As a newcomer to CAS I was really excited to be able to attend the ‘Pushing the envelope’ evening last Thursday with the CAS Associates.
This inspiring evening was led by CAS Associate Artist Susan Francis who began with an excerpt from the book ‘Relational Being’ by Kenneth J Gergen which led into an interesting discussion about how each artist had begun their relationship with CAS. It was amazing to hear about everyone’s diverse backgrounds, however we all seemed to have one thing in common, a strong sense of community of wanting to collaborate and share experience, ideas and knowledge.
The focus to the evening were some intriguing envelopes each containing a word that had been produced during the recent 2 A.M project. We were asked to each add a word to the original that related in someway. It was really interesting to see just how differently people responded to some words and also how particular words sparked exactly the same response. We then had the task of choosing particular words that stood out to us which led to further discussion about why we chose these particular words. What was interesting was just how connected all of the words felt once each individual had chosen them, how easy it was to relate and connect.
Conversation developed organically across the evening and it was refreshing to have such open ended discussion among the group about what it means to be an artist and how it is almost our job as artists ‘not to know’ to explore ideas and develop work from a point of not knowing until we have done our experimentation and even then perhaps the unfinished is the work of art in itself.
What I felt was so inspiring about the whole evening was the way it sparked ideas and thoughts that working alone just doesn’t. This collaboration, experimentation and space to allow oneself to really explore and discuss ideas within a community of artists who value this way of working was very refreshing. This really helped me to see the value in the Associates programme which will definitely help me in my new role as Programme Curator, so thank you all for a truly inspiring start with CAS!