Last month I took MULCH! on the road to work with an incredible artist who was experiencing major creative blocks. She has written an insightful and powerful account of our time together which I publish with her permission.
I am intensely proud of the work we did together and the bravery, passion and humour in which she approached the work. It's safe to say STUFF SHIFTED and I am happy to have played a part in this development. I can't wait to see what she does next!
Over to Julia....
After many years of being involved with the creation and performance of music, and writing my own material, I had stagnated. A stressful time professionally and personally left me with a wonderful studio of my own, which I had worked so hard to build, and no motivation whatsoever to create anything personal in it. It is almost as if my own process of creation of the space had created an inadvertent pressure on me to create and set up a strange avoidance dynamic. A sort of disassociation and displacement. Like I'd opened the place, and then sealed the door shut. Seeing the studio as 'work' and not being allowed to 'play' in there. Not being able to be fully myself in the space.
Liz set about warming us up with physical and mental techniques and we moved quickly into working with the space itself... into its darkest most neglected corners, objects with their own stories to tell, all of them actually reflecting... myself. The work continued with getting to the deepest corners of my own creative psyche then... calling out the very things that blocked me from my practise in that space. And moving through each one to a place of awakening and resolution, with the use of visualisation, meditation, physical enactment.
After a short lunch break and some reflection, we restarted with more warm ups and then moved onto one particular part of the space which caused the greatest feelings of pressure and disconnection. Emotions came and went. Liz guided patiently, encouraged honesty, and supported me to find my own path through the process. Her genuine curiosity and engagement in my process was powerful - at times, moving for us both as we approached themes which nobody (not even myself) had broached out loud before. I was made to feel comfortable, safe, and able to express myself in the space like never before. A final session on creating a ritual for the space - a sort of 'grand re-opening' if you will, and showing gratitude to it, and everything in it, and to myself (possibly the most challenging part!) concluded an incredible experience. The energy summoned in that space has changed it forever, and with it, my perceptions about creating work in there. Liz is a very wise and experienced facilitator, and along the way cited references I was later to look up (along with some homework for after the session!) which further helped me on my path with my space, and my practice.
The process doesn't feel like it's ended - in fact, it's just begun. I would recommend MULCH! to anyone who is struggling with their own creative blocks - you will find out things about yourself and your practise that you may go all your career without discovering. A wonderful, although at times personally challenging experience, I will never forget what Liz has done to help me onto a productive, trajectory from what was creatively speaking a catatonic state.
Julia (musician, composer, producer and performer)