Art Crusader (AKA Hayley Groves George)
Hayley Groves George runs art workshops for kids from her home studio, is a regular exhibitor at her local regional art gallery, a member of her local arts society group and creates a dialogue between women to talk about, fundraise for and shout awareness about Domestic Violence in Australia, all through the expression of art. She is appreciated for her works that evoke emotional power, change and response; an artist that uses her mediums to communicate a message of support to others and a raw truth from within.
How long have you been a creative and how do you describe your work? ~ As far back as I can remember, I have been drawing especially in my teenage years, drawing was and still is my way to escape. In more recent times I found a love for mixed media after attending a workshop in 2011. Bright colours, female form and animals are prevalent in my works on canvas or timber. I find the connection between humans and animals interesting both visually and spiritually.
Where are you currently based and how do you get involved within the community? ~ I have lived in Maryborough (Fraser Coast region) for 14 years and I have been involved with the local Art Society and Regional Gallery for 10 years. I have been teaching after school art classes in my home studio since 2010 and I have had the privilege to tutor young talented artists who have gone on to win awards in the local art competitions.
Was there a key creative moment you experienced last year and has this impacted or changed your life? ~ My art collaborator, Susie Lewis and I exhibited Battlefield at Hervey Bay Regional Gallery. This is an exhibition very dear to our hearts as it is about our past relationships which resulted in Domestic Violent Orders being placed against the men that were meant to care for us, love us and protect us. Our stories are told through installation work, 2D and digital media form. From this exhibition we have started the conversation; not to be silent about this very serious issue that has happened to not only us but to so many others. We also partnered with local women's shelters and White Ribbon to raise money to support other woman who are going through a violent relationship and wanting to get out.
What are your big goals for 2018? ~ To tour Battlefield across Australia to raise awareness and continue to raise funds for local women's shelters and support groups where we exhibit.
What does success mean to you? ~ That my art work has a voice and raises awareness and I want it to be loud!
Do you have a mantra or favourite quote that you live by? ~ "The only thing that is stopping you is you."
How do you stay motivated? ~ I have had months of not feeling inspired which has taught me to be patient and don't force it. When the time and moment is right, I spend hours, even days in my studio. By surrounding myself with other artists, art books, and the right music to set the mood, I find this helps to get the creative juices flowing. However I generally have my best ideas when I drive long distances and have to rely on my 13 year old daughter to jot them down.
Can you share your top tips on getting your art out there? ~ Social media I find is the best and having friends in businesses that need art work to fill their walls. Both ways are great to advertise, rotate and sell your works.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a creative life? ~ Do it!!! As I said earlier "the only thing that is stopping you, is you!"