Dichotomy Challenged: The Individual, Organisations & Art

Dichotomy Challenged: The Individual, Organisations & Art

‘Meet Tav’ at the Deepening Creative Practice 2021-22 Exhibiting Season

The Woman-I-Festo: ‘Meet Tav’ at the Deepening Creative Practice 2021-22 Exhibiting Season

Join us on Friday, 11 November, from 6-8pm GMT/UTC, for a Deepening Creative Practice Exhibiting Season performance.

“The second exhibiting season of the Deepening Creative Practice programme: a place of tension, potential disintegration and creativity where hybridity and identity feature amidst some expression of the dynamics and process of co-creation,” says programme directors Juliet Scott and Heather Stradling.

Unlike the inaugural first cohort, where the experience explored and embodied experiencing the organisation in a pandemic, this second cohort was able to meet in person, exploring interpersonal relations both in-person and hybridly, learning how to work creatively, collaboratively and be comfortable with the “in and out or the in-in and out-out.” The journey throughout the seasons brought together a large array of artists, from actors to activists, to dancers to photographers, to dream matrixes to performers, and everything in between. Participant Bernadette Kennedy expresses how this “awakened version of myself stepped into the space of the art of the possible on an individual and organisational level.”

Participant Claire Finch talks about her interest in the psychodynamic approach and a rebellious inclination to learn differently and thus, DCP provided “a hands-on exploration of group dynamics coupled with the freedom and edge of creativity,” saying, “it has opened my eyes further to the profusion of the people we each are, how multifaceted we can each be.” The freedom of exploration the artistic endeavours provided allowed the group to explore their styles, ways of working and alternative ways of being in an organization, albeit temporary. The experiential component created a raw and uncomfortable space as often as a soulful liberation and freedom of artistic expression.

In addition to moments of discomfort, the group experienced self-discovery, joy-filled dancing, improvisational performance, table taping, social dreaming, video and sound scaping, listening to the bottom of a duck pond, and using art in all forms to create expression beyond ‘standard or normal ways of working.’ The explorational quest evolved differently for each participant, but the commonality was not only how to collaborate in a different way but also to integrate these new learnings and creative aspects into our own individual practices, learning from the complexity of the group dynamics.

“Art was the catalyst to explore all dynamics,” says participant Elizabeth McCourt. Our four cisgender, white women participants wrestled not only with our individuality in a group context, but with the groups own lack of diversity. The question of embracing the perspective of our lived experience and the wish not to offend or exclude was ever present and is not only topical in organisations but continues to be rich fodder for conversations on how to address such important and essential conversations in this exhibiting season and in life.

Rosamund McCarthy Etherington, participant, emphasizes “the richness and generosity of the cross disciplinary experience whereby the challenge to co-create an exhibition allows our temporary organization to play out and understanding the dynamics of power, collaboration, competition, rivalry and yielding to each other.” Assistant and curatorial expert Maria Markiewicz describes the experience of working with DCP as “seeing ideas develop while showing me the power of art and collaboration.”

Exhibiting Season 2, the Woman-I-Festo will take place on November 11th, 2022, in-house at the Tavistock Institute.

This article was written by Elizabeth McCourt, Bernadette Kennedy, Claire Finch, and Rosamund McCarthy Etherington, DCP 2021-2022 participants.

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