‘Compassionate Being’ By Vanessa Jaber

9th November – 17th December
Tacit Gallery, Collingwood, Melbourne.

Earlier in 2017, I was luckily enough to meet Vanessa Jaber in one of my Palm Cove beach yoga classes.  Vanessa was visiting Palm Cove for a month, from Melbourne, to take some time out for herself in nature.  She attended my classes regularly during her stay, and we quickly became friends.

It was upon her next visit to Palm Cove a couple of months later that Vanessa asked if I would like to be part of an art project she wanted to share with the world.  She wanted to take some photographs of me in beautiful Palm Cove.  I quickly agreed, as when Vanessa shared her vision with me,  I could see how important her message was.

Vanessa’s background is in Finance, and it was only earlier in 2017 that she decided to leave this career and pursue her more creative side – an obvious side to her personality that she hadn’t explored much at all until now!  The courage it takes to leave a career and dive into the unknown is awe inspiring and I was so happy to be part of her journey.


I would like to share with you my interpretation of the work in Vanessa’s ‘Compassionate Being’ exhibition.


A central theme in the series of photographs is connection and disconnection.  Perhaps inspired by Vanessa’s realisation that her career in the city, her financial success and her stability in the material world didn’t bring about happiness, but rather, made her feel disconnected from nature, herself and most importantly, from her happiness and true purpose.

It is fed into the very fibre of our being that working hard in a career, owning a house, owning nice things, having a beautiful wedding and beautiful holidays is the key to our happiness and content.  So how come these things rarely lead to our contentment? How come so many people who supposedly ‘have it all’ feel so empty and disconnected?

We can all relate to the series of photographs representing disconnection on some level.  Rushing out of the front door, eating your breakfast, whilst on the phone, on your way to work – without stopping to notice your dog as you pass her on the doorstep.  Eating out at a beautiful restaurant with your partner. It’s the first time you have sat together in days as you have both been so busy.  But the phone doesn’t stop ringing.  You drink a lot of wine to try and unwind, but this only makes you feel more disconnected.   You are eating the food, but aren’t tasting, savouring or appreciating any of it.  Any conversation you do have is disturbed by the beeping of emails coming through.  Eye contact is minimal. You are there, but you aren’t really there.

Ironically, reconnecting or re establishing connection is represented in the photographs through unplugging.  Unplugging from the ways we are taught to seek happiness – in external pursuits and in our relationships with (or sometimes dependency on) others and in the accumulation of wealth and possessions.

It’s a connecting again to nature. To simplicity. This is represented in Vanessa’s simple nature photographs.  Life doesn’t have to be filled with things, days don’t have to be busy and complicated.  All we need can be found simply by connecting to nature.  By taking time out for ourselves and spending time in silence and stillness.

I can’t help but feel Vanessa found a little bit of peace in our paradise Palm Cove.

If you are in Melbourne, or visiting Melbourne soon, show your support for this amazing and brave human by taking a look at her debut exhibition ‘Compassionate Being’ which is running from 9th November – 17th December 2017.  I have a feeling this isn’t the last we will be seeing of Miss Jaber 🙂

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.