South Uist

South Uist

Monday, 16 September 2013

Space - Is it the final frontier?

We all need space to think, space to dream, space to imagine what could be!

How many of us consider it a luxury or due to our upbringing a willful waste of "constructive time".
Daydreaming is something frowned upon, how many us at school witnessed the child staring out of the window in class, lost in some other World, or maybe we were that child.
I'm not suggesting that children shouldn't pay attention in class, but often boredom and lack of attention stems out disengagement.
Its fairly normal to consider daydreaming being synonymous with laziness.
Daydreaming in its creative form, for the technically minded when the brain is in an alpha state is an integral part of developing that space that we can all give ourselves. Many successful scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs make the space in their lives to let their mind wander a little.  I have found most of my ideas spring into my head whilst staring out of the window of a Glasgow bus. Some of them great ideas, others maybe a little crazy.

Creativity starts with quantity, not quality. Being selective and discriminating is the hard part that comes later.

I consider that the space is not only constructive, but essential to well-being, positive self image and creativity.
We have to think of the imagination as one of our most essential life tools we need "Space" to develop and explore our imagination and thus creativity.

This is the creativity that we ALL possess. We must STOP NOW thinking that creativity is the preserve of  "Creative people", those special gifted ones, the artists, musicians, film-makers, dancers.

Children particularly in this busy, frenetic world  are often unable to take the opportunity to have this space to explore and play. With adequate space children will be able to live in a world of magic, joy and wonder. The sharing of creative play is surely a keystone to connectiveness and the development of self expression and self esteem.

This is a short animation experiment - One of the many creative ideas to try in my Pilot your own Spaceship workshops.

I am personally passionate that all children are special and unique and giving them space to develop their creative and imaginative skills is essential in building resilience and self confidence.
My own experience working with vulnerable adults suggest that much of their anxiety and lack of confidence stems from the same feelings they had when they were younger.
Children need the space and freedom to express themselves. Disadvantage and poverty eats away, if not totally destroys the space to express and be creative. Expressive and creative confidence builds and sustains personal confidence and with it connectedness, not only with close family and friends, but the wider world.

Confident and resilient children tend to make confident and resilient adults.

Is space the final frontier I'm sure its not, its part of a journey we can all take to more creative and resilient lives.

Other news : Last week I recently attended a training day with Barnardos on the theory and practice of attachment theory by Dr Suzanne Zeedyk and was total blown away by the emotional intensity and passion of everyone on that day.
Check out the tremendous work by Suzanne.

I am still working on venue for the small one off show for the Painted Coast Project for Macmillan Cancer Support:  News on that one hopefully coming soon.

Bye for now from a wet and wild Glasgow.


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Flying onions and the Princess Matilda

Seems pretty normal for me to start my blogs by apologising for the tardiness of my blogs, as it was last year since I put fingers to the keyboard, well on the blog front anyway! The new year, I know we are a quarter of the way through although looking at the weather outside its more like December than Spring. The new year has seen changes as I have taken the step to go it alone as a creative trainer. I am currently developing new approaches to build self confidence in individuals whether young people, or individuals with complicated lives. I see creativity as more than a means to an end, but a vehicle to develop self worth and confidence. I know from my own experience that self worth and esteem are directly related to resilience. Life has a habit of throwing the unexpected at you and for most of us we have a fair share of complication, woe, joy and wonder. The latest project is titled "Build your own spaceship" the idea came me after reading an interesting book by Tony Buzan on managing change. Some days later I had a meeting with Helen Salt from Bright Yellow Thinking who asked me if I would like to take part in the Creative Industries Conference for Schools in Hamilton in May. The conference allows students for schools in South Lanarkshire to come together and see and discuss creative careers with arts, film makers,actors and dancers. I developed Spaceship to introduce the career of an artist, but more importantly highlight the essential part of any creative career - "Confidence and focus." I know after the years inadvertently misdirected my life away from Art that you have to "Believe" to "become the person you really are." The session structure is now finished, and the presentation all be finished. I am currently working on some visual and musical ideas to supplement the presentation. The main element of the workshops is to ask the students to imagine themselves as spaceships which they have complete control of on a journey to millions and millions of stars. They will be asked during the sessions to design a spaceship that represents themselves to journey into a universe of possibilities. He as example in good Blue Peter fashion, one that I finished earlier! Strange the but true, the Onion Spaceship. Just an example of an unconventional spaceship design. Maybe an onion?? as it suggest lots of layers, lots of talents. It's up the student to represent themselves in a creative way that helps them think about who they are and what they want to achieve. The idea funny enough has already "developed wings" as I have been discussing my future collaboration with choreographer Norman Douglas now based in Berlin. Norman's involvement will be invaluable as he has over 20 years experience in using dance and movement in developing confidence in young people. I am excited at the collaboration as it could take "Spaceship" into new exciting Creative territory. In other development areas I am looking forward to my new involvement with the Mental Health charity SAMH next month as develop the art workshops what worked so well with the Look Ahead Project in North Ayrshire. On more pure artistic notes the "Scarlet Pimpernel" of paintings , "Princess Matilda" found its new, framed home with Timothy and Shane Spall. You can see Shane's picture with Tim holding the said painting of their boat the Princess Matilda battling a rough sea as they head out into the North Sea. I hear that Tim is pleased! Good news for the artist. I am currently have work on exhibition in 2 galleries.. The Green Gallery in Buchlyvie in Stirlingshire and the Blackheath Gallery in Blackheath, South London. My work is also going to be available for sale in the forthcoming Weekend for Art Lovers at the Gleneagles Hotel. East Neuk Storms 15 x 15 inches ( Oil on canvas board ) Two new exhibitions are on the horizon... Both themed on the Sea.. April sees a new exhibition at the Union Gallery in Broughton Street Edinburgh and early May will see a new Seascape exhibition at's gallery in Bath Street here in Glasgow. So a few things to look forward to on the Art front! That's me, so catch you all soon. . Go raibh maith agaibh! Ian ... Glasgow March 2013