared this with Malcolm, he is very happy for the collaboration of our work to be published and offered in the world as an point of connection and reflection. Whilst the words I have chosen to offer in this work reflect my own experience in 2021, as always I welcome different ideas and responses from others who may be interested to contemplate and share with me through these strange times. If you would like to connect and offer your own ideas, images and reflections, please be in touch with me through my email address: libbybyrne@bigpond.com.
  • Publication
    Exploring the memory of seeing - and begin seen.
    (The Sketchbook Project; 17 (427.06-08) ) 2021-10-01 Byrne, Libby
    This sketchbook is an exploration of remembering not only what I see, but what it is like to be seen, in the process of making marks on paper. I began with a graphite pencil, sketching the shape of simple stone that lay on the desk before me. It was not long before I was not looking at the stone so much as working with the shape that had emerged on the paper. Before long there was less need to reference what I could see, but making marks that spoke to me of a memory – I could see in the shape of the stone a shell I had once seen and probably held. On the second page I picked up a small gum leaf that lay beside the stone on my desk and tried to incorporate this shape into the imprint from the page before. I traced around the leaf with water soluble graphite and then applied water. The pigment swelled and wept beyond the boundaries of the page and I reached for white gouache to regain some control. In the moments when the graphite seeped through the pages it shaped both the image I was seeing and the future direction of this book. Throughout the book I routinely moved between sketching things I could see, a rock, a leaf, a seed pod and the edges of the handplane that I use when playing in the ocean. I was working through the ebb and flow of drawing what I see with a graphite pencil and them moving through my experience of memory to see what else might be possible when I played in and around the shape with water soluble graphite. When I found myself in the middle of the book I was frustrated. I had reached the halfway mark and found myself trying to make decisions about how to draw navigate the second half of this work. Halfway through the book there was a moment in the studio when I reached for the Band-Aids, so often needed to contain minor tears in my own skin, to cover and repair a tear in the paper. There is a rhythm that ebbs and flows throughout the book, moving from clarity to obscurity and back to the place where I can once more, begin again. The seepage of these materials led to the tearing of paper and in the negative space that the tear created near the bottom of the page in the middle of the book, I found the shape of a mountain. This was a familiar shape, a memory that guided me through the remainder of the journey. In seeing this mountain at the bottom of the pages, I had a sense of being seen and even relieved from the need to make decisions about what to do next. I was guided by the presence of this metaphor in the movement of the pages. This paper was thin enough to allow for the bleeding of water and pigment, offering the gift of memory as a guiding force for engaging with these emergent images. "As is so often true, it was the limitations of the materials that made the art." (Peter Carey, Theft). The art of story is held within these graphite marking, waiting for me and now for you to find meaning. This work is an investment in seeing, and in being seen, through work that is raw, unfinished and real.
  • Publication
    What is left of the studio, in the absence of a room to share?
    (Journal of Applied Arts and Health; 12 (3) ) 2021-09-20 Crane, Tess ; Byrne, Libby
    This article builds on previous work exploring the essential relational experiences of risk, rupture and change that are possible for students and teachers who learn in an open studio setting. In response to the isolation that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic this article considers how the relational dynamics of the studio are translated into an online environment. The authors use artmaking to explore their experience of working alongside each other in this way, engaging their material knowing in an online learning environment. The findings reveal that just as the constructed physical space of an art studio is a dynamic container for social interaction and expression, an online space can act as a container for these transformative experiences. The article considers what elements of the studio remain in the absence of a room to share and in doing so is pertinent for art therapists and educators working across face-to-face and online environments.