A friend of mine, a small-business owner, recently told me that in winter she logs out of all social media, takes a long hiatus from the constant noise around her and focuses inwards. Her attention and renewed energy go towards self-growth, healing, reconnection and future projection. Some may see this as self-indulgent, but she’s adamant that taking time out is an essential part of modern life, especially for women.
I’m kind of envious. If I turned off all media, my businesses would crumble. In order for me to take a hiatus from all the noise, I’d need to have my children fitted with off switches, to begin with. If I focused inwards, my poor mother would be calling me 17 times a day to check that I’d eaten and taken my multivitamins.
But how wonderful it is to have a circle of friends, peers, colleagues, mentors and role models who generously share what it means — and what it takes — to be a woman today. I remember about 15 years ago having a very petulant whinge to then-Governor-General Quentin Bryce about how terribly busy my life was and my frustration with the constant juggle (back then, my greatest problem would have been something along the lines of what to ask Robbie Williams in an upcoming interview). She wisely said: “You can have it all, just not at the same time. You can have children, and a career, and travel and a social life, but not all at the same time.”
Though it seemed a harsh reality back then — patience is certainly not my middle name — I’ll never forget that conversation and it has stood me in good stead.
This issue of T Australia pays tribute to so many amazing women around the world and their special bonds. In our cover story (page 56), Miranda Otto and Teresa Palmer note the progress that’s being made in the TV and film industries in terms of gender equality, with the project that united them onscreen for the first time — the new psych-drama “The Clearing” — having a mostly female cast and crew.
Acting — and fame — can be isolating, but it’s clear there’s a structural element to Teresa’s and Miranda’s career success, whether you call it a support system or collaboration in service of an artistic dream. Both are mothers, artists and expats, and though their paths to Hollywood couldn’t be more different, the respect they have for each other’s careers speaks volumes.
Continuing this theme, our Structure issue brings together a series of powerful portraits that capture the intimacy of mentorship among female creatives. “Legends & Heirs” (page 66) features artists at the top of their game from the fields of fashion, music, writing, acting, art and comedy, and poses a deceptively simple question: who inspires you?
In the second instalment of T Australia Faces (page 24), we welcome a guest curator, the conceptual artist Tyrone Wright, aka Rone, who’s selected three up-and-comers that he thinks should be on everyone’s radar. In keeping with the Structure theme, Wright has nominated an architect, an entrepreneur in design/construction and a muralist, all of whom, in different ways, are reimagining physical and metaphorical structures.
And our columnist, Lance Richardson, takes us down memory lane to an analogue time of slow road-trip navigation, mindful binge-watching and music you can reach out and touch (page 28).
We’ve very proud of this issue. I hope it inspires you to recharge and reconnect.