Earlier this year, I was introduced to Art & Wine. I was immediately taken by the idea that my lady friends and I could ditch the boys and with a paint brush in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, tap into our inner Frida. Upon entering the space, I came to realise that this was about far more than just art, or wine. Of course, fundamentally Art & Wine is a fun night of creativity out with the girls, complimented by delicious food and delectable vino. But don't be fooled by the light-hearted framing device, because the experience of Art & Wine is multifaceted.
These unique workshops take the stigma away from generally taboo topics, and put them forward to be discussed in an honest, comfortable and open way. Art & Wine is more than just a paint and sip workshop; it's an intimate and safe space designed by women, for women. Facilitated in such a way that topics like our sexual preferences, experiences and feelings are candidly discussed, while we are guided and coached through a fun painting process. Jen, the facilitator and founder of Art & Wine, opens the room by sharing her experiences about body love, desires, and stories during the workshop. This encourages women to open up and contribute to the conversation as they graze, create, and drink a glass or two while jamming to a perfectly curated playlist featuring the bossiest of babes like Junglepussy, Erykah Badu & Missy Elliot.
Listen to Playlist Here: 'Body Love' by Art & Wine on Spotify
I asked Jen about her about her relationship with art. “My family really struggled to make ends meet, but I found comfort in my creative expression. I would draw, write stories and perform on the coffee table to Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin’ - as a five year old having no idea what the lyrics suggested - and I felt free of all worries. I was able to enjoy my-little-self.”
Nowadays, Jen’s relationship with art has changed.
“It helps me reevaluate, and gain a better understanding of the world, but it continues to be my ‘go-to’ when I’m feeling strung-out and anxious.”
I felt compelled to know more about the origins of Art & Wine & how the concept came to be. Jen found that she “wanted to create a space where people come together, and enjoy the sweetness of everyday pleasures, like food and wine, while expressing themselves through art and conversation, without the fear of being critiqued”
“On arrival expect a glass of champagne and a delicious grazing platter prepared by the wonderful Sophie. Naturally, we encourage lots of conversation and mingling, so prepare to make a few new friends. And, in terms of art, don't worry if you haven't painted before, I'll be there guiding you through every step of the process, both artistically and conversationally.”
The inspiration behind the topics covered during Art & Wine comes from Jen’s desire to challenge restrictive notions placed upon women. “Throughout our lives, we're constantly fed ideas about beauty and sexuality, which in most cases, lack diversity and are detached from reality. When left unexamined, these messages shape our sense of 'self', having us believe that our worth is determined by these misconceptions. Art & Wine uses creativity as a tool to unpack those ideas, and aims to empower people to love and embrace their sexy selves.”
On the topic of who’s invited to attend her workshops, Jen says that “Art and Wine is fun, yet intimate. We delve into topics of sexuality and love, and we really want our guests to feel comfortable expressing and celebrating themselves. For now, our classes are open to women, female-identifying and non-binary people. But for everyone else, watch this space!”
Ultimately, Jen recognises the value in bringing women together to drink wine, and paint. “Painting is such a cathartic process, I encourage everyone to have some sort of creative outlet. Also, drinking vino with friends is always a fun time, truly! There is nothing like a night in with the girls, talking smack and indulging in food and wine. Absolutely perfecto!" .
I left the Art & Wine workshop feeling liberated. Not only was I coached through the creation of some beautiful artwork, but I was also apart of a great space where everyone was made to feel comfortable to express themselves honestly. We were reminded to embrace ourselves, and one another, all while having a laugh, drink, nibble and catch up.
The experience was uplifting and moving, yet simple at its core.
A night out with a difference.
Lost Little One and Art & Wine have joined forced to give away a prize pack fit for a Qween!
We're giving one lucky winner
$150 online voucher to spoil yourself from Lost Little One
Art & Wine workshops are held in Collingwood, Melbourne once a month.
To find out more and secure yourself a ticket to the next instalment, head to Art & Wine
Lost Little One products are designed in Melbourne and ethically handcrafted in Morocco. You can check out our full collection here