One of my earliest creative memories was being given and easel and paints by my grandparents. I must have been around 5 years old.
I set my self up in front of the window of my bedroom in order to get the best light for my masterpieces (yes, plural)
After thoroughly researching how many different ways I could turn the page brown I moved on to expressing my artistic flare on the walls. Surprisingly, my parents did not champion this area of my work as I thought they might. It did however, give them a much needed reason to strip that 1970’s wall paper ( you’re welcome parents ;)
No dessert for a week aside, one the strongest feeling I have of that time is contentment. Pottering along, exploring my creativity in a safe space may have seemed such a simple pastime, but looking back I see the value it had and continues to have everyday.
Perhaps then, it’s not such a shocker, (yet still to me is still amazing) that fast forward 25 years I’m part of a team that gets to explore and share creativity for a living. When one hears the name Bounce Theatre its easy to jump to the conclusion that our work happens solely on the stage, but as a company we are learning that there is so much more to be found below the depths of theatre and performance. The participants of our Creative Clubs are a prime examples of this, bringing their own interests and skills and helping to evolve our practise far beyond the proscenium arch.
This is not to say however, that we have abandoned the notion of performance, we can still create drama with playful costumes and crazy puppets. We can still transform ourselves into race cars or birds with beautiful wings. We can make films and paint portraits, we can dance and sing and build forests using only our imagination and plastic bags. But there is more. We can look further into what it is to be creative, what we as individuals bring to the table and begin to recognise the value of our contribution as a single act and or part of something much bigger.
Our creativity doesn’t need to be formulaic, we can write letters or bake cakes, we can knit and garden and stand on chairs chanting or run as fast as our legs will carry us. We can distribute random acts of kindness or transform a space and meditate. We can be noisy. We can be quiet. We can talk about the big stuff and the small, and then we can ask important questions like ‘How are you today?”. We can listen, not only to each other, but to ourselves.
Sometimes we make work that is put in a frame, onto a stage and is admired by our teachers or family and friends. Other times, we take what we’ve done back into our minds and hang it in our on Wall of Fame, in-between the 70’s wall paper and the 100 shades of brown.