As the period of the professional development bursary comes to an end I have been reflecting on the process of sharing what I have learnt. I have tried out several different ways- conversations with friends; leading meditation classes; writing online. One of the most interesting and productive ways for me to share has been through more informal gatherings: at a week-long study week organised by artist Jesse Darling; during a summer school at Dartington; at a peer-led discussion organised by the artist Mikhael Karikis. Here, instead of planning a particular event in advance, I was able to respond to a particular situation and share my learning as part of that.
I have also gained alot from writing these blog posts- the opportunity to reflect on specific activities and the things that I have learnt have been very enriching. Needing to shape an idea or reflection into 500 words or so has helped to sharpen my focus and brought new ideas to light. I was pleased when I recieved responses to a post about the things that hold me back creatively: 16 Things That Hold me Back When I’m Trying To Make Some Creative Work (originally the list was 50, but gradually edited down to 16).
And, perhaps most importantly, I have recognised that a very productive way to share is through sessions that incorporate guided meditation with wider reflections on fear and shaping a ‘life practice’. This aspect of my practice has grown significantly over the past year- with an open afternoon at Open School East, and leading a meditation at the Wysing Study Week, and some private classes I have been giving. It seems to me that there is a growing search for new ways of working, new ways of reflecting, new ways of engaging with a difficult world.
In the new year I have been invited to lead two afternoons- one in London, at the Wellcome Collection and one in Nottingham, both of which have emerged from this professional development process. They will be for fellow creative practitioners and will be focused around working through fear and risk and finding the reserves needed for a life practice. For me this is a wonderful outcome of the bursary- to be invited to share my learning in this way, through practical skills that I believe can be hugely beneficial and can help others to have dangerous conversations with power and confidence.