Monday, 2 May 2011

Building Sand Castles with your Inner Child

My Fhotography, Tim Norris, Photography, Bournemouth, Beach, Sandcastle, Sand, Workshops, Creative, Retreat

Photograph of a sandcastle on the beach at Boscombe by Tim Norris. Read Tim's Blog here.

The time-worn phrase "get in touch with your inner child" doesn't always have very pleasant connotations - you hear it most often associated with the therapeutic technique developed by Penny Parks for dealing with past abuse or other childhood trauma. Which is a shame, really, because getting in touch with your inner child is something that could well be said to be at the root of what Bournemouth Creative Breaks is all about.

It's often argued that to be creative, one must approach new tasks or situations with the attitudes one observes in young children - curiosity, eagerness to learn, and a willingness to make what an adult would brand as 'mistakes', when trying to build, design, investigate or create things.

Think, for example, of building a sand castle. Bournemouth, with its acres and acres of fine golden sand, is of course the most wonderful place to build sandcastles (NOTE TO SELF: Sand Castle Workshop Weekend for a future Bournemouth Creative Break ..? Yess!)

So, imagine if, as a child, you'd been put off the natural urge to discover and create, to learn about your medium, if you'd stopped when your first tower had collapsed under the weight of the shells and seaweed you'd decorated it with. You might banish the simple joy of working with sand and water, and found objects, that so captivates children and adults alike all year round on the beaches near here.

Yes, it's sad to see a sandcastle vanish underneath the waves of the encroaching tide. But surely there's a greater sadness, if you're permanently discouraged from trying to create another castle the next day before lunch. Children aren't precious about sand castles - in fact, it's normally the done thing for a young child to destroy a sandcastle, in my experience! - and if grownups could somehow retain - or, regain - that sense of freedom, then creativity would surely flow out like .. well, water across a beach.

As my friend Lorrie Whittington said in her blog Illusio Creative:

It’s all about perception isn’t it? Drawing and painting is still seen as the purview of the serious (or even amateur) artist, or children. Rarely do people continue to paint once having left school for the simple pleasure of it alone. 

Does that sound like you?

It's not always easy as an adult to begin to think of one's self as an artist, a 'creative', someone who can and will "do" art of some kind or another. The idea behind what we're trying to achieve here at Bournemouth Creative Breaks is to provide the materials, some (very!) gentle guidance and the atmosphere in which you feel safe and comfortable enough to try something a little bit different from, say, building a sand castle. We've got music-making, art and writing workshops going on all weekend in the hotel where you'll be staying. Plus, the beach is five minutes away. Bring a bucket and spade.

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