On the Couch with Carmen Glynn-Braun

Carmen-Glynn-Braun-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Carmen Glynn-Braun?
Carmen Glynn-Braun is a Kaytetye, Anmatyerr and Eastern Arrernte cross-disciplinary artist who uses contemporary methods of capturing First Nations storytelling which she translates across many artistic mediums. Carmen is currently curating one of seven signature art installations for this year’s Parrtjima – A Festival in Light, taking place in her hometown of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) from 8 – 17 April 2022.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’d like to work in a therapeutic field with young people, in art therapy perhaps. I was a therapeutic youth worker for 10 years and believe that storytelling can truly help people heal. Studying art therapy wasn’t an option when I went to art school, but it is now.

Who inspires you and why?
My mum and grandmother. They’ve inspired my passion for First Nations storytelling. My grandmother, who co-founded CAAMA, a major media network here in Alice Springs, was a trailblazer in Indigenous media. Mum did the same through film. I spent a lot of time in editing studios as a kid or on film sets watching and listening to stories, culture and music being recorded. That’s where my creative foundations started.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think its important to support people to better understand their own trauma. It’s important that people learn to self-regulate because once people are healed internally, everything else falls into place and it can have beneficial impacts for all families and communities.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Far north Queensland. My grandmother has a little place near Cairns. I love the rainforest tropics and Great Barrier Reef and that landscape in comparison to Sydney and Alice Springs. It is my favourite place.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The West MacDonnell Ranges, 20 minutes out of Alice Springs. It epitomises the beautiful landscapes of the desert, especially when the waters are up or it’s spring and everything is blooming. It’s one of many amazing places to experience when you come to Alice Springs.

What are you currently reading?
I’m so inundated with my art, there is no time for books right now. I’m working on several public artworks which entails a lot of research, looking at art history and reading the writings of traditional elders. If I do have time for a book, it’s in the car listening to an audiobook.

What are you currently listening to?
A lot of business podcasts. It’s my first couple of years as a sole trader so I’m just trying to figure how to run my life as an artist and build my career within the wider arts community. Business mindset is a huge part of that.

Happiness is?
A conscious choice. People make the mistake of waiting for it to happen, but you must choose it. You must choose happiness every single day if that’s what you want in life.

What does the future hold for you?
Making a lot of good art I hope! I’m open really. Whatever brings me happiness. If that means making more art or moving back home to Alice Springs permanently instead of constantly criss-crossing to Sydney, then so be it. Just being around family is one of my priorities post lockdown, as is focusing on creating my own niche and finding my place in the art world.

Carmen is part of a stellar line-up of Indigenous artists and speakers taking part in this year’s Parrtjima – A Festival in Light, the only Aboriginal light, art, and culture festival of its kind in the world taking place in Alice Springs from 8 – 17 April 2022. For more information, visit: www.parrtjima.org.au for details.

Image: Carmen Glynn-Braun (supplied)