Can Art and Design Improve Your Health and Wellbeing?

Have you ever pondered the link between art and creative expression and our own health and wellbeing? The beauty with art is that it takes many shapes and formats, meaning each and everyone of us can experience it at some level. Furthermore, we can be expressive without having to be a master too. Whether it's having a colourful home to even making your bed in the morning. We speak with rising Australian artist, Tara Rad, on her expressive outlet as a sculptor and how it impacts her life.

A question we've thought about a lot of late. Whether you're a budding Marie Kondo or not, the impacts even from making your bed the first thing in the morning, to not allowing your phone in your room, can be micro moves for macro change in your day.

 

That day leads into a week, a week into a season, that leads into a 'good' year. As humans, we often get caught up in seeing the big picture, a reality that can be daunting at times. Things then become stressful as a result, insurmountable almost, too challenging for us to take on and we can end up feeling overwhelmed. Art, and art therapy, have long been used to help and support our emotional health.

 

As a format, it allows us to share our thoughts and feelings from a creative point of view. It's not necessarily about being the best at it either. Art is subjective don't forget. 

Its expressive nature is equalled not by many, perhaps music a close runner. But music perhaps on the one hand isn't as enjoyable to learn and takes the famously touted 10,000 hours to perfect, whereas art differs. You could say the same for art, sure if you want to be a maestro, but just survey a young two-year-old who has no fear in picking up a brush or dabbing their hand on a piece of paper - or sometimes the family couch. Isn't it a shame we lose that frivolity as we get older? Don't be afraid to just pick up a brush and go for it.

 

That brings us to today's piece where we spoke to Australian-based artist, Tara Rad, who hails from Western Australia - a sculptor. You'll find some of her pieces nestled amongst our more recent renovation at the NIMBUS CO Bondi studio. Her vase collection toys with a beautifully colourful array of shapes and juxtapositions that make one envious not to have in one's home. 

 

We spoke to Tara about her creative influences, how she got to where she is today, what drives her process, and how it impacts her own life.

 

Tell us about what you do, and your art form.

I am a ceramic artist and sculptor, creating pieces that blend functionality with expressive, sculptural elements. Each creation, whether a cup or a portrait sculpture, is treated as a unique piece of art, inspired by emotions, memories, and the natural world.

 

How did your story start?

My artistic journey began at 11 when I started drawing and painting, accumulating thousands of life drawings by 18. After studying architecture and working in the field, I realised my true passion lay in the arts. This led me back to drawing and eventually to ceramics, where I found a new voice in clay.

 

What's your background?

I have a background in architecture, with a master's degree from Newcastle-Australia. After several years as an architect, I realised my true passion lay in the arts. This led me back to drawing and eventually to ceramics, where I found a new voice in clay.

 

How important is creative expression for you?

Creative expression is the cornerstone of my life. It allows me to channel complex emotions and ideas into tangible forms, bringing a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Through creative expression, I confront my emotions and gain a deeper understanding of myself. This process not only enriches my art but also enhances my personal growth and self-awareness.

 

 

[A glimpse of Tara’s vase collection]

 

Where do you see the positive impacts art has on our wellbeing?

Art is often described as relaxing, but for me, its impact varies with the project. The journey of transforming new ideas into reality can be overwhelming. Yet, art consistently nurtures my creativity, essential for my wellbeing. The tactile experience of clay, the way it yields under my hands, brings profound joy and tranquillity. It's a dance of emotions and creation, where each piece of clay holds the potential to capture the essence of a moment, a memory, or an inspiration.

 

Is art therapy something you believe in?

Absolutely. Art therapy is a concept I deeply resonate with. Working with clay, in particular, is grounding and meditative, helping individuals process emotions and connect with their inner selves. Touching clay always brings me happiness and a sense of calm, allowing me to take deep, relaxed breaths. The material itself has so much to offer and convey, and that's what I love about working with clay.

 

What inspiration do you draw on with your works?

I draw inspiration from everything that evokes emotion in me—memories, music, stories, and nature. Stories, in particular, allow me to enter new worlds and experience different emotions, deeply influencing my work. I aim to represent the feelings and images that arise from my life experiences. These inspirations are translated into sketches and, eventually, into clay, where they take on a tangible form.

 

Do you have much of a process behind your art form?

Yes, my process is multifaceted and fluid. It begins with extensive sketching and selecting the right clay. I remain open to new ideas, allowing the piece to evolve naturally. Sometimes, the final creation mirrors my initial sketches, while other times it takes on a life of its own, shaped by spontaneous inspiration. 

 

Are there any stand-out materials you're proud of using?

I am proud of using locally sourced clays and my own glaze recipes. Experimenting with different recipes and discovering new colours is an exciting aspect of my work.

 

What does your workshop look like? We love finding this out, any pics too?

My workshop is a charming space with rustic brick walls, timber floors, and large, character-filled windows. It has a rich history, once serving as a music recording studio and an entertainment room. Now, it’s the vibrant home of T A R A D Ceramics Studio.

 

What is one thing you'd recommend people to do to express their inner creativity?

I recommend embracing experimentation and remaining open to new ideas. Creativity flourishes in an environment of curiosity and play, so give yourself the freedom to explore without fear of mistakes.

 

How can people get a piece of yours?

My work is available through my Instagram (@taradstudio), my website (www.tarad.com.au), and by appointment at my studio. I also showcase my pieces at local art fairs and exhibitions.

 

Best way to connect with you? Social media etc?

The best way to connect with me is via Instagram at @taradstudio, my website, or through email at tara.rad@live.com. I regularly post updates and engage with my audience on social media.

 

Interview by: Neil O'Sullivan, co-founder, NIMBUS CO.

 

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