Tuesday, 2 August 2011

celebratory maddness

There was a very interesting programme on tv last night about the effect of architectural environments on human biology (which, taking a holist kind of approach, they took to include human emotion and consciousness). Basically, architectural environment - ceiling height, light, space -  affect us big time.

Four weeks ago I lost my normal working space. I didn't resent that - how could I when it was going to be filled up with my radiant dancer niece? - and I had another, smaller space that I could use. But the change of space affected what I was doing profoundly. For a week I tried to carry on what I was doing, on a smaller scale. That was ok. The paintings were quite interesting. But somehow, by week three, it wasn't happening. By week four, I had begun a new rhythm on a smaller scale, and was just beginning to get into that when I got my room back. And then I couldn't quite decide how to use all that space, how to go back to playing on the scale I was just beginning to explore before the change.

Today I went into the space and celebrated the return to standing instead of sitting; to acrylic instead of watercolour; to fingers instead of brushes...

'Our' creative products emerge in interaction with the environments we work in. Different contexts draw things out in different ways. This is a different way of thinking about making things to the more individual-focussed ways that people often use to talk about creativity -  that person is talented, that person is gifted, that person has worked hard. Perhaps instead you could instead say that room has drawn the person out in this particular way, or that week-long emotional history has produced this kind of a product...

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