Two time Archibald Prize Finalist Loribelle Spirovski graces Mandelbaum House with her presence for our second last formal dinner of the semester.

Earlier this year, Spirovski displayed a Solo show of her art at Guy Hepner Gallery in New York City, but she says “I still find myself just as shy, anxious and insecure” as before, except with a little more experience where she is able to turn those emotions into “a creative force.”

Spirovski took us on a verbal and visual journey through her life: from her upbringing in the Philippines, to her time studying Teaching and finally, the revolutionary moment when she began painting.

She also spoke about eventually meeting her husband and inspiration for more recent paintings; the talented and well-known pianist Simon Tedeschi. Spirovski often paints at home while Simon plays the piano in the background, and that left me thinking how their household must be bursting with talent and creative energy.

Working primarily with paint as her medium, we also got to see various works by her such as the introspective and emotionally provoking Memento Mori that spoke about depression, anxiety and its intersection with identity on canvas; to her Homme series and mentioned her short-lived affair with self-portraits, titled Am I doing Feminism Right? You can see her paintings here.

In the selfie obsessed age, Spirovski reminds us about humility among achievements and how we are always learning when she says “I am still very much a student and I am constantly learning.”

Interestingly, Spirovskis’ humility and grace also depicts itself via her signature: a simple, yet modern ‘LS’ carefully placed in the corner of her canvases; which I think speaks volumes about her as an artist as well.

Spirovski teaches us about the importance of having an open mind to the opportunities that life brings, and of taking life one brush stroke at a time, until we find our calling and authentic selves.

By Karishma Luthria, Mandelbaum House resident