Essay by Luke Foster
“Cara MacLeod lives on Yaegl country in Northern Rivers NSW and works as an artist educator in galleries, museums, schools and community settings. She develops learning resources and facilitates fun and inclusive creative learning experiences for people of all ages and abilities. Cara values curiosity, experimentation and collaboration and builds connections between artists, communities and our environment. She uses found materials, drawing, painting and collage to investigate and reveal the underlying stories and structures of evocative places and people who inhabit them.”
This a quote by Cara she wanted to add to her bio:
“The first one is about how I’m focused more on community and creative recovery since moving out of Sydney. After the bushfires in 2019 to 20 I got more involved in my local context and this has continued to grow into new opportunities for connecting more broadly in the community beyond the art world.”
I met Cara at College of fine Arts in the mid 90s and she was doing a bachelor of fine arts in painting and I was finishing off my masters in sculpture. Just yesterday I found one of her drawings in my garage/ studio from a drawing swap and framed it and can’t wait to hang it in my substantial art collection in my new apartment.
Cara’s art is like her personality is very colourful and sensitive.
After COFA Cara went on to study a Masters of Teaching at Sydney University that opened the doors for her to get good private school teaching jobs and then move onto the prestigious job of being an arts educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney.
Cara’s girlfriend Maiara is equally creative and kind. She has a drone to make video art and works on complex video commissions.
I followed Cara’s lead in studying the education course at Sydney University but failed due to poor health and then finished my education studies at Southern Cross University with a Graduate Diploma. However, I never put it to good use not even doing one teaching day in Australia apart from my practise teaching. Perhaps I used it in my essay writing with ideas such as win/win situations.
Cara and her partner now own their own house in the country and now still works at the MCA and also in community arts projects.
When I think of Cara I think of the ancient philosophy of Zen as that encapsulates her personality and creative output.
“Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.”
– Zen Proverb