Women of The World Festival … Bag of Creative Surprises

10th March 2013Bag of Creative Surprises workshop

10th March 2013
Bag of Creative Surprises workshop

WOW How to… Bag of Creative Surprises workshop as part of Women of the World Festival

Sunday 10th March 2013 12 noon – 1pm

Access with a Sunday Day Pass – places limited to 10 people

AKA. Sticking your hand creatively into Life…

I love this saying which evolves out knowing Ellie Howitt, A&E and is a provocation to find more ways to create Life from different creative angles everyday.

But easier said than done, right? So how can you stick your hand more creatively into Life everyday?

Thinking about it in it’s most simple sense as part of planning a new workshop it occurred to me that we don’t all relate to being arty and actually much of what we believe about ‘having to be an artist’ is exactly what stops us from sticking out hand in, dipping our toes into the water…

So what if it were just about you bringing more of your intrinsic creative thinking into play more often, you’d want a bit of that, right?

Playing along for a moment – imagine you agree with the following sentence… “Every human being is creative”

And from that point of view we each have unique ways of looking at and solving the numerous problems Life throws our way daily.

So picture your biggest challenge at the moment – can you see it? Get a sense of the dimensions, depth and flavour of it?

Imagine you have a paper bag in front of you…

You are invited to put your hand into it with your eyes shut…

With your eyes shut you stick your hand into the bag however feels most right for you…

You delve around in the bag and come into contact with all manner of objects large and small…

Some you can recognise through the shape your can touch, the outline of a familiar form…

Other’s feel alien to you – sharp, crinkly or smooth…

image Anna B. Sexton 2012

1st December 2013… Bag of Creative Surprises @ Tate Britain

What are these objects, what do they mean and why this collection of objects all brought together in the bag this way?

Well this is the point of Bag of Creative Surprises a workshop in creative thinking running as part of WOW – Women of The World festival @ The Southbank 10th March 2013.

The purpose of the workshop is to invite you to approach challenges in a more curious and creative ways

To make your own Bag of Creative Surprises collect together the following materials;

  • A paper bag/s
  • A collection of random objects i.e. a wrapped sweet, a pebble, cotton wool, paper clip, leaf – this can be expanded and opened up depending on what is available to you
  • 2 x pieces of blank A4 paper
  • A pen

Place all the objects in your bag

Make some time that will be interrupted i.e. no music, kids, pets etc.

Ask yourself either of following questions (or tweaked version to best serve your purpose)

“What biggest challenge that I currently face can be solved by me sticking my hand into the Bag of Creative Surprises?”

“How best can I learn what I need to learn by sticking my hand into the Bag of Creative Surprises?”

Then in your own time with your eyes shut stick your hand into the bag… take at least 5 minutes to experience, play with and experiment with the experience of doing this and the thoughts, answers, ideas that spring up from the process.

When you feel ready to begin writing down what you have learnt do so – and keep writing until you feel its come out

Then stop for a 5 minute break to break your state and then come back to revisit your insights.

From the writing you made in response to your challenge – ask yourself the next set of questions

What are the nuggets of wisdom?

What are the clear actions you want to take forward? Pick no more than 5 with clear time frames so you can measure how on track you are.

Then test out the actions by asking;

  •  How realistic & practical are they?
  • How excited you are about taking these on?

And go forth and create… whatever it is you will have come up with new creative angles on your current big challenge

My hope is had more insight into your own unique creative outlook on Life. Just by sticking your hand into a paper bag…which is a lot like Life

i.e. you get as much as you stick your hand into it!



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