5x nurture inner nature

Turns out I am thinking about lots of things with lots of links to share. 

Enjoy

  1. The Beginners Guide to Unschooling via Zen Habits – this is the best online description of unschooling I have been able to find it also has a great further reading list at the end for those looking to learn more.
  2. Mood Disorders & Creativity – Johns Hopkins Lecture Series with Dr. Jamieson
  3. How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, More Creative 
  4. The Art of Observation and Why Genius Lies in the Selection of What is Worth Observing via Brain Pickings
  5. I’m a huge fan of the album Flash & Yearn by tooth ache. You can learn more about her on She Does here
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5x survival poetry

The weekend inspiration list was so much fun last week that I made you another one. The theme survival poetry comes from my experience recently sharing my personal history of sexual violence with my loved ones. It is affirming to be able to start to own my own voice again, and the response was overwhelming in so many beautiful, heartbreaking ways. I recommend getting cozy for these with a big cup of tea, and preferably a cat to cuddle.

Enjoy

  1. Saul Williams performs “Said the Shotgun to the Head” his poetry is amazing, but listen to him talk about the artist’s role in everything from Paris attacks to Mother Theresa as well as speaking about his new album Martyr Loser King listen on Q with Shad here.
  2. Why We Need the Opposite of Rape Culture – Nurturance Culture via Everyday Feminism
  3. D’bi Young Antiafrika talking about the Sorpulsi Principles where the title of this post comes from via my mother. Check out her performance poetry here and here
  4. Kiran Gandhi “Sisterhood, blood and boobs at London Marathon 2015” originally discovered through her interview on She Does
  5.  Aorta by warrior goddess Tanya Tagaq
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5x

I will be entering the studio this weekend for our third devising intensive with the Dinner Tables Theatre Collective. After a long week of illness and mental fatigue I need to recharge my creative juices, so I’ve gathered a few links to things that are currently inspiring me.

Enjoy

  1. Interview with Helen Rice and Joseph Nissenboim via The Great Discontent
  2. Almudena Toral: Focusing My Energy via She Does Podcast
  3. Why Metaphor Matters via the Banff Centre
  4. Station Wagon via Kay the Aquanaut and Maki
  5. A Classical Guitarist’s Assuring Account of Creative Homecoming and Overcoming Imposter Syndrome via Brain Pickings

 

 

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November 

November is a solemn month. No longer the fiery autumn colours, the skies are steely grey, and the mornings black. It’s a quiet contemplative month as we strive to remember the sacrifices that were made to get here lest we forget. I am spending November in the studio working on my solo work.

the empty space

Solo work itself is a challenge for me. I usually prefer to work collaboratively to create a piece. I think there is a reason myths of old have so much power, they’ve been shaped by generations of story tellers mouths and hearts, and each retelling is immediately relevant to those receiving it as a special gift from a dear friend while also holding timeless presence of times gone by. It becomes part of the fabric of the community both giving support and being shaped by it like well worn leather: comfy and sturdy.

Collaborative work can also allow me to hide within the work. To blur my artistic perspective with that of the group, and to rest from time to time when all eyes are not on me. Even when I make bold offerings in a collaborative context I have the ensemble to reign me in, to soften my rough edges, to enhance the work in ways I couldn’t imagine. To make the same bold offering in a solo setting I have no filter, every offering is bald and brash in it’s solitary openness with no escape.

It’s a bit like trying to recreate a Monet water lily, nothing makes sense up close, but the reveal comes when you are able to distance yourself from the work. It is challenging as the sole creator and performer to construct a context for the audience to understand the story from my position in the eye of the storm. How does one fathom the force and magnitude of the piece in the wider world in the solitude of the studio?

“Human relationships trumps story, you know the connection you have with your subjects is even more important than the story itself. Because you may have an idea of what the story should be, but that’s never actually the story. The story is actually what unfolds you know in front of the camera, what unfolds with your connection with the subject, and what unfolds in the moment, and you can never plan that.” – Kalyanee Mam

Listening to She Does yesterday I stumbled across this great piece of inspiration and it has been helping to inform my solo process. It’s important to remember that I chose to create this piece as a solo work to create space for my specific connection to the source material to unfold. It’s easy to feel like as the only person in the room I must have all the answers, but all those grey areas rather than black holes sucking out my work are fertile invitations for the moment to unfold with my audience.

It’s a scary, exciting, introspective beginning to the month as the nights grow longer and the air colder. I am looking forward to spending more time in the studio to better prepare myself for a new project beginning in January. Hopefully I come away with new insights into my individual process and some seeds I can continue to tend for future explorations. Stay tuned for some more concrete announcements later in the month.

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She Does Review

“You just keep the bad things away from your project. That’s what a director does. All the great things that happen aren’t really because of you, but if the bad things creep in that’s your fault. If something doesn’t feel right don’t let it slip through the cracks, even if other people are saying “it’s fine, it’s fine” you are the one that has to say “no it’s not” – Kat Cizek on her role as a director.

Discovering She Does has been a huge inspiration for me in the last week or so. To be honest, I’ve been staring into the abyss a lot lately, spelunking to some pretty dark places, and doing some intense creative soul searching. It’s easy to get bogged down, so I turned to my friends who recommended a bunch of blogs and podcasts to check out that deal with creative process and big ideas.

This one is by far my favourite. Possibly my favourite new media discovery this year.

At first I wasn’t sure how relevant the series would be to me as an artist that primarily works in live performance where as many of the guests largely work in tech and film. Each of the thirteen guests they have on the show has given me at least one extremely valuable nugget to take back to my personal practice, and not to mention just the general validation of hearing from other women working in a male dominated industry that say “yes it can be challenging, but it’s also very worth it.”

I highly recommend you check it out on stitcher or itunes if you are in search of some new inspiration yourself. My favourite episodes are: #4 How to Skin a Squirrel with Debra Granik the director of Winter’s Bone talking about her process for shooting fiction and documentary that respects the people within your story; #10 Always Talk to Strangers with Bianca Giaever who I relate to the most as another young artist she chats about story telling, meeting strangers, and figuring things out as you go; #8 Either You Fall or You Ride with Hanna Polak who offered some great insight into working on passion projects that have a massive scale; #11 Kat Cizek whom I quoted above that has worked for NFB and told stories across many different platforms while maintaining a community, activist focus.

Let me know in the comments which episode is your favourite, or if you have another podcast or blog about creative process you would recommend.

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