ARTIST MANIFESTO STORY
the art of allowing art
Here is a little story of how I came to find the Practice of the Creative and to achieve an understanding that for me, reclaimed a map of the way that art works.
When I was nineteen and living in a flat on Newport Road in Cardiff, I asked for a typewriter for Christmas. I returned from my home town to position it on a desk in my bedroom. What followed was two months of spontaneous writing to the spirit of Art. My first year of studying Fine Art took me on a pathway of fascination for the communication spaces in between everything and a quest to find this elusive voice of art that unfailingly would write through me.
In time, I put away my typewriter because I got a bit heady and instead stepped into two years of studying sculpture. 'I like sculpture because you can walk around it' I said. What I loved creating was stage sets. I liked to position objects showing a new relationship between them. I liked to change items to have a different use that expressed what was happening to the ancient and natural pathways of communication and reverence. I was a bit of a campaigner for what was trampled over. At the meeting for my pre-degree show, the entire sculpture department and staff seemed to go into some kind of altered space when I showed them what I had made. 'It's just so sad and unreachable' someone said.
I came out of art college and went to write, all the time trying to find out what this other world, this untouchable world in-between was all about. I wrote short stories that went into the mythical and had the main character come back with jigsaw pieces or messages from roses. But the convincing arguments of the everyday world still left what I was finding and showing sad, unreachable and as many would name it 'naive'.
Going on to teach young children, I started to observe how the creative spirit would work in them. Through art, creative writing, dance, music and drama we would enter the most incredible worlds. My classes were like a team of fellow explorers and world openers with me. I wanted to know how we managed to do this, how an entire class of children could go borrow teaspoons from the canteen to dig up the school playing field at break because they were so inspired by the time travel we had made to Ancient Rome and were convinced that we must be on a Roman site. I wanted to know what it was in each child that created that vital spark and made them find their confidence and work in a new impassioned way. The Head of governors at the school wrote me a letter from the board of governors when I left. In it he said that what I had as a teacher 'was a rare and valuable gift'. Honestly, they were my gift. They got what I got and what they reconnected me with helped me more than they will ever know.
However, my path wasn't to follow the mystery of the vital spark through watching and supporting the children right then. Instead, at that same time, my grandmother died. I was taken directly through to that in between place. It was awful. I couldn't get back. I lost my powers to function and live in a happy way. I read about people in other cultures who were taken out of their body. I read about their being taken to the shaman and helped to go through a series of initiations to find out how to get back. In turn they would achieve the powers to see how reality is made on the journey back to wholeness. I knew that this was what I had wished for. I knew that even though I couldn't work in the everyday world in a connected way again, I would find my way back and that I needed to hold faith. This was what I had been asking for.
I wouldn't wish this journey on anyone. You cling onto life and learn to put on a front and live the connected life through a thread. Outside of this thread of light and connection, you feel like you are dead. The untouchableness I have been describing as the spirit of art is what you become. You find your friends as trees and spirits and keep on doing what you can to keep connected to what is true and meaningful and to bring it back into this separated world. In the end, what is true and meaningful is that when the world dismembers a truer version can then evolve.
Twenty five years later I came out of the labyrinth. I know I am lucky. Many don't make it back. The spirit of art is no longer separate for me but an utterly embodied spirit within. What I realise is that this is how I started out. This is the child I was and still am. Except now I know how to hold her.
The Artist Manifesto is defined by a personal journey. It can only be accessed form within. Art is what is produced when we go out there and then return. For some it is a short journey, out and in. For others it is a long journey over mountain ranges at the tops of which we might manage to leave a book or an art piece we have brought through. Art is a product of the journey to restore wholeness and the spirit of art is the wise voice that only knows truth. Artists are guided by this all the time. Children are. We all are. It's that vital spark. It's the muse. It's the being in the flow and its the being open.
Art isn't owned by kings. queens or patrons. Art isn't owned by the one who hangs a painting in their home. Art is a movement that echoes the brutal turnings and blissful connecting that the earth and nature is in the throes of all of the time.
Art's produce is the result of a journey, it is a landmark on the way, it's a symphony that calls from the mythical to the everyday and reminds us of who we are and why we are here. It speaks of the deepest truth. It redirects the pathways and corrects what has gone out of tune. It awakens us. It shows us that we are not separate from the mythical. We are it. But it is the forgetting of it and then the distant remembering of something beyond what we have here that sends us on the mythical journey to bring the myth back in.
Art plugs us in. It keeps the world sane. It is what we carry to show another when we truly have found what is golden and what is meaningful. The space in between is soul. What happened in those classrooms in the 1990s with my amazing troubadours was soulful teaching and learning. What we need right now is a group of Artist Practitioners who can help restore the systems of humans to hold and value these soulful containers of teaching, learning and connecting.
The Artist manifesto honours first that the personal journey is to be held in reverence. It supports, counsels and listens to that first. It sets up the conditions and a course for the Artist within each of us to be believed in and to be able to go through the journey to find maps and treasure that bring the mythical back into place with us again. This is the future we are making every day.
Want to play?
The 4 month Intro 'Bringing in the Mythical - A Journey with the Fool' starts between 31 October and 20 November 2021.
The online Artist Practitioner Foundation Programme commences anytime between 2 and 23 February 2022.
Studying for the Foundation year was one of the happiest, healthiest years of my life!
Carol glows with positivity and is such a supportive guide and teacher.
Working with The Centre for Creative Vision gave me the sense of connection which I had been searching for.
Practitioner Training with Carol Day has shape shifted my way of being in the world, allowing a more authentic, confident and creative me to flow. The Shamanic techniques and practices that Carol guided us through were only a tiny part of the whole package that came with the depth of spiritual connection, healing and personal awakening of the 3 year training. What I experienced was a much broader unfolding of my personal power, identity and great life adventure. For 3 years Carol safely held our group with compassion, understanding and deep listening. In that space I was truly seen and heard. Though I have been on the Shamanic path for over 10 years, the portals and sacred connections that have opened to me since my working with Carol Day are infinite. I have the confidence to know that I am capable of safely working in whichever way I am guided (by spirit). A clear and vibrant doorway has opened for me and I now have the courage and support to step through with my own authority and power.
Fay Johnstone, author of 'Souls that Speak, Hearts that Sing' and 'Plant Spirit Reiki'
When you're stepping on this path it is helpful to have a guide, a trusted confidant who is a safe pair of hands, Carol is such a person. One her true gifts is the care and thought she puts into the workshops, she is receptive and listens to the untold story; constellation work in particular is an interesting way of uncovering some of the layers and motivations that once witnessed and named can help an individual navigate their journey with greater knowledge. I learnt much about my own families hidden dynamics from a series of one to one sessions with Carol and subsequently chose to train with her as a Shamanic practitioner, the training gave me a much greater understanding of the moons cycles (and it's influences), how to work in a safe and well grounded environment and gave me an opportunity to meet many like minded individuals, who all had their own particular gifts that were witnessed and supported. I have now completed the training and am honoured to have been a part of what was the little red drum, I look forward to seeing the new vision unfold.
Rhiannon Moore (Kitchimama)
Training with Carol has been a magical mystery tour of wonder with the natural world. The creative tapestry that has now shaped my inner being is forever evolving, never stagnant. I highly recommend her courses, they are a journey you will never forget and will fill your heart with great joy, when looking back.
Shamanic Practitioner and Artist
Like a well known, popular beer..... Carol reaches and refreshes the parts others cannot.
She is a being of great compassion, humanity, wisdom and complete integrity which she shares with warmth, humour and creativity.
She has a rare ability to make the ordinary magical and magic ordinary, all deeply rooted within our beautiful planet earth whilst also reaching for the stars.
I feel blessed and enriched to have walked part of my path with her.
My heart and soul had become so disconnected from who I was and I was struggling to find a way of finding myself, I knew there was more to this lifetime and found myself searching for the missing parts of something but unsure of what it was or how to find it. My soul searching led me to Carol and The little Red Drum, that was 4 years ago and as I write this I am at a loss for words to explain my journey so far as it goes way beyond words. Carols expert teachings have given me a space to find myself and connect with who I truly am, she has allowed me a way of moving forward with all the pieces that were missing and for this I am eternally grateful, complete and ready for the next step
Elaine Green, Sahana
I graduated from the Centre for Creative Shamanism (now Centre for Creative Vision) in 2017 and have since launched my own practice. I found the three year training completely transformative - the first year of immersive self work was an excellent foundation year, as our group navigated our own trauma in preparation for the practitioner modules in year 2 and 3. The Shamanic teaching we received was creative and immersive, and I graduated from this training with a deep understanding of the 'box' of shamanism but also with a full connection to the infinite, my guides and helping spirits with a completely individual practise. Thank you.
Rhonda McCrimmon, Centre for Shamanism
I attended the three year creative practitioner course and it changed my life . Carol is the most caring and sensitive teacher and I will always be grateful that our paths crossed.