Journal – The Joy of Creation

During the lockdown SpiralArts has gathered for monthly Zoom sessions and they are always highly creative, generous and inspiring sessions. The participants age from the 70s to the 20s and their talents include dance, music, singing, poetry and fine art. The underlying foundation and common denominator of it all is movement/dance and embodiment, which everyone accepts and enjoys.  

We have brought our ‘First Lockdown’ sessions to a close. There are two films demonstrating our work over lockdown, one short and one longer, on the SpiralArts in Lockdown page.

In our last Zoom in 2020 we enjoyed a session with guest teacher, Sue Waters, classical singing teacher from Guildhall School of Music and Drama. On her suggestion we took inspiration from Schubert’s song The Lime (Linden) Tree. It gave the singers in the group a chance to shine and share their vocal talents and for the rest of us to explore the words, improvise movement, visualise and talk through our ideas. It was a rich mix and the song will continue to inspire our next session.

January 2021 and we are still working on Zoom, looking forward to the time we can meet again inside or out. However, I think we have proved that the courage and resilience of true creativity continues to grow and flower through challenging times, often gaining strength and power in the process.

The idea of ’The Tree’ seems to be appropriate at this time as a source of inspiration and focus through root, trunk and branches that takes us back to nature and inspires imagination, experience, philosophy and mythology that we can closely relate to the body and the cycles of our lives. The Tree is a source of mystery, beauty and stability and has been throughout time.As soon as we can we will hold some of our sessions outside in woodland, otherwise we remain on Zoom exploring our creativity individually and together. We have set up a Gallery page as a backdrop to this theme with paintings, poems, photographs etc from members of the group.

The theme of ’Trees’ has hit a chord with everyone and we are enjoying a plethora of ideas, material and inspiration – stories, poetry, songs, movement and images. It is a rich mix which is presently in the creative cauldron.
We are excited to see how it all takes shape.

First Lockdown

Each person has created a short piece in their own discipline, in response to a painting, a poem and  improvised music from members of the group, and naturally the present lockdown situation comes in to play.

It is fascinating to see how limitation, in this case of space,  often seems to produce such strong and interesting creativity and quality of movement. Also to observe how working on line seems to some extent to give people more creative freedom, perhaps as they are in their own familiar territory and not immediately up against each other. The more mature dancers work with a certain clarity, simplicity and quiet depth, while the younger ones are more exploratory and verbose with their movement. The mix of disciplines helps a vibrant conversation and lively sharing of thoughts, experiences and ideas which are inspiring and invigorating for everyone.

So far in accordance with the lockdown, everyone has produced individual work, now the task is to  work together in smaller groups and finally weave a rich tapestry from the alchemy of work that is being created and produce an online performance.

Our monthly sessions continue to be a source of creative joy felt between like-minded people coming together to share their talents and experience with open-hearted enthusiasm. In the last session we used the Zoom break out groups to come together and work together in random groups and pairs, e.g. A fine artist, three musicians and a writer/artist, A poet, a dancer and a singer, A Tai Chi teacher and a Biospiral dancer/gymnast, Two dancer/choreographers. All have movement in common but the combination produces interesting, original and multi dimensional work.

As we near the end of the lockdown phase of our work, SpiralArts continues to be vibrant and  creative force with many ideas spinning and spiralling amongst the members. We have moved from individual pieces, to working together in Zoom break out rooms, and the next task is to create a final, unified piece, which we will do next time we meet. We are now collating all the material we have and hope to produce a short film of our work so far.   Two of our main discoveries are that creative expression does not stop under lockdown and that there is great joy and inspiration to be had through working with others, even virtually.   There is now a common urge to connect back to nature, to listen to the birds, to watch the waves, to feel the breeze, to stand by the trees and breathe deeply and freely.  So this is where we will head next, out into nature and use nature itself as the touchstone for the next phase of our work.

It seems to me there is a deep need for sensitive and creative artists to have an outlet to express themselves, explore their ideas and share them in a safe and supportive space, and this is what SpiralArts aims to provide.

In support of this work, we are now running a Wednesday morning open class on Zoom, 10.30-11.30, see details on this site.