"go with the pleasure" (phrase borrowed from Deborah Hay, USA)
"notice what you notice"
"thicken the space between"
These expressions are some of the basic terminology found in our RICC (Relational Impulse Cultural Collaborative Training, the outcome of my PhD) rehearsal room/creative arts studio...we are always on the search for a little more: a little more pleasure (Deborah Hay), a little more 'thickening of the space between" (the word 'thickening' is borrowed from the narrative therapy room, meaning a juicy space/story ripe with cadence), a little more risk, a little more curiosity...all of these qualities are essential not only for best arts practice, but also for holistic healthy living.
This week has been a week full of a variety of teaching opportunities, including working with 4change coaching and counselling at Pullenvale (www.4change.com.au), where I invited ten artists to sit around my table and share art processes as we mapped our new year's dreams. We engaged with yoga nidra, drawing, collage, creative writing and creative conversations, resulting in a rich mapping of ideas and dreams to work on throughout the year, at least till July, when we will have a follow up workshop.
I have also had the joy of working daily with Company 21, the first years of the Acting Program at QUT, headed by Dr. Andrea Moor. This is an acting training that is holistic in its approach, and is so supportive of the artist's development. At the beginning of each year my job is to help establish a culture of possibility and potential, with useful guidelines/practices/rituals (including establishing Group Norms) that provide a scaffolding for healthy practices, safe processes and generative growth as the young artist moves through their degree.
The day ends with me walking down the hill to QACI, Queensland Academy of Creative Industries, where I work with the Year 10's, the 'newbies' of the school. Nearly fifty students gather in their large studio and we begin to develop/create our group norms through embodied practice. We start to learn about ImpulseTraining, a kinesthetic responding to every moment. Despite the size of the group, they are incredibly focused and keen to learn, always a joy (and credit to Simon Tate who created and runs the course as well as Katie who is their drama teacher).
This week has reminded me of how much I love being in the studio with enquiring minds, and artists, ragardless of age, who are willing to risk while embracing curiosity and joy. And its not rocket science. It boils down to noticing what you notice, you know, the little things (thanks Josie).