Artistic Practice - for art's sake, not just the show's sake

Elspeth Murray, 29 July 2012

On the wall I saw a wish list from one of the youngest of the Lyceum's youth theatre groups. There's a picture of it below - helicopters, tarantulas, parties, fame - and “popping a balloon once” and “wearing a dress in winter”. Fab!

So - I wrote my own wish list. Or want list. There's a picture of it below too. (I listened to Spiegel in Spiegel by Arvo Part while I was doing it.)

And yeah, it was just me. In an empty rehearsal studio. With beanbags. And coloured pens. And music. Thinking about what artistic practice meant for me. Sweet!

So, here's how I see it. I think.

While spiritual practice is some kind of meditation & artistic practice is going there with colour, movement, music or words.

Having recently been on an 'Authentic Artist' workshop I've been reigniting or reinvigorating my artistic practice lately by trying to ‘go there’ with daily vocal improvisations and writing. And reading aloud. On my own. For not many minutes. It's not about creating work but about maintaining my creativity. It's not quite work and it's not quite play. But I think that the practice is useful.

I'd love to know how others in the theatre community approach artistic practice. How do we value and nurture our own creativity and that of the others we work with?

I sometimes feel that the workshops I deliver for young people give them the kind of creative opportunities that I wish I'd give myself more often.