The day after

Last night at 107 Project in Redfern, nine creative souls gathered to take part in my newly designed crea-R-tive writing workshop.

Though writing about anxiety and personal feelings for one hour might seem daunting to some, the bunch of us endlessly poured ink on to paper... and that includes the ones who usually prefer ink as a painting medium rather than for writing. With some even thinking it could go on for a bit longer, I was thrilled to experiment this new way of sharing and group-creating. 

For the untrained mind, writing freely is not as easy as it might appear. Mental barriers (is this even any good? Can I write such thing?) get in the way and slow down/interrupt the thought process. 

Free writing is a well known technique that writers often use as part of their daily routine. To employ it in a cathartic context meant it needed to be breaked down in approachable steps. I also wanted this workshop to culminate in a positive  outcome.

While the first half hour was used to individually trap any (sour) feeling that was experienced at the time of the workshop, the second part was dedicated to collaboration and peer to peer work.  The aim was to buil something constructive together.

After extracting words from the indivudual free writing exercises, we joined them in a surrealist poetry, following the rules of Esquisite corpse writing technique.

Here is a short extract, with some of the best lines:

A hammerhead breathes in a transparent mask, cocks are caged lungs on the seaside and strange bananas climb a spear on a groin. Meanwhile real life is hovering inside my body.

In the morning, a rock purchases my dreams, despite the sand walking on people whom I do not wish to see in real life. 

History is caring a greyscale head.

A tiger hides a fish soup in the park.

All my bodies are following a safety net, forever.

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Born in France, Sofie Dieu’s first encounter with art was through church. With a penchant for ritual and spirituality, the artist is best known for her fragile, sombre, and sometimes violent ink paintings and textile works.


Poetic and humanist, her practice draws on her journeys to China and Australia. She explores how identity and memory fluctuate according to their immediate environment. Landscapes, people, secrecy, healing, and the dichotomy between light and darkness are some of her recurring themes.


Multi-art prizes and award finalist, her work was included in the Sydney North Art Prize, Waterhouse Natural Science prize and the Contemporary Art Award amongst others. In 2016, she worked on the Camperdown Cemetery installation for Sydney Biennale. In 2017, her work will be shown during Vivid and Mental Health Month in Sydney.