Today we held a workshop for CHO on creativity and how to catch and hatch ideas. It was run by our dear pal Fiona, and was wonderful fun. There were about 17 of us present, with some folk coming and going at different times as commitments dictated and we all gathered in the hall at 23 William Road, next door to the CHO office. The room was decorated with posters of quotes about creativity, and there were pictures and other items that had been made by friends, community members and CHO supporters – photographs by Shelley and Ed, book illustrations by Kylie, pictures in different media by Susie, Deirdre and Bet. We had creative writing and craft work. We had music over lunch from Forte’s new album. There was home made food. It was a very hand made day.
The workshop itself was divided into two sections. In the first part of the day, after the introductions, we were introduced to the idea of wormholes, and took our place in the milky way galaxy. The idea was that throughout the galaxy CHO is known for its creativity, and that at the next CHO dinner (Wednesday 16th at 5.30!) we will have a delegation of folk from other parts of the galaxy visiting with us to find out about what we do and how we do it. We divided into small groups and made collages with bits and pieces – textas, pencils, magazines, crafty aids, scissors, sticky tape and so on, to illustrate CHO for the visitors. It may sound a bit wacky, but we all got into it with enthusiasm and the posters were fab. One of the common themes mentioned by all the groups was a concern that we be understood by the aliens, and they by us. We thought of all sorts of ways that might make this new world familiar to newcomers – using different senses, thinking of what we have in common with other parts of the galaxy – like waves and particles and eating dinner. One group used that universally loved (literally in this case) children’s book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ to explore the idea of dinner with folk from elsewhere in the galaxy. (You can hear the story read by Eric Carle, the author, here.) It was silly and serious and loads of fun all at the same time.
After morning tea we talked a bit more about creativity – how it is not rare, or mysterious, how it can be learnt and how it is not ‘just fun’ – there are lots of myths about creativity, and these myths can in themselves really hold us back from actually being creative and having a go. Then we went on to talk about two key elements of the creative process – catching ideas, and hatching them. One important but sometimes quite hard thing is to catch ideas, to get hold of them long enough that they stick. Then, once you have an idea, how do you bring it to birth, how do you hatch it? Again we got into small groups and had a go – each group had a catcher (someone with an idea) and two hatchers (to help to grow the idea and bring it along). We didn’t talk about the ideas in detail afterwards, just about what it was like to be hatchers or catchers, and how CHO could become a hatchery for ideas for us all.
The whole day was a highlight for me, but some special bits include:
- poster making, and how everyone got into the idea of visitors from outer space.
- Angela’s rewritten nursery rhyme (Ms Muffet and the friendly spider)
- new friends attending for the first time, along with old friends
- the yummy food
- the opportunity to talk about an idea with a couple of hatchers
- seeing everyone explore ideas, catch them and hatch them
- Fiona’s sense of fun and ease with ‘wacky’ ideas
- the laughter and jokes
- doing the planning with Dee and Fiona, and setting up with Dee and then Richard and Sarah
- the creative decorations that made the space feel special
It was truly excellent fun. And also serious and important and thought provoking. Thanks to all for being there, and here’s to more creative times in as many ways as we can think of…