COMMON PEOPLE #12

ELISE IDIENS, AUSTINMER NSW

Raised on a fourth generation grazier property in central NSW to now the picturesque escarpment of Austinmer, and a few places in between Elise Idiens brings her rural life to the city through expression made in her photography and creative writing. Elise’s extensive career as a hairdresser and passion for rural Australia has led her through a journey using these mediums determined to make Australian’s know their Australia better.

 

WORDS BY ELISE IDIENS - IMAGES BY MARK ANTHONY FOX & ELISE IDIENS

COMMON PEOPLE #12

ELISE IDIENS, AUSTINMER NSW

Raised on a fourth generation grazier property in central NSW to now the picturesque escarpment of Austinmer, and a few places in between Elise Idiens brings her rural life to the city through expression made in her photography and creative writing. Elise’s extensive career as a hairdresser and passion for rural Australia has led her through a journey using these mediums determined to make Australian’s know their Australia better.

WORDS BY ELISE IDIENS - IMAGES BY MARK ANTHONY FOX & ELISE IDIENS

 

 

FOR OUR AUDIENCE TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
 

I am a creative with skills that sit within hairdressing, photography and writing.

 

YOU GREW UP IN A RURAL COMMUNITY OF ONLY 300 PEOPLE, TELL US WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GROW UP IN SUCH A SMALL COMMUNITY
 

I grew up on a fourth generation Grazier property in the village of Gooloogong on Wiradjuri country. The property sits between the banks of the Lachlan River and the Conimbla National Park.

Schooling was shared with 30 other students; kindergarten to year six, all snap-lock packed in the same room.  The memory of Lamington drives, door knock appeals and being chased down 1 of the 9 streets in Gooloogong by dogs of mix breed part dingo, part monster.

Days were spent in PCYC gymnasiums, athletic fields, swimming clubs and never ending hours of horse riding. You would catch me pillaging antique furniture from neighbouring dilapidated farm houses, dragging car bonnets behind motor bikes, planting trees with my grandfather, picking apricots and stirring custard with my grandmother.

 

IN YOUR PAST YOU HAVE STRUGGLED WITH MENTAL HEALTH, WHICH IS NOT UNCOMMON AS WE KNOW FOR PEOPLE WORKING AND LIVING IN RURAL AREAS. TELL US, FOR OTHERS, HOW YOU'VE BEEN ABLE TO MANAGE AND OVERCOME THIS?
 

Growing up I was acutely aware of surroundings and incredibly hypersensitive to the world, I struggled with the school education system. Girls. Boys. Humans in general.

At age 15 my mother suggested I should get a job to improve my state of mind.

At 16 I moved to Canberra were I was fortunate enough to step into an apprenticeship within a salon that regarded hairdressing more than a trade but an art form. The salon fuelled and supported my desire to be the greatest with what natural abilities I possessed. I would travel and work in award winning Sydney Salons in my holidays which led to permanently residing in Sydney, working with two times awarded Australia’s Hairdresser of the year, Brad Ngata.

Within that time I was in a long-term relationship with photographer Stefan Wellsmore. Stefan helped me understand my hypersensitivity and taught me how to photograph. A medium to realise my pain of anxiety and help me to meditate the beautiful mess we exist in.

 

FOR OUR AUDIENCE TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
 

I am a creative with skills that sit within hairdressing, photography and writing.

 

YOU GREW UP IN A RURAL COMMUNITY OF ONLY 300 PEOPLE, TELL US WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GROW UP IN SUCH A SMALL COMMUNITY
 

I grew up on a fourth generation Grazier property in the village of Gooloogong on Wiradjuri country. The property sits between the banks of the Lachlan River and the Conimbla National Park.

Schooling was shared with 30 other students; kindergarten to year six, all snap-lock packed in the same room.  The memory of Lamington drives, door knock appeals and being chased down 1 of the 9 streets in Gooloogong by dogs of mix breed part dingo, part monster.

Days were spent in PCYC gymnasiums, athletic fields, swimming clubs and never ending hours of horse riding. You would catch me pillaging antique furniture from neighbouring dilapidated farm houses, dragging car bonnets behind motor bikes, planting trees with my grandfather, picking apricots and stirring custard with my grandmother.

 

IN YOUR PAST YOU HAVE STRUGGLED WITH MENTAL HEALTH, WHICH IS NOT UNCOMMON AS WE KNOW FOR PEOPLE WORKING AND LIVING IN RURAL AREAS. TELL US, FOR OTHERS, HOW YOU'VE BEEN ABLE TO MANAGE AND OVERCOME THIS?
 

Growing up I was acutely aware of surroundings and incredibly hypersensitive to the world, I struggled with the school education system. Girls. Boys. Humans in general.

At age 15 my mother suggested I should get a job to improve my state of mind.

At 16 I moved to Canberra were I was fortunate enough to step into an apprenticeship within a salon that regarded hairdressing more than a trade but an art form. The salon fuelled and supported my desire to be the greatest with what natural abilities I possessed. I would travel and work in award winning Sydney Salons in my holidays which led to permanently residing in Sydney, working with two times awarded Australia’s Hairdresser of the year, Brad Ngata.

Within that time I was in a long-term relationship with photographer Stefan Wellsmore. Stefan helped me understand my hypersensitivity and taught me how to photograph. A medium to realise my pain of anxiety and help me to meditate the beautiful mess we exist in.

“Days were spent in PCYC gymnasiums, athletic fields, swimming clubs and never ending hours of horse riding. You would catch me pillaging antique furniture from neighbouring dilapidated farm houses, dragging car bonnets behind motor bikes, planting trees with my grandfather, picking apricots and stirring custard with my grandmother.”

“Days were spent in PCYC gymnasiums, athletic fields, swimming clubs and never ending hours of horse riding. You would catch me pillaging antique furniture from neighbouring dilapidated farm houses, dragging car bonnets behind motor bikes, planting trees with my grandfather, picking apricots and stirring custard with my grandmother.”

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR INITIATIVES TO HELP SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY IN GOOLOOGONG? HOW HAVE YOUR INITIATIVES HELPED THE COMMUNITY?
 

As I grew from this experience, my travels home to my family property were filled with the need to make a change within the community that I grew up in. That community over the course of one generation had lost its young professionals to the larger towns and cities. Social groups disconnected, a lack of community sponsorship ceased sporting teams and religious congregations shut their doors and sold their land.

The township became distant to one and other but what stood was a community log cabin that hosted a small market of six stalls. I saw the opportunity to give my artistic skills of social media, photography and a Pop Up hair salon to expand the market to a greater audience and encourage social interaction, conversation and an outlet for creatives that lived in the region. The market now has attendance of 40+ stalls and is a regular on people’s calendars.

 

WE'D LOVE TO KNOW IF THERE'S A STORY BEHIND THE NAME 'MANE & TALES' OF YOUR HAIRDRESSING BUSINESS?
 

The name Mane and Tales stems from ‘Mane’ my love for my horse growing up. The ‘Tales’ are the incredible people I come to meet through hairdressing or complete strangers I walk past in the street. In instances when the sheer beauty of their appearance takes me aback, I will ask them to collaborate with me in styling their hair and capturing their portrait. These images are then exhibited on my website and social media.

 

WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM SHOOT TO SHOOT?
 

Using the medium of photography and writing I’m determined to make Australians know their Australia better. I am naturally inclined to speak about our countrymen and countrywoman continually looking at ways to bridge a gap between our cultural history, our First Nations People and the back bone of where our food and resources comes from, rural Australia is my home and therefore my passion.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR INITIATIVES TO HELP SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY IN GOOLOOGONG? HOW HAVE YOUR INITIATIVES HELPED THE COMMUNITY?

 

As I grew from this experience, my travels home to my family property were filled with the need to make a change within the community that I grew up in. That community over the course of one generation had lost its young professionals to the larger towns and cities. Social groups disconnected, a lack of community sponsorship ceased sporting teams and religious congregations shut their doors and sold their land.

The township became distant to one and other but what stood was a community log cabin that hosted a small market of six stalls. I saw the opportunity to give my artistic skills of social media, photography and a Pop Up hair salon to expand the market to a greater audience and encourage social interaction, conversation and an outlet for creatives that lived in the region. The market now has attendance of 40+ stalls and is a regular on people’s calendars.

 

WE'D LOVE TO KNOW IF THERE'S A STORY BEHIND THE NAME 'MANE & TALES' OF YOUR HAIRDRESSING BUSINESS?
 

The name Mane and Tales stems from ‘Mane’ my love for my horse growing up. The ‘Tales’ are the incredible people I come to meet through hairdressing or complete strangers I walk past in the street. In instances when the sheer beauty of their appearance takes me aback, I will ask them to collaborate with me in styling their hair and capturing their portrait. These images are then exhibited on my website and social media.

 

WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM SHOOT TO SHOOT?
 

Using the medium of photography and writing I’m determined to make Australians know their Australia better. I am naturally inclined to speak about our countrymen and countrywoman continually looking at ways to bridge a gap between our cultural history, our First Nations People and the back bone of where our food and resources comes from, rural Australia is my home and therefore my passion.

“….I’m determined to make Australians know their Australia better. I am naturally inclined to speak about our countrymen and countrywoman continually looking at ways to bridge a gap between our cultural history, our First Nations People and the back bone of where our food and resources comes from, rural Australia is my home and therefore my passion.”

“….I’m determined to make Australians know their Australia better. I am naturally inclined to speak about our countrymen and countrywoman continually looking at ways to bridge a gap between our cultural history, our First Nations People and the back bone of where our food and resources comes from, rural Australia is my home and therefore my passion.”

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT COMING UP IN THE FUTURE?
 

I’m looking forward to my next photography exhibition at Village Practice, Woonona (Feb to April) which the opening night on 24th February will be shared with Yarn Circle hosted by Koori Country Firesticks.

Learn more about Elise here.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT COMING UP IN THE FUTURE?
 

I’m looking forward to my next photography exhibition at Village Practice, Woonona (Feb to April) which the opening night on 24th February will be shared with Yarn Circle hosted by Koori Country Firesticks.

Learn more about Elise here.

PREVIOUS ENTRY
 
COMMON PEOPLE #11
JANA STEWART, PETERSHAM NSW
 

From the beautiful landscape of Mornington Peninsula to the creative launchpad of Sydney’s Inner West, Jana Stewart shows us that nature and city life can co-exist. This budding Microbiologist has transformed a space to call her own , a Mini Mart inspired by a road trip through Japan it’s filled with greenery and local art and designed for people who think outside the box. Jana takes her plant show on the road with her Plant Parenthood Workshop teaching the basics and science behind keeping those plant pets alive.

PREVIOUS ENTRY

COMMON PEOPLE #11

JANA STEWART, PETERSHAM NSW

From the beautiful landscape of Mornington Peninsula to the creative launchpad of Sydney’s Inner West, Jana Stewart shows us that nature and city life can co-exist. This budding Microbiologist has transformed a space to call her own , a Mini Mart inspired by a road trip through Japan it’s filled with greenery and local art and designed for people who think outside the box. Jana takes her plant show on the road with her Plant Parenthood Workshop teaching the basics and science behind keeping those plant pets alive.