This coming Friday evening, the 1st of April 2016, something beautiful is happening. At CQ University Noosa Art Space, it will be opening night of a solo exhibition by Sunshine Coast artist Mikarla Teague.
I’ve known Mikarla Teague for more than eight years, and I’ve watched over time as she and her artwork have slashed away from the expectations and safety of ‘society’ to fight for what she believes in.
Through her artwork, poetry and activism, her heart, soul, tears, and I dare say every dollar she’s ever earned, have spilled from somewhere inside her that is unexplainable to be laid bare to the world. Mikarla was meant to share with us. I don’t often talk about fate, but some people in this world are here to make a difference. Mikarla is one such soul.
Her work is raw, uninhibited, and dares you to look into the mirror of a reality we shy away from because it scares us. As a student of literature, I am taught that the greatest literary art of time holds that mirror up to society. I love Mikarla’s art for the same reason I love literature – though at times my heart aches, I can’t look away. And I feel compelled to do something, though I’m still working out what that is.
Maybe today it is just about sharing this message, and the love I have for her work. But I truly believe that her work will speak for itself.
The piece below, ‘Lessons in Falling’, is one of my favourites. I asked Mikarla to share a few pieces for this post, and it is amazing to me that she included this one. There is something visceral about it. It tugs at something inside that does not have a name. The woman in me, the feminine, the tainted heart, sucks this piece in like a drop of water on a parched tongue. In awe of the drop and utterly starving for more. I feel as if it were a portrait of love herself. Love knows pain. Anyone who has ever lost anything knows that. I could stare at this painting for hours and still feel as though I have more to read from it.
I was lucky enough to ask Mikarla a couple of questions about her exhibition, and what this exhibition means to her.
“On Love & Politics” is a strong title, what can we expect from the show?
I’m incredibly proud of this body of work, it’s a testament and timeline of how my work and abilities have evolved over the past few years. You’ll notice that in the variance of pieces on show, from the more popular cerebral works like “Love is a human right”, to more expressive emotive pieces like that of the muses.
At first I was concerned the exhibit would be random and chaotic, but then I concluded life is beautifully and undeniably random and chaotic – It’s the human experience. We are living in such progressive and revolutionary times; everything from politics to love is unpredictable and untamed, with so many layers and intricacies, which are forever evolving.
This collection focuses fore mostly on the diverse and intricate interweb of human interconnectivity and stories; the vast plethora of human emotion and the profound shared human experiences and patterns. Behind the faces of war, conflict, terror, isolation are human beings experiencing the exact same surfeit of human emotion and story; whether it be love, heartache, fear, sex, intimacy, happiness – Universally we all share these definable human experiences. The Exhibition is an ode to the human experience, these stories we share.
I’ve noticed you’re presenting more contemporary and emotive pieces, a slight step away from the activism art. Tell me about this progression.
Absolutely. I have always expressed emotion in my work, perhaps not as raw and untamed as what I’m presenting now. There is a great liberation and release in these pieces, I view them as activism and philosophical dissection of the heart searching for deeper meaning and understanding. All my works are based on actual people and my interpersonal experiences with them, I approach them as works of living poetry that all tell a divine and intricate story of a period in time in which I shared an experience with another of the 7,273,405,490 individuals on the planet that altered me in some way. This isn’t always entirely romantic; it can be creative, philosophical, spiritual or cerebral.
For example, the most recent pieces are an embodiment of the divine femininity and an ode to the strength and resilience of what the feminine encapsulates. I really want to focus a lot of my current work on strong women, and empower that within society, the patriarchy is an area of society that truly needs a lot of strong art thrown at in question and protest, and I chose to approach this through poetic and feminine representation.
Anyway, the pieces were actually inspired by a close friend, Genevieve Lucy, she’s a powerhouse embodiment of talent, a young Brisbane based writer to keep an eye on. The triptych encapsulates when two like-minded forces connect, great inspiration ensues, and we were creatively inspired by the essence of one another and wanted to share that through her poetry and my visuals, this piece honors that profound and rare human connection we are sometimes fortuitous enough to encounter on our paths. I hope the contemporary pieces inspire and empower others to honor their own profound human connections in all their complexities, and not be fearful of them.
Thank you Mikarla for spending this time sharing more about your exhibition, we wish you the best of luck with it, and I for one and very excited to see it.
I implore you to take a moment and gaze gently over the works. Noticing what emotions bubble to the surface as you look at them. Don’t question those emotions, just acknowledge them and let them go. And sometimes I know you may feel the desire to look away – it is my belief that this is when we have the most to gain from looking again.
Mikarla’s art is bold, confronting, and breathtaking. It is for these reasons that it is beautiful, and it is exactly what we need in the world right now.
I left this piece for last as it is the one that stirs the most in me. I don’t even have words for the way it makes me feel. What I do know is I cannot wait to be standing in front of it.
For anyone on the Sunshine Coast, or the greater south-east Queensland, if you would like to take the opportunity to see these pieces for yourself, the exhibition will be running from the 1st to the 15th of April 2016. Opening evening of Friday the 1st begins at 5pm until 6:30pm.
The Exhibition is being held at CQ University Noosa Art Space, Level 1, Building A, 90 Goodchap St, Noosaville. Open Mon-Fri 9am – 4pm. Wesbite: http://www.cqunas.org
In one collection Mikarla Teague courageously combines her two passions of social activism, equality and political justice vs. her passion for love, poetry, sexuality and all its incalculable desire – and boldly contrasts the two in CQ University’s intimate Art Space. Her challenge to the viewer is, what is the difference between the activism we partake in our world, and the activism we partake of the heart?
Good luck Mikarla, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.
If you’d to know more about Mikarla, you can check out her website: http://www.mikarlateague.com
or connect with her on twitter: https://twitter.com/MikarlaTeague or facebook: https://web.facebook.com/mikarlateagueart