And here it is, Tess’s speech for my opening at the Rtist Gallery.. She put so much heart into it, and I thought it was too good not to share with those of you who couldn’t be there on the night.. and if you like what you read, go check out her baby, the Creative Women’s Circle

Welcome everyone to Rtist gallery tonight, where we’ve come together to enjoy the 15 works that make up The Space Between by artist Jasmine Mansbridge. My name is Tess McCabe and Jasmine has asked me here tonight to officially open her show, and take a few minutes to tell you a little bit about the thought, process and meaning behind these intricate, deliberate works and about Jasmine herself. Jasmine and I have known of each other’s work for about three years, having connected through an online community that I run called Creative Women’s Circle. When I first came across Jasmine’s work it struck me immediately as being unique and without reference to anything I was familiar with in the contemporary art scene in Melbourne. It was also very apparent to me that works of this size and level of detail were coming from an artist who has a strong inclination to marry the aesthetically pleasing with visual interest for the viewer. You can discover new and different things with every viewing of one of Jasmine’s works, be it a hidden door, a staircase, an architectural anomaly, or a reminder that the works are laboured over by hand. The works in this collection are a culmination of Jasmine’s influences throughout her painting career. Her life experiences and the relationships she has with her family and the people around her have informed her world view – that she is incredibly lucky to wake up every day and live the life that she does. These works are born from her personal experiences, but they also mirror the experiences of strangers. Vulnerability, isolation, words left unsaid – these concepts and emotions are all covered here, but are coupled with permanence, reliability, comfort and peace. As intricate as a human life can be, we can all share in the narrative Jasmine has presented to us here, and share our own experiences through our independent interpretation of the work. It is juxtaposition in these works that bring them to life. Their free-form backgrounds push the architectural structures to take on a three dimensional quality, suspended in animation, cloudlike. Like dreams, they are hopeful, bursting with possibility from receding elements of darkness. Jasmine says that overall her works should come across as joyful, and that in them she is sharing her own experiences through a visual narrative, and making sense of both the difficult, the beautiful and the bittersweet, that make up a life. Technically speaking, these works are built to last. Here is a woman who respects her materials and has formulated a process for creating them that will ensure longevity, truly make them investment pieces. Jasmine is ambitious and single-focused when it comes to painting as her artistic medium, but measures that ambition with her other commitments as a mother, wife, friend, daughter and community citizen. To meet an artist who lives and works every day with such intention is a rarity. Even down to the wine we are drinking tonight, from Pierre Point Winery, mere minutes from Jasmine’s home in Hamilton – supporting her community is very important. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jasmine about her family life earlier this year, and she gave a fantastic insight into how those who are most important to her – her husband Shaun, and children Caprice, Eden, Jack and Esther – interact with her art and inform her career as an artist. For half her life, Jasmine has taught herself to be persistent, consistent, patient and resourceful in order to do the thing she loves to do the most – paint. I have no doubt that in 50 years from now, Jasmine will continue to wake up every day with a paintbrush in hand, or at the very least with her latest work at the forefront of her mind, always planning its execution and revelling in the process of bringing her story to life on canvas again. Finally if there is one thing I know about Jasmine, it’s that she loves to have a chat! She is more than happy to answer any questions you might have about these works here tonight, or share your interpretation and experience of a particular painting. Also please say hi to Sarah Jane Muscat and Diana Fowler from the Rtist Gallery, they’re toward the back to assist you with enquiries. Again, I’d like to thank you all for coming tonight and hope that you will join me in a toast to Jasmine for her incredible work on The Space Between.”

See what I mean, so heartfelt I had to share, although she will probably be red faced that I have done so… and, yes, she is booked in for my eulogy! Have a great day guys, hope to see some of you at the gallery again tonight! Thanks again Tess xxx

ps.. if you missed seeing the clips of my work.. you can check them out; HereJasmineMansbridge-opening-night-30