South Uist

South Uist

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The real magic in all of us

Talk about magic to most people and they will think of magicians, wizards and maybe witches. To me the real magic is the potential of each one of us to live up to our personal potential. How many of us have been told throughout our lives, "You can't do that! You're not intelligent enough? artistic enough? brave enough?" Too much of our natural magic or creativeness is sidelined and in some cases squeezed of us during our childhood. Over the last 6 months I have had the privilege to be involved with an organisation based in Glasgow "The Wise Group" which works with the long term unemployed and many in society, young and old that have complicated lives. For myself my creative side was heavily suppressed during the last years at school, I'm sure for all the best intentions by those closest around me to allow me to get a "proper job" " a regular sensible income" As one of the lucky ones who after more than twenty years broke out of that to pursue an artist life which is the "Real magic" for me. Seeing and talking to so many young people that see no future,or have low expectations. For the most part are characterised and stereotyped as lazy, unmotivated and lacking drive to succeed. My belief that creativity should be actively encouraged to flourish at school, learning to think in different ways, tapping in the natural curious minds of children will inspire young people and equip them with practical mental tools to go out and enjoy and succeed in an ever more complex World. I make no apology for believing that learning facts simply to pass exams is failing, it was failing those many years ago in my schooling in the 60s and 70s and continues in many places today. It true to say its not always the case, having trained and studied for my a certificate in training practice my admiration continues to grow for the teachers and trainers who put in an immense amount of preparation and effort into what seems on the surface as "off the cuff" I recently been involved in a couple of employment events in Motherwell and Glasgow and brought an artist angle to personal goal setting.
The picture depicts the goal setting racetrack which I created for the Motherwell event which mixed the fun activity of creating an individual "you" and placing it on a race track where you would define an short/medium term goal which for the most part was get a job, get into college. The young people were then asked what 2 or 3 things would would help them achieve that specific goal. Here you can see some examples of the figures created during the 2 day event.
This is just one example of a visual tool that can help those who often find it difficult to express thoughts and ambitions purely in words. For those who know me know how much I bang on about Art and creativity being more than a picture on the wall, but a vehicle to express ideas and feelings far beyond the world of galleries and art dealers. Check out this video from the TED organisation about creativity in schools by one of the foremost educationalists Sir Ken Robinson It's time to learn how to think, rather than just trying to remember "stuff". Art may not be for everyone, but its time for everyone to have the chance to explore the way they learn and think, the one fit fits all approach is as they might say "So last Century" My own personal journey in using creativity and art is just beginning,it's a journey that is driven by a passion . Who knows where or what the destination might be, but the journey is has to be fun and the reward, like all rewards is best shared.

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