Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Creativity and academia

Academic life certainly provides multiple opportunities for creative responses. Some people might argue that the particular constraints of the academic context are conducive to their creativity - that they need those constraints to make something happen. It worked for me for years.  But in the end it stopped working.

Perhaps it just ran its course. Perhaps the intensity of the creative responses required for dealing with multiple excitements simultaneously, year after year, just tired me out. Julia Cameron, in The Artist's Way, talking about teaching aspects of the creative arts in universities, suggests that much of academic practice focusses on breaking things down, teasing things apart. By contrast, she suggests that the creative arts are concerned with making, with putting together. I think we need very much to learn to break apart, to analyse, to question the taken-for-granted. But perhaps the endlessly breaking apart can also become a negative kind of fragmentation, an eroding.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn’t agree more.

    I used to live in a really rough council estate in Glasgow where the kids used to build houses out the back. I was always amazed that as soon as they were built they were burnt down again. building up and burning down - two sides of the same coin.



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