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Creen Craft - All EDINBURGH Spring 2017 sessions
Sat 1 April 2017, 10:15 – 12:45 BST
The Creen Craft sessions are open to all who wish to deepen their inner relationship to landscape and the living Earth - to feel a greater sense of being a part of the web of life that we know as 'Nature'. At the present time in our culture it is not uncommon to experience a sense of disconnection in the way we relate to the environment, other people, and even to ourselves.Creen Craft has been developed in response to this 'crisis of our times', to provide for people a creative, therapeutic, and empowering way of attending to experiences of separation and grief for Nature, as well as rekindling a sense of deeper inspiration which strengthens our resolve to care for life.
Making art is partly an internal process by which we can focus our awareness within to see what may be asking for attention, whilst also considering how what we find within us is reflected in the world at large, and vice versa. It also has the benefit of being a physical act, which can help to reconnect our inner lives to the body, and then in turn to the wider social milieu where we interact with the world.
So Creen Craft is about engaging with your imagination (dusting off cobwebs if required), and regenerating a sense of being from the Earth. We will be moving beyond the idea of the natural world being something separate, and so it follows that the work is suitable for people who are sensitive to the way in which the Earth has been neglected, as well as how beautiful it still is. To consciously devote ourselves to this task of reinvigorating our deeper inspiration, and expressing it in visual form, is a potent act of courage, and vital rebellion against all that would seek to suppress it.
This type of work will be new for many, but rest-assured, you will not require degrees in art and philosophy. Whilst at times our subject matter may be serious or poignant, the group is conducted in the ‘spirit of enquiry’, meaning that joy, humor, and playfulness are equally important parts of the mix. In essence, the sessions are quite literally ‘down to Earth’. What is required of participants is a willingness to give consideration to the content and possible meaning of the creative work made in the session, and not to concern ourselves with judging what is made in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
BOOKING FOR MORE THAN ONE SESSION
At present these groups can be booked individually, or all together. Booking for more than one session will allow you to approach the group with a greater sense of depth, by giving yourself the opportunity to develop your art making over time, in relation to your thoughts and feelings about the subject matter.
Because Creen Craft has a broad overarching theme and format, with an emphasis on self-directed working, this makes it possible to attend intermittently without having ‘missed’ something specific.
THE CENTRAL THEMES
Creen Craft exists within the overlap of the respective fields known as Deep Ecology, Ecopsychology, and Art. Deep Ecology holds as its key tenet that human life exists in an interdependent relationship with all other life. As such, all lifeforms have intrinsic value in and of themselves, irrespective of whether they are of ‘use’ to mankind, and are all connected to the same web of life. So to damage or exert influence on one part of the system, can cause harm to other parts, including humanity.
Ecospychology, as the name suggests, places emphasis upon the psychological aspects of this interconnectedness with other life. However, it is not so much one easy to define discipline in itself, as a way of approaching a variety of other closely connected areas from the perspective of Psyche, such as - Human Ecology, Nature Spirituality, Transpersonal Psychology, Environmental Activism, Ecotherapy, Philosophy. So this would include emotional responses, the body-mind connection, and ways of considering images.
Throughout the ages Art and the natural world have been intertwined. From the first known 'art' daubed directly onto the body of Earth in caves, to depictions of the land through other mediums, more recently artist interventions in the natural environment and the re-contextualising of materials such as rock and mud into gallery settings in the form of sculpture and installation.
THE THERAPEUTIC POTENTIAL OF CREEN CRAFT
The making of imagery can be a rich and rewarding experience. Specifically in relation to considerations of ‘nature’, which tends to be thought of as ‘out there somewhere’ or separate. Creating art provides a means of connecting your own inner images to a wider context by ‘making visible’. Although it can at times feel exposing to express oneself in the presence of others (especially if you are not used to working visually), we consider what is made by each person to be a part of the work of the group as a whole, and in this way all of what is made is interrelated to all the other work. This sense of being a part of a greater whole, your work reacting with that of others, reflects the values of Deep Ecology. The physical process of ‘making’, and the act of regarding it, can be very powerful, and often reveal deeper layers of meaning in your work. It could also be considered a ‘therapy of ideas’, as the sessions provide the time and space to think and do in a manner that may not be commonplace in our day to day lives. This is a great assistance in helping us reconnect with our capacity to feel wonder, and to be inspired.
HOW THE GROUP WORKS
Each session is divided into several periods, with a distinct flow of activity. To begin I will read from relevant texts by way of setting the scene and introducing topics for discussion and consideration. From this there may arise a theme, or question, but essentially the time for independent art making is just that - your time to engage in image making in your own way. Then we gather to view and discuss what has been created. This pattern may then be repeated, perhaps with variations in theme, or intention. There may be a question to consider, or a prominent topic which emerges from our group discussion, and inspires or guides your work in some way. You have the freedom to decide how to proceed, and to use the materials provided in your own manner.
MY ROLE IN THE WORK
My role in the group is to facilitate an environment which allows participants to confidently express themselves through art making, ensuring that the thoughts and feelings voiced by participants are heard, and responded to. I will be engaged in ‘the work of the group’ myself, by making art, and participating in discussion. My presence in the group is informed by my research and practice as an artist, and my knowledge and experience of working with people in a therapeutic context as a qualified Art Therapist.