Tranquillity through creation
Through her charming cottage garden surrounded by fruit trees and vineyards, nestled in the outskirts of Seppeltsfield, Janelle Amos wanders with an old apple crate in hand, collecting anything that draws her eye.
The garden, lit with the auburn of the setting sun, is bursting with vegetables; blooming Calendulas and present with the smell of fresh dill. It has been created in such a way that gives access to every plant without veering from a path fashioned from recycled coffee bags.
It is in the shape of a mandala, the very thing that has defined Janelle’s happiness.
Janelle Amos and her husband, Paul are the owners of the local, award winning business, Barossa Coffee Roasters. What began as an interest seven years ago; roasting coffee beans inside a modified popcorn maker for themselves and friends, has flourished into a successful business.
Their success has taught Janelle that in the act of beginning and doing, we learn and achieve. It’s because of this that Janelle has now become an award winning artist.
It was during 2013 that Janelle, a little overwhelmed with the balance of owning her own business and being a mother of two young daughters, took herself out into the garden.There, she remembered a picture she had seen of a lady in America who makes mandalas as a meditative process.
A mandala is a captured image of a temporary arrangement of materials of any kind, placed around a circle centre-point to create a piece of art that reflects the creator’s emotions. With this in mind, Janelle took broccoli, calendula and kale, and made a little mandala on the ground. She took a photo on her phone, with her feet beside it. And that was the defining moment; the calm amongst the storm.
In creating mandalas, Janelle found that she was able to gather herself and take a deeper breath than usual. She calls this time, a plug into nature, and she began doing this on a regular basis.
Janelle had been an avid reader, searching for inspiration and something that holds meaning. In creating mandalas, she became inspired by her own life.
“Instead of looking for inspiration, we can find it in our own lives, our experiences and faults,” Janelle says. “That’s the book you read.”
Janelle found that by temporarily putting her art before house work and the business, she became a better mum, better wife, better worker and an all-round better person. “We ate a lot of eggs for dinner that year,” Janelle laughs.
In 2015, when the Pinery fires hit close to her family home, it broke Janelle’s creative rhythm. “I think it shifted something in everybody,” she says. “Although it didn’t impact everyone physically, the emotional effect rippled through.”
During this time, Janelle felt the urge to pick up her paint brush and complete work she began twenty years ago. Eventually she reconnected with the mandalas and created a duo, using the burned elements left behind by the fire.
“Mandalas are a filtered version of my expression, while paintings remain unfiltered,” Janelle says. “Because while arranging flowers in a nice shape is always going to be beautiful, paintings break through that filter and can radiate all kinds of emotion.”
For a long time Janelle’s mandalas were merely a creative outlet. That was until, while watching her daughters sing, “Let your light shine” at a primary school concert, that she realised how we tell our kids to shine, but fail to do so ourselves. It was then that Janelle decided to share her work.
She began by posting pictures of the mandalas on her personal Facebook page. People resonated deeply with them and this helped her to grow confidence and build from there.
When deciding to showcase her mandalas, Janelle chose to have them printed and framed in the highest quality, as archival limited edition treasures. Janelle has now established her art work under the name, Self-Pollinate, meaning; you can’t give from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first then you’ll have enough to give.
Janelle has since gone on to win ‘The Barossa Cookery Book Exhibition and Art Prize’ for a beautiful mandala she created with the ingredients of a honey biscuit recipe.
Janelle’s latest collection ‘Still Point’ has recently been on show for the SALA Festival at Peter Lehmann’s Cellar Door.
Janelle’s previous collection remains on show at Artisans of Barossa, Magnolia Road, Tanunda.
To find out more about Janelle, you can also visit her site to here.