Exploration and Play

Here in the Western Cape May started with a sudden cold snap, heralding the onset of winter. As a topic on everyone’s lips, it works perfectly as a theme to explore creatively. So this month we have a short discussion section, with the focus on ideas for creative exercise.

Creativity Quotes
The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working – Ernest Newman

Creative work is play. It is free speculation using materials of one’s chosen form – Stephen Nachmanovitch

Creativity – Exploration and Play
Creative exercises are a lot like play, and rewarding for their own sake. When focused around one subject or theme, they can also form the basis for creative exploration. Try out these ideas to stretch your mind and imagination… 

  1. See the difference: Collect three leaves from the same tree and examine them closely. How are they different, and which one appeals to you most? Why?
  2. Associations: How do you feel about winter? Do you like it, hate it, love it? Choose five words that describe how you feel in the cold. Ask your friends to do the same and discover the variety of ways we view and describe the world.
  3. Patterns: Grab a handful of stones and arrange them into patterns. Not only for winter, this semi-meditative exercise gets us thinking about the placement of each element as we go.
    Also look for changing patterns around you – in plants, streets, paint, everywhere that’s affected by the weather.
  4. Sounds: list the sounds that tell you it’s winter. If you’re musically inclined, you can also try imagining what sounds you’d use to describe the weather (rain, wind, hail, etc.).
  5. Look at colour, line and shade: choose a magazine photo depicting your theme and re-interpret it using small pieces of magazine paper. You’ll be amazed at how much more detail you see.

These simple exercises give us a fresh perspective on the idea or theme we’re working on, stimulating our curiosity and bringing our creative awareness into our daily lives. And by examining what really engages us about our theme, the discoveries we make also give us invaluable insight into ourselves. 

May you have the opportunity to bring creative play into your lives a little bit more each day.

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