Fabric collage and words from April 14, 2020.
I don’t have many words lately. I’m often verbose, sometimes annoyingly so, but this no words thing happens now and again. It’s my mindbody processing. Sometimes I need more time in silence than other times. This is one of those times.
And when the words are quiet, I make pictures. It’s all the same thing really. Words and images come from my hands, not my head. Well, the best ones do, anyway.
For years I wrote a lot of words with my head mostly. I relied on my intellect. But there was a lot that I needed to say with my body, so I made photographs to express what I didn’t yet know how to write. Couldn’t write. It was a way to talk to and learn about myself. Through time I let go of blocks and cultivated the ability to write more like I took the photos: from the body.
I don’t think the words; they come out of my hands.
However, there are still experiences that I have not yet found written language for, and in those times I make image stories. I also make them when I do have words, because they support each other: the worded and the wordless. But that’s a story for another day.
I make images with detritus. With fabric and paper scraps. With old things, stained things, used things, things that I cut up, messy things, things nobody wants, things collected from junk shops, things shoved into the back of drawers, or found on the side of the street on walks with the dog.
It’s all the same. It’s all language. It’s all processing: ways of understanding and finding meaning. This is why I don’t think creativity is something special that only a few people have. We are all creative in our own ways, because self-expression and the desire to make meaning is a part of the human condition. It hinders, even hurts us when we lock it inside and don’t use it.
At its core, creativity is not connected to commerce or success. We’ve decided things are only worth doing if it makes money or is deemed “good,” but this “work” is not meant to be judged by the narrow parameters set up by capitalism. The outcome, particularly along those terms is practically irrelevant. The point is in the doing. It’s energy released. Flow. It’s play, which is not folly available to children exclusively, but a way of working through challenges.
And aren’t we all challenged now?