Its universal and that makes it interesting for me; I don’t want to be an intellectual ingrown toe nail. For me, I’ve had worthwhile, interesting, engaging experiences that have made me stop and think. It has made me contribute thoughtfully. The key learning things came from the fact that we were focussed and there to make a contribution. As soon as you give purpose it tweaks your interest.
It’s not only stimulating; it’s satisfying its both. It keeps you intellectually engaged and it gives you a sense of wanting more.
The listening, not just my listening, listening, was important to the whole thing. We had to listen to one another, we learnt from one another and that opened doors. It wasn’t idly sitting and taking in but it was being involved.
I came on board with an approach relating to my own practise....those ideas were blown out of the water in the consultation process. Artlink’s process leaves time and space for you to be reflective and actually respond to workshops. It means you can have a genuine collaboration and you can end up making an object which feels quite removed from my practice. In many ways I’m surprised about what’s been made, that’s really exciting for me.
In the workshops it was my aim to involve everyone, yes to bring my expertise but to involve everyone so I can learn from them as well. What’s interesting is the difference in response, that’s where I learn and everyone in the group learns from it.
When having to complete a creative task set for you by someone else perhaps it is best to be taken by surprise. The organisation Artlink is very good at producing ‘Oh!’ and ‘Ah!’ moments. I have had many over my time as a volunteer. As it brings together diverse collections of people and places to find creative ways for individuals to be involved in their communities, Artlink seems to value the generative, restorative element of surprise.