Flow images & inspirations

So many things have inspired my work, it’s difficult to find the space for them all!

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”

And then there’s Technobiophilia by Sue Thomas.

The images here are from my own collection and explore the concept of ‘flow’.

Flow means many things to people – murmerations of birds, swarms, colonies, energy, power, psychological flow, emotional flow…the list is endless.

I live close to the River Severn and it was the reciprocal flow of the Severn Bore, how it is formed and why it is in a constant state of change – the river coming down, the sea pushing it back, that informed my decision to call this business Flow Contemporary Arts. Projects will, like the bore, be the outcome of exchanges and collaborations – of bi-directional flow.

In case you have not enjoyed the experience of witnessing the Severn Bore, let me describe it for you. It has three distinct stages:

The anticipation: Before the bore arrives the riverbed is all but dry and it is just mud, mud and more mud. All is quiet and still. Gradually things begin to appear on the ridges of mud and take their place in the scene. First the herons, tall and waiting, knowing the wave will bring fish with it for supper. Next the surfers, standing tall, like the birds. They have prepared, done their research and planned their strategies. Many people line the banks of the river waiting to see the surfers and the birds rise and fall.

The arrival of the wave: You know the bore is on its way when you hear the sound of the approaching wave. It builds up speed, spreading and ricocheting off the banks. The surfers mount the wave, the herons rise and dive, the viewers watch and chatter with excitement. The event itself is quite short, and soon the surfers climb out, and the herons move on, as both follow the wave on its journey upstream. The viewers disperse. What come next is particularly interesting.

The aftermath: Visitors are inclined to leave before they witness the huge surge of power that is the sea rushing in, filling the previously empty riverbed. Whilst the wave was over in a flash, the cycle of energy continues and the stories and photographs are told and shared with others. The bore is part reality and part myth – those who have seen the big ones will always long to see them again, others will listen with awe and keep coming back. They are hooked to this extraordinary phenomenon.

I believe art projects should be like the Severn Bore – not hatch-match-and dispatch, but ongoing, reflective, providing a special experience –  and hopefully some degree of wonder – flow.

One thought on “Flow images & inspirations

  1. Pingback: How many of us working in the arts encourage artists to play and explore, whilst we beaver away at our computers… | Flow Contemporary Arts (FCA)

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