Woven has been in a place of slowing down and embracing stillness and reflection during this end-of-summer changing of the seasons. We know that it is in this place we can alchemize the needs and feedback of the community we are part of and that we work to serve. Slowness and listening are how we allow the transmutation of what you share with us to manifest as new offerings. Two concepts, two sides to one coin, have revealed themselves to us in this time of reflection and integration: expression and suppression.
At our core, Woven is an organization oriented around the arts as a means of connection, self-discovery, and wholeness. We are made of up creatives of all kinds: artists, organizers, wildly imaginative out-of-the-box thinkers, and skillful wise pragmatists. Like most engaged in the arts, we see artistic expression as being a fundamentally healing and human act. We have been artists for as long as we have been human beings and there is a mystery in that impulse. A creator expresses whatever flows from and through them, which then elicits a response in the viewer–a resonance with the art itself, even if the viewer knows nothing of the artist. In this inexplicable but often transformative moment the viewer feels connection, perhaps even a kind of witnessing, a sense of being known—we feel we are not alone. Sometimes the art expresses something we didn’t know about ourselves or couldn’t articulate. Importantly, this experience can awaken the creative spark in any of us, whether we think of ourselves as “artists” or not.
The other side of expression too often is suppression. Through shame and silencing–from society, loved ones, the media– most of us shut down parts of ourselves to survive or assimilate. We repress feelings that are too painful or that can’t be received with care. We hide the parts we think will be ridiculed or exiled. Our society tells us there are only a very few ways we can express how we feel, who we are. Certain groups of people are seen as less valuable, less human. Survival may look like ignoring or denying emotions and feelings that then go underground. Unconscious and unexpressed they can fester into behaviors that hurt ourselves or others. To instead embrace those parts, to find avenues to give them voice and space, then
becomes a radical act of reclaiming wholeness. Giving space to the artist within, that everyone can discover, is a tool for this reclaiming. Woven events are places where we invite you to do this very thing. Join us and allow yourself to play, explore, dance, experiment, tune in and let your creative expressive self emerge.
This fall we are offering some opportunities to explore moving from suppression to expression. Our “Serious Business Clowning Workshop” on October 8th is much more than you might think when you conjure up the image of a clown. Through clowning we will reinvent our relationship to failure, increase self expression, normalize play as adults, and increase vulnerability and the willingness to take risks. We will learn about the clown archetype, bring mindfulness to our present state and discuss any barriers to play we might have.
Woven will also have an installation at BEAM 2022 on October 14th and we invite you to come interact with our creation. Our piece at BEAM will initiate “The Book of Secrets,” a suite of offerings including a gallery show, workshops, and more. Stay tuned for details about The Book of Secrets project coming soon!
Image from Book of Secrets
by Angela Norman