the River Severn and it’s influence on Flow Contemporary Arts

Flow was named after the River Severn and the wonders of the Severn Bore. Every now and again I need to remind myself of that – and the best way is to trot down to the riverbank and witness the Bore. It’s magical.

Flow is the psychological condition of ‘Optimal Experience’ as defined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.

The concept of Flow is deeply fascinating. Ants are good example to borrow from nature as a living demonstration of flow and collective intelligence. Another is the Severn Bore, which, when it occurs, is because the sea flows inland and the river flows downriver. The Bore is a physical example of two-directional flow, like knowledge exchange, traffic flow and dialogue.

And that is how Flow Contemporary began, a germ of an idea inspired by the power of the sea forcing a river back upstream.

As my early notes stated:

Flow projects are positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand

It continues to be the case, a wave of energy bouncing off the riverbanks/other people/places, revisiting things again and again until they are truly understood.