In our journal writing sessions, we are being guided and inspired by artists. Each week we draw out a card and consider the insights into how to live, work and gain inspiration. Everyone was surprised by the diversity of artists represented in this deck of cards and were eager to learn about someone who emerged who they had not heard of. The mantras on the cards we draw prompt very lively discussion.
The first card I drew was Louise Bourgeois and there is no doubt that I can learn from her. Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (25 December 1911 – 31 May 2010) was a French-American artist. Although she is best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art, Bourgeois was also a prolific painter and printmaker. She explored a variety of themes over the course of her long career including domesticity and the family, sexuality and the body, as well as death and the unconscious. These themes connect to events from her childhood which she considered to be a therapeutic process. Although Bourgeois exhibited with the Abstract Expressionists and her work has much in common with Surrealism and Feminist art, she was not formally affiliated with a particular artistic movement.
In the class, after reading the advice about life, work and inspiration we applied the technique of freewriting and I found myself, contemplating what Bourgeois would make of me if we were to meet. If this first session is any indication there is no doubt that the artists will stimulate our thinking about how we live and work as creatives.
On my first foray on the internet, I found an extensive biography on the TATE website. Subsequently, I put ‘Louise Bourgeois Tate‘ into the search engine and found some wonderful stimuli that I might explore in my journal this week. For example, on the children’s site, they write about spiders as artists and suggest writing a spider poem. Another great suggestion was to design a cell or cage and decide what to put in it, to think about how you would feel about going inside it.
This week I will research more about Bourgeois and I am looking forward to the feedback on the artists that members of the class drew from this wonderfully creative set of cards.