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During March of 2017 I delivered a lecture titled Artistic Space, A  Sacred Space.  A number of audience members have since asked for a re-cap of my ideas that address creativity and the artistic  space that becomes the sacred  space.  The following is taken from my written notes, interjected with new ideas.  

How does the artistic space, the act of creating, become a sacred space, a sacred moment?    In order to speak to the sacred space, we first must address what is creativity and where does it come from?   Creativity, according to a quick search on the internet  can be defined as "the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work,"  or "the use of imagination or original ideas to create something: inventiveness."  There are a number of interpretations to define creativity but perhaps Dr. Seuss's words, "oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try" simplifies the essence of creativity  followed by  Mozart's remark, "when I am completely myself, entirely alone during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on those occasions when my ideas flow best and most abundantly." best captures the process. 

Joseph Campbell, a writer and thinker wrote the book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces which is credited for influencing George Lucas' Star Wars.  Campbell said "To have a sacred place is an absolute necessity for anybody today.   You must have a room or a certain hour of the day or so, where you do not know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody or what they owe you.   This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.  This is the place of creative incubation.  At first, you may find nothing happens there.   But, if you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen." 

The four words that I am taking from Joseph Campbell are Creative, Incubation, and Sacred Place.   The artistic space becomes complete when creative incubation and the sacred place merge.  It is in this creative incubation that the imagination is freed and allowed to move in a trillion directions.  Campbell further says "Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again."   For me, this is the invisible, artistic space - the sacred space- a space for uninterrupted reflection and creative work, a quiet space of intense focus that becomes visual because my imagination is allowed to flow freely, come together and form an intimate idea.  Whether I make this invisible idea visible or not is my decision. This artistic, now sacred space may become a physical place of healing, joy, reflection, meditation, freedom or as the Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke utters, "A space for the spirit to breathe."


If we take this notion then, that creativity comes to light through the use of our imagination in order to produce original ideas, and then these ideas will be translated into an artistic framework which is channeled or directed into a piece of work, such as a sculpture, a painting, a dance, a song, a musical production, a piece of poetry, a novel or the interpretation of a character in a play or a film, we can begin to explore what is the artistic space which becomes sacred.  We could extend the artistic space, the sacred space to those who might work in scientific labs and become so in tuned with their work while  in a solitary space that they become one with their creative thought process to problem solving, that time becomes non existent.    Or maybe the creative, sacred space is in an accountant's or a lawyer's office in which they are looking for creative numerical solutions or writing intense, tricky legal briefs and the concept of time passes.  They  have spent hours with out interruptions, only their thoughts, and when they surfaced from such strong focused energy  they have  produced  a brilliant solution. The artistic space, the sacred space then changes from a physical place to an abstracted, nonphysical mental and emotional space/state  where creative thoughts flow, connect, trigger, engage and merge,  becoming a whole, while time has seemly stood still.   And the only stirring in the space are creative strands of imagination, knowledge, ideas,  interweaving with space, time and streaming  inspirations. 

 For me, this artistic space, the sacred space becomes a sanctuary of colour that only I know where to place on the canvas.  Only I know where a line or shape must go.  And this line and shape, and  the colour is placed without interruptions, without outside influences, without interferences.  Only internal thought which comes from  deep within my soul.  The artistic, sacred space becomes the place of knowing, yet not knowing, but finding the right connection between colours, lines, shapes, forms working in a framework of abstraction and under a process of surrender,    The  artistic space merging with the sacred space is a point of slipping, sliding, scratching and moving paint across the canvas in a state of mediation, oblivious to  surroundings and the passage of time.  What only matters is the music of creation and imagination that stirs in my soul from  a form of heightened creativity and joy that is a moment of ecstasy.  And  time has stopped; stood perfectly still.  The artistic now sacred space has become a place of trust where the creative spirit is given freedom and opportunity to emerge unconditionally.  Plum Johnson,  a Canadian writer and publisher describes this creative energy in her book,  They left Us Everything: a Memoir.  Johnson tells us  it is "the street of Green Lights... Everything flows, and there are no road blocks."  she says "I'm merely a conduit for something that is meant to be.  The results are astonishing, even awe-inspiring.  Our hands haven't done the work; they've only been borrowed - it's the humility of being a midwife." p.94.   

Channeling George Lucas' line from Star Wars, when Ben Obi Wan Kenobi says to Luke "Use the Force, Luke.  Let go, Luke.  Luke, trust me,"  the artistic now sacred space is a place of trust where the creative spirit is given freedom and opportunity to emerge unconditionally.