So much so, that at the beginning of a months-long mentorship with City of Onkaparinga Youth Program Officer – Arts, Carly Snoswell, their goal was to narrow the focus.
“Pearl’s a firecracker, which is a good way to describe her,” says Carly on the eve of Pearl’s first art exhibition, launching at Wardli Youth Centre, Christie Downs, on Monday 31 August.
The exhibition, My Brain is a Circus – A Kaleidoscope of Thoughts – which encourages us to think positively about ourselves and embrace our differences – is a result of the inaugural Onkaparinga Youth SALA mentorship program.
The program, aimed at helping young local artists present their first art exhibition with the City of Onkaparinga, paired Pearl and Happy Valley 17-year-old Aimee Allan, with mentor Carly, who has a Master in Visual Arts and has worked in the arts industry for almost a decade.
Carly has supported the artists to explore their ideas and brainstorm methods of exhibition; provided feedback and direction on their creative process; and supported through the steps involved in planning for an exhibition.
“She’s full of ideas and energy and she’s a very kind and positive person to be around,” Carly says of Pearl.
“In the beginning it was about narrowing down, focusing in, and saying, it’s OK! We can do all the other ideas another time. It has created a much more cohesive body of work.
“It’s great to nourish these talents and interests in the young so it can continue and thrive as they get older.”
Pearl, who has been creating art for herself and for friends as gifts for most of her life, says the mentorship has given her the freedom to experiment with new mediums, build confidence and help her find her voice.
“It’s been a really fun experience with Carly,” Pearl says.
“I never thought I’d start using Posca pens, but [now] I’ve got a new medium!
“There have been lots of meetings and she’s guided me on a lot of things, like online aspects, writing about my art and being professional.”
But Carly says the learning has gone both ways.
“We have so much to learn as adults from young people [too], and it has been great for me to see really fresh and raw ideas and artworks and learn to let go of things,” she explains.
My Brain is a Circus – A Kaleidoscope of Thoughts launches 5-7pm today (Monday 31 August) at Wardli Youth Centre, 13 McKinna Road, Christie Downs, and it runs until Wednesday 30 September (3-5pm, Mondays to Thursdays).
The works will also be displayed via the Onkaparinga Youth Facebook page alongside those of Aimee Allen, whose physical exhibition will take place at Base 10 Youth Centre in Reynella later this year.