Allendale FORGE Studios
I just do not know where to start. Perhaps that’s just how it always is with the creative process. Creativity? Is that for special artistic people? People with talent who draw or shape or paint or decorate cakes and the like? I think not.
There are those who make a living by their artistic endeavours. But we all know it is not easy for them. But is it a them? Are we not all in the process of translating our ideas, transforming our vision, into plastic form. Or in some way making manifest that which weaves and twists and turns within us asking for, or even demanding, expression. And then we give birth. It could be a knitted tea cozy or a design for a modern office block. Or a meal, a poem, a one year family trip around the world. But we all know it is not easy for anybody. There are twists and turns along the way. That cozy can turn into a hat! Or a cat bed. The long distance walk transform into – leading guided tours in ones neighbourhood, perhaps.
So when I was in Allendale the other day I was especially glad, excited to be honest, to walk into the recently opened Allendale FORGE Studios and be shown around by the woman who worked to make her vision, this building and all the potential it contains, manifest. From Pebbles Gallery and Art Cafe to the recently opened purpose built Allendale FORGE Studios. It has not been easy I know.
We had met back in 2007, she served hot chocolate – with frills – at Pebbles! Over the years I’ve supped tea and fingered the textile art, listened to talk about finding matched funding, applications for grants, the youth project. I remember a sound studio being mentioned AND I remember mention of Local Radio. Now I’ve walked around the sound studio and no doubt in no time local people will be beaming out their own local radio broadcasts. Hurrah! It will not be easy.
People often ask about creative expression and where that sits in terms of Buddhism. It sits just as well as anything else as far as I can see, given due Preceptual consideration. The significant matter, as with everything we get up to, is what’s going on inside. What is ones relationship to the activity. Making great things, putting on great performances, can quite easily cause one to be great in ones own head. Obviously one can enjoy a sense of natural pride in achievement, find deep pleasure in fingering the recently published book for example. But Become great in ones own head? Hum. Not, I think.
I observe when the creative process works well it’s marked by a strong and clear expression of generosity. Of an open-handed giving whose hands remain open. That is what I have seen all these years in Amanda. I’m inspired.