Description: Where does the power come from in a powerful work of art? Is it great skill and intention as an artist that puts it there? Yes, but there’s more to it than that. This class will establish a practice of creative engagement with the world beyond the self, exploring Power Figures as focal containers for spiritual or emotional energy; as a means of dialogue with the unconscious, the Other and the unknown.
“Other” is simply “that which I don’t identify as me.” In between “Self” and “Other” is a third place: a space of possibility, where we don’t know if it’s you or me, real or pretend, drive or daimon–and, most crucially, in this space, we don’t try to resolve these questions, but allow the unknown to remain ambiguous. This place of paradox and play, where conversation and communication flourish, is where imagination enters and ideas come into form.
For artist and non-artist alike, opening awareness to creative imaginal dialogue is nourishing, potentially infusing our lives with a sense of connection and unfolding meaning. Artists will find that this practice enriches their body of work, deepening the relationship with an ever-present source of personally meaningful content.
Over the course of 6 weeks the group will work with a variety of materials and forms, with the option to develop two or three works in greater depth.
Classes will be held at various outside locations in the Asheville area and at BookWorks studio. Each session will open with a gathering circle and close with a grounding ritual. For the first session, we will gather at Gwen’s house in east Asheville and proceed as a group to a nearby trail at Warren Wilson College. Beginning in conversation with the landscape and the unknown, we will create primitive* forms out of found materials. A process of meditative awareness and imaginal dialogue will lead into creative exercises and art-making, with time for sharing and discussion. Locations for subsequent meetings will be given at the initial meeting.
Materials will depend on individual projects. Please bring to the first class a notebook / journal/ sketchbook and preferred writing and/or sketching tool. Since this first class will be an outdoor class, please wear shoes that are good for walking (about a mile round-trip, maybe a little less) and bring whatever kind of jacket or hat that’s appropriate for the weather that day.
*Primitive here meaning:
– apparently arising from unconscious needs or desires and unaffected by objective reasoning
– of a simple, direct style of art that deliberately rejects sophisticated artistic techniques.