Be Open to Imagination: Intermodal Approach
In Expressive Arts, one art form flows into another through an architectural framework. The architecture is akin to a program outline in which participants become open to their inner personal resources through the act of imagining. The exciting phenomenon of the architecture is that it is fluid and moves with the dynamics of the person or group as they enter the creative space of possibility. The skeleton of the session, its roots, remain, but each individual/group member fosters personal/communal growth and transformation, enriching the creative experience.
The flow between art making activities is called the Transition. It is an integral part of the expressive arts session because the creative atmosphere of the session continues unbroken as we move into the next art form, or modality as it is called. In daily life, when we are engaged in an important thought or activity, but suddenly stopped by something else, such as a phone call, or other pressing matter, we lose our "flow" of interior genius. Transitions between art modalities in Expressive Arts enable the creativity to continue and build upon what a person explores and discovers in the previous activity.
A typical Group Expressive Arts session will begin with an opening, ice-breaker, or introduction to the theme of the class. One of my favourite sessions to lead is "What Makes You Tick?: Meaning Making". I invite everyone into the imaginative space by focusing on creating a group vocal poem while moving around the room to the changing rhythms and tempo of my drumbeat. Following the introduction, I direct questions and points to ponder, inviting the group into creative personal inquiry. Next, we transition into creative writing, sharing and discussion, visual art-making, creative writing again, another visual art making activity to extend the creative exploration of personal findings, followed by more sharing and discussion. Finally, we enter out into the world with our own personal positive quote shared with the group.
All activities and transitions are lead by Facilitator-directed inquiry; moving and changing according to the dynamics and creative experience of the group. Group members are invited to participate as much as possible in order to discover their inner resources to create life change, experience growth, or utilise coping strategies. Group sharing is encouraged, but not forced. Sitting or standing with a new thought, idea, or art creation can produce just as beautiful of an experience as sharing it vocally with others. More about the benefits of sharing will be discussed in a later post.