I was watering my garden this evening and looking at ‘creation’. It was in front of my eyes. The green grass, the plants, the late afternoon sky, holding a hose in my hand and walking along watering the newly planted winter plants. Then I thought, we, I am a creation. So that was a bit of an ‘aha’ moment for me. Creation-creativity. I knew too that it was my intention to write a blog tonight, latest tomorrow, so I thought I would write about it now and strike while the iron was hot.
For the last few weeks I have been following a debate in LinkedIn via my WordPress account and adding my tuppence worth commenting back every now and then in the comments section. The debate on ‘nature vs nurture and can creativity be learned or is it innate?’ has continued in a lively fashion via LinkedIn. The debate has broadened considerably. Some of the comments have at times seemed a bit ‘dry’ to me (especially in the early stages when it was highly academic but nevertheless informative), but most of the time I’ve found the comments to very thoughtful, insightful and informative. Others have evidently put a lot of time and effort into adding their very worthwhile comments. Many professionals in different fields have added their voice. I found many of the comments – some of them very detailed – particularly interesting and I am grateful to those who have entered the debate for their expertise and knowledge (mostly men so far interestingly …). Creativity in this debate is acknow ledged in all fields of endeavour whether it be the sciences, nature or business – just think of Apple.
I thought back to some recents comments posted on this above mentioned ‘debate’ while walking along with the hose on my hand, watering. There were some lovely ones – a father evidently, who wrote inter alia of watching a babe on the ground explore with all its senses – a lovely image. Someone else commented on Leonardo and Michelangelo and the different other talents these artists also had and how these talents were employed in their creations e.g. their knowledge of anatomy, astronomy. Much else besides ..
For the purposes of this blog I am going to write a bit about creativity and how I see it pertaining to me.
We had breakfast mid-morning at a new place up the road. Sons Mike and Dave, husband Neil and myself. A lovely, bright, sunny, warm autumn highveld day. A lovely occasion to be with our sons, prior to their departure this afternoon to Sun City, to attend the SAMA awards held over two nights (South African Music Association). Mike is one of five who has been nominated in the video section. He is responsible for the latest GoldFish video.
Mike arrived last evening from Europe where he’s been for the last 3 weeks. At breakfast this morning he showed us photographs and videos on his smart phone taken on his recent trip, tout sole. There were many works of art in various museums he visited. He took photographs outside too – musicians busking inter alia – one of a man who had champagne glasses lined up with coloured liquid in them, and wet his fingers and made the glasses ring and sing. One indoor photograph was of the actual passage on his floor at one of his hotels .. an extremely striking photograph and one I may appropriate for the cover of my next book. I already said to him this morning, I wondered whether that picture could be stretched onto a canvas somehow. Mike’s eye in capturing that particular passage was a work of art; so too is the smart phone that he used in its aiding of the capture; art too, in the passage just being there. Mike does say that it reminds him of the film “The Shining” – I think it was in it s way quite scary, but very beautiful to my eye.
He showed photographs of statues from 2000 years ago that still seemed ‘alive’ even in the photographs on his smart phone – in that their patina seemed to glow. He showed photographs of paintings and said how the artists used glazing in between every layer of paint and that this made the painting seem almost 3D. He showed photographs of art works hanging from the ceiling; a video of people or a person moving as an art work; Robert Crumbs’ work … much much else besides .. sculptures from a long time ago and more recent works. He showed a beautiful creation hanging from the ceiling on very thin wires, attached to which were objects, fashioned by tin foil (I might try something along those lines – play with tin foil).
There was a dramatic one of HUGE condoms filled with different coloured liquids hanging from the ceiling. Such imagination in all that I saw. I was reminded of a person’s recent comment on LinkedIn that the word ‘imagination’ is what it says it is – image innate. I thanked him for that via LinkedIn, because this is precisely what it is. And so clever too – innate image – of particular interest to me and my psychological bent (Jungian).
Well, it is not my intention to give a blow by blow breakdown of his many photographs and videos (besides which, he and his smart phone are now not here); I was struck by HIS experience and I had the pleasure of this and also, significantly, to have personally experienced art in many media albeit vicariously. I felt something pricking in me – it was an interesting feeling. I don’t know what to call it … an aliveness maybe, or a pricking of curiousity. And whenever curiousity is pricked or piqued, this is a bit of a wake-up call for the creative process to begin to manifest. I also thought of the long history of Europe and elsewhere and its artists … and of how it is valued. There is an awakening of creativity here in South Africa manifesting in so many ways … this too needs to be valued. It is I believe.
I read an article in the Business Section of the Sunday Times today in which the art therapist explained the value of using art as a form of therapy. She explained how this art form has no particular structure – the therapist observes whatever medium the person chooses and that person creates whatever their own inner process is. They may destroy their ‘creation’ thereafter – that too is significant. Materials are provided for the person to choose to use in whatever way. But something creative begins, no matter how haltingly or hesitatingly.
I know how hard it is for me to get the creative juices going. Especially when I have experienced a long drought which seems never-ending and is perfectly horrible and depressing. I like the quote by Oscar Wilde: ‘I spent the morning putting a comma in, and the afternoon taking it out’. But I think I feel the creative juices stirring –
This is much more else that I could say – but I am getting beyond myself already. Do comment if you wish – you should be able to hit the blue blog address below.
I should also mention that the LinkedIn debate is ongoing under the title of “The Psychology of Creativity”.