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Animated art around imaginings
Big & small bubbles of quiet trouble
A multimedia piece from Unpsychology Magazine, issue 9.1, Imaginings – published in July 2023. You can download a FREE pdf of the magazine HERE, and a print version will be available for purchase soon. You can find more video, sound and multimedia pieces in the Unpsychology 9 Imaginings Section of this Substack.
This is a selection of visual mementos which today are re-coalescing into a new possible configuration that responds to the call for imagining ‘what else might be possible’ . They may be seen as invitations to start from the sticky, stinky, tangled messiness of where we find ourselves. Singly and together, they conjure alternative, interdependent, diverse ‘nows’ and ‘thens’. They are humble, sometimes very intimate, gestures towards newly imagined psyches. These tiny trails of exploration might be a glimpse towards the healing that is buried so deeply inside relationship and context. Perhaps through artistic exploration (and surrender) we will be able to pop the big and small bubbles of quiet trouble that lull us into habituated apathy, and let the emerging gurgles take us to new places.
The GAIA Journey continues
On Thursday November 5th, 2020, over 800 people from more than 80 countries tuned into the online session that was the continuation of the GAIA journey (Global Activation of Intention and Action), launched by the Presencing Institute in April 2020. GAIA was improvised as an open and impromptu holding space, spawned by a deep need to connect with one another across the planet, to deal with change and disruption and to move towards a vision of society that we sense is possible: where our global web of connectedness can allow the reframing of individual actions from the context of a larger whole.
This animated scribing was born as a multi-layered, interactive, collective creation, which I drew during the live session, and into which I later integrated the recording of the piano improvisation by Antonio Moya-Latorre, as well as the participants' responses, read out by Antoinette Klatzky, to the art piece I had made,. This piece was like a gift back to the community: one that reflects my journey of scribing, accompanied by the music, and by the many voices from the field. We made this all together, across time and distance.
Animated scribing: https://vimeo.com/user103724340/gaia
What else is possible?
This animation was the fruit of a small group conversation that took place according to the “coaching circle” model, as taught in Theory U trainings, where the guided peer-learning process involves listening deeply and then responding to someone’s story through the heart using gestures, sounds, colours and shapes -- rather than through the head, and focusing on advice.
The generative conversation in question explored that type of work which often isn’t counted, let alone celebrated. What is it possible to discover in the tears of a fabric stretched tight between stepping up to a professional calling, and the infinitely tender pull of younglings needing care and attention? Perhaps something else is possible, beyond the threshold of apparently super-wicked problems: there might be a place of possibility that needs to be reimagined, in order for it to be found.
Animated scribing: https://vimeo.com/user103724340/caseclinic
Photography and Narrative Therapy
The "Photography and Narrative Therapy workshop" was held under the umbrella of the Narrative Walks, an initiative by Yannis Angelis, whose intention it is to "gift beauty to people in a time when they need it so much." This offering featured narrative therapist Poh Lin Lee and photographer Grace Gelder.
Alongside other participants, I explored three figural themes in the global context of crisis and chaos: Rest, Uncertainty and Shifting Horizons. Narrative questions invited us to articulate moments in our current lives, and photography encouraged us to transform experience into imagery from our daily environment (home, garden.) We shared in story and dialogu, appreciating and attending to diverse experiences that spanned culture, language, legacy, place, age, and unique current inner and outer circumstances.
The experience left me with an urge to animate the emotions that were left bubbling inside me. Another pair of artefacts that were born out of the workshop are the poem below, and its animation.
Untitled Collective Poem
light the light,
beauty of creativity & creative beauty;
the beauty of the wisdom and imagery emerging from our bodies.
Shapes of darkness rushing in the light
Ask the body, it knows where the light falls.
Clarity and take a time and waste a moment!
Comfort and compassion in uncertainty,
controlled and uncontrolled shifts of boundaries escape,
spot, and follow the certain photo moment.
Fluid clicks of the camera
taking time for the moments of beauty that are always there, can make now more peaceful, gives more strength for tomorrow.
The light shines in the dark.
Stay connected, it is possible!
…and already, the moonlight looks down upon our space from my window
Κύματα ανατροπών, κύματα αλλαγών, πότε φοβιστικά, τρομακτικά, πότε ήρεμα και γαλήνια, χαλαρωτικά.... με μια γεύση ελπίδας να ατενίζω τον ορίζοντα.... waves of change, waves of subversion sometimes scary and overwhelming and other times peaceful and calm with a taste of hope I stare at the horizon
diving into the unlimited spaces
Photographs tell stories.
Photos and what is behind them, feelings, meanings, can give a lot to therapeutic process.
Images and words to see myself again, to care, connect,
curiosity and playfulness.
Spoken images yet to be seen…
Trust your uncertainty
let light come in from the cracks.
In the cooling comfort shades of present the futures rests.
Movement is the thing... Giving time is the other thing ... You know there is always another thing.
One image, one thousand words.
Animated scribing: https://vimeo.com/user103724340/narrativetherapy
Rachel Hentsch Spadafora: I love to connect dots and lean into places of not-knowing, that feel full of promise (and danger.) My five children are my greatest life teachers. I believe in respect, dialogue & mutual learning. More about me at https://bit.ly/44urdQ3
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