Second Spontaneous Creativity workshop

Spontaneous Creativity

“Would love to do it again” was one response to last year’s Spontaneous Creativity Workshop and so when the Ha!Man, Francois le Roux, said he was going to be in the UK again this year, it seemed only natural to make that happen. The workshop took place on 27 April 2014 and judging from the reaction at the end of the day, it looks as if it may become an annual event.

This year Francois worked with flautist Paul Cheneour and discussions centred on the importance of play. Francois referred to a poem he had stumbled accross recently and talked of the importance of play to animals as well as humans for learning.

Reflecting on this, Clare wrote in her a-n blog #148:

Through play we can make and deepen connections with people we know as well as those we don’t. The workshop gave everyone permission to play, something that we don’t always allow time for, although I think artists do allow themselves to play, but maybe not enough always. There is an intimate link between play, creativity and discovering something new.

Play also nurtures trust: an unexpected outcome of the workshop was a collaborative painting – Joanna started it and others just added to it without being explicitly invited to do so. How often do we let anyone add marks to our work? Challenge our authorship or belief in the authenticity of our own work?

Joanna reflected:

Before Francois left we were talking about his return in spring next year: The creativity that pours through when one drops below the secure place from where one normally creates seems to mirror natures renewal after the seeming death of winter.

Collecting my thoughts on the workshop yesterday, I am aware today of a feeling of connectedness and love for the diversity of the many which are found in the one. To play over 6 hours with you all with no pressure to produce or be anything but present was very special and I just realised that the beautiful scroll Clare made on Sunday could be read as the story of the workshop.

Paul wrote:

A huge thank you to you and Clare for hosting the creativity workshop and the post-workshop meal was also very special! It was such a very successful day on many levels! Thanks to everyone who came and participated in the wonderful creativity workshop yesterday.. it was a joy and delight! Best wishes to all.. 

Other comments:

  • Thank you Joanna ,and what a treat to work alongside you and a small kid! Wow. I realised tonight that I don’t need to be afraid! It’s tricky though letting go, don’t know why! But the process is started and I just need to be courageous and have faith. (Kate)
  • Thank you for organising such a joyful and exciting day of Spontaneous Creativity. Thank you Francois and Paul for your beautiful music, your gentle authority. Together you inspired us all and gave us a day most magical, allowing us all just to be without self judgement or expectation. And in that space where the mind falls away, I felt able to touch the infinite possibilities which lie within myself and others. I have been reflecting on the spiritual dimension of our day spent together. My teacher always tells us that creativity is a spiritual exercise and I was very much aware of this on sunday. It’s not something you can grasp, the mystery is in the unfolding of the creative act. We are Creation itself but the preconditioned mind holds us back, it clouds our understanding that we are free to be creative within our own Divine potential. (Valerie)
  • … out of the regular and more pedictable acivities that one is normally engaged in this Spontaneous Creativity Day opens up a slot it time where you are suddenly thrown in upon your own resources and are free to respond or not to other people. It invites you to risk take without any pressure or obligation. I felt myself giving myself permission to engage without fear of embarrasment at my lack of musical skills. Actually I used to teach Movement and Drama in London schools and I took part in various Actors’ Workshops over the years (e.g. at The City Literary Institute) so I am no stranger to the concept of Improvisation. And it got me to dig my spanish guitar out and handle it! It’s about trying to live in the present – albeit for a certain span of time – and adapting the conciousness of a child.
    The verse I declaimed is the first verse of the Poem ‘The Good Morrow’ by the great elizabethan poet John Donne:

    I wonder by my troth,what thou, and I
    Did, till we loved? were we not weaned til then?
    But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
    Or snorted we in the seven sleepers den?
    T’was so; But this all pleasures fancies be.
    If ever any beauty I did see,
    Which I desired, and got, t’was but a dream of thee.


Images: Clare Smith and Paul Cheneour

Click here for the video.