Thursday, December 2, 2010

a little bit about working down under

After the installation and all the parties and openings were through, I had some time before three week long exhibition was up to explore Australia. But instead of being a free spirit, for some reason I opted to reach out to some local business contacts about working with some Aussie krews. I was hoping for maybe five days, but I was offered seven days work in Sydney and six days in Canberra.
I usually don’t talk about my pay-the-bills job on this my sculpture blog. So what is this work? Well, in addition to sculpting, I support collaborative sessions for fortune 100 companies. I am one on a team of facilitators. I most often work as a graphic facilitator, graphic recorder, visual cartographer or scribe (basically I create a real-time visual map of a discussion). But I also work in other roles.
It was a very eye opening experience. I was challenged to work in another culture with other ways of working and communicating. I learned a lot about how I interact with people (I was constantly questioning how I was perceived since I was the “American” in the room). I found that even though you share a language, you aren't always saying the same thing. For instance, a witches hat in Australia is a safety cone!
What I also found was the refreshing mix of like-minded individuals that keeps me attracted to doing this work – even though I am not really interested in “business” stuff. The folks I worked with were dedicated, fun-loving, over-achieving and sarcastic people. It is nice to be surrounded by such a lovely culture. Working in my studio with metal and a welder doesn’t leave a lot of room for conversation and exchange.  Being a people person, that can become quite isolating. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but this job fills that gap for me and enables me to continue to “emerge” as a sculptor.

Oh and my favorite new saying instead of "I don't care about ..." is "I can't be bothered with ... "

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