‘All creatures are fantastic’

An interview with Jovana Terzi

“All creatures are fantastic, we just get used to some,” says artist and teacher Jovana Terzic, co-curator of the Fantastic Creatures group show at the Orchard Gallery this month. “It is easy to forget what a fascinating world we live in, as we tend to get absorbed in an artificial human-made environment that is not nearly as exciting. It is the job of artists, visual or otherwise, to rediscover the wonder that surrounds us, and bring it closer to everyone else.”

Carolynne Miller with two of her artworks at the Orchard Gallery Photo: Miriam Pepper
Carolynne Miller with two of her artworks at the Orchard Gallery Photo: Miriam Pepper


Can you describe the creative process?

I like to let my students use whatever techniques they like that match their particular sensibilities and skills. This allows them to create freely, unburdened by technical process, and it allows me to provide support over a wide range of subjects and with different creative approaches. It celebrates diversity and uniqueness of everyone involved and ensures that the environment is supportive rather than competitive. The whole process is based on the good will of everyone involved and the result of people working together in one place is inspiring and stimulating. Over time, as people get used to each others’ company it becomes very easy to get carried away in one’s work. I would bring examples of artworks from different cultures, time periods and mythologies, as I own a number of books on the subject. These were valuable for reference and inspiration, but also a catalyst for dialogue and discussion about meaning, stories and symbols.


How diverse is the show – in terms of artists and art works?

This show is the result of a series of workshops held during winter this year as part of the South Sydney Uniting Church Saturday Art Classes. The crowd that attends these classes is coming from a wide range of ages and backgrounds, and in a sense they are all fantastic creatures with their unique habits, talents, interests, tastes, abilities and disabilities. The theme and name came from the wonderful Catherine Skipper and it resonated strongly as my own work has always revolved around mythical beings, folk narratives and C.G. Jung’s theories of dreams, archetypes and collective unconscious. It was the perfect framework for people to open up creatively. The works on display are as diverse as the people who made them, and it is precisely this eclectic assembly that I feel is what makes the exhibition interesting and worth seeing.


What do you imagine a visitor to the gallery might experience in the presence of the works?

Everyday images that surround us are mostly meant to keep us comfortable, rather than stimulate or amaze. I am hoping visitors will find the artists’ inspiration contagious and rediscover the world with fresh eyes, or at least see and feel something new and different. As we go through life we seem to get diminishing opportunity to experience and do new things, but this is mostly because we forget to keep searching, not because we’ve seen everything there is to see. These people have been searching, and for a brief moment they will lend you their eyes and hearts.

Fantastic Creatures

Curated by Jovana Terzic and Catherine Skipper

The Orchard Gallery

56a Raglan St Waterloo

Until September 30, 2017

Phone 0415 491 937

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