Chaos and order in the care home
As we move forward with our care home project, it’s fascinating seeing how participants are responding to materials and processes. During last months sessions we did some free drawing together, just exploring marks and having a play – including some drawing to live music courtesy of John and his guitar. It was great to see folk letting go and exploring the colours, shapes and marks and we all produced some magnificently chaotic drawings together – and made a colourful mess of our hands.
There were some great social moments as people explored the materials together and one woman emerged as an art critic, delivering an unprompted critique of the finished work, including analysis of the different feels of areas of the drawings. I’m loving the way that individuals’ particular drives and focuses are emerging in this way. Reflecting on this month’s sessions, I’m aware of my own chaotic approach to making. I certainly belong to the chaotic, fluid, flowing, jamming, making-it-up-as-you-go-along school of creativity. And John’s right in there with me – improvisatory jazz soul that he is. We do embrace a role of bringing a little loving, playful creative chaos into the care home – a gentle stirring of the firm order.
But new order emerged from the drawing sessions last month, with some individuals working to create order in the midst of and out of the chaotic pile of materials and marks I had wilfully (and carelessly) provided and encouraged. Some people were working away to put things in order. Even as the rest of us scribbled away some were tidying things, positioning and arranging them, lining them up, very carefully placing things in relation to each other, in the right place. Creating order. Individuals ways of responding to materials are so strong. I hadn’t imagined that a session I’d deliberately presented to be a freeing loose thing could enable creative responses that order. Taking a step back and looking at all the same-sized pastels it makes sense. Going forward I will be more mindful of the range of possible responses to materials – and I am so looking forward to continuing my learning during the upcoming sessions for this project.