On the Couch with Jasmine Mansbridge

Jasmine-Mansbridge-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Jasmine Mansbridge?
I currently live in Regional Victoria. I am an artist and for me that means I am always thinking of what I can paint or what I can make. I am very energised by my work. The thought processes and ideas extend across different mediums, for example from painting in the studio and outdoors, to installations and sculptures.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I wanted to be an architect when I was young as it seemed a straightforward path to creating things. These days I am not sorry that I went down a different path, as my work allows me to combine my love of architecture and design with creative expression. The sculpture I have made for the upcoming Swell Sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast this month is the perfect example of this.

Who inspires you and why? 
I am quite a philosophical person and the themes in my work deal largely with the experience of being human, whether it be referencing my own personal issues or broader ones. I am also inspired by nature and our place in the world and the connectedness of all living things. I am equally as inspired by conversations with friends as I am by reading literature from the 1800’s. The takeaway so often being that not much has changed. Humans are very much human. Most of my inspiration comes from internal musings combined with external observations.

What would you do to make a difference in the world? 
I once felt that being an artist was very low on the scale of helping the world, but over the years I have been able to contribute creatively to many worthwhile projects, and so I see that this is one way to give back. Ultimately though, the meaning of my work aside, I want it to be aesthetically pleasing and beautiful in its way. So, it can make someone smile, or slow down and look outside of themselves for a moment. Whether they understand the context or not.

Favourite holiday destination and why? 
If I wasn’t in coronavirus lockdown, I would be heading to the SWELL sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast this September. The weather in Queensland is perfect and a lot of my family live that way. Pre 2020 and covid, I loved visiting Hong Kong. The people, the bustle, the food, and the underground creativity have seen me return quite a few times over the last few years. I am lucky my work generally takes me to quite a lot of places and I also think there will be a big boom in domestic travel once coronavirus is under control.

When friends come to town what attraction would you take them to and why?
I live an hour from the Coonawarra region and there are some great wineries here. I also live 20 minutes from The Grampians National park. An ideal day with friends would start with an early mountain climb, then a couple of cellar door visits, finished up with a hearty dinner at one of the great pubs around here.

What are you currently reading? 
I listen to, rather than read books, my work is an indulgence in this regard as I have time while I paint. I have just listened to One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I loved for its narrative and exploration of what it is to live a life and what gives that life meaning.

What are you currently listening to? 
I listen to a diverse mix of things. However, I love classical music as it helps me focus and calm my mind if it is too busy.

Happiness is? 
A conscious choice and closely linked to gratitude. Being by the ocean or in the Mountains are like drinking a happiness elixir for me. Also hugs, especially from my children. Good conversation, making my favourite foods and potting round in my garden and painting of course! I also love painting with friends about and being part of creative projects with other artists. There is much to be happy about if you look.

What does the future hold for you?
Long term I have no idea, but I am pretty sure it will be good! Pre-covid I would have given you a bit of a list. But, as so many things are postponed till who knows when, that the list has lost importance! There are many things I hope to make to make people smile and slow down, to look and contemplate, this is what art is for. So, I will keep doing what I do day by day.

Jasmine’s artwork You / Me / Sky / Sea will be exhibited on the Gold Coast’s Currumbin Beach from 11 – 20 September as part of the 2020 SWELL Sculpture Festival. For more information, visit: www.swellsculpture.com.au For more information about Jasmine, visit: www.jasminemansbridge.com for details.

Image: Jasmine Mansbridge (supplied)