I designed a guided ‘journey’ focusing on three main themes that I had covered in my research and wanted to examine with the participants: inner collective-unconscious, internal personality, and external influence. I have reversed the process and started from the external and then drawing inward to the internal, following Descartes’ advice. Descartes ([1630-1701] 1972: 71) asserts that it is easier for people to know the external observed reality than their own inner self, even thought the inner self is the thing that observes the external reality.
The three steps were divided into external influences (‘place’), internal influences (‘centre of the place’), and a collective-self (a ‘gift’ given to participants by someone). The first step, external place, was still portrayed as a physical place that exists, yet which exits within the participant, not outside them. This drew from my research focus on the inner process of creativity in the mind of the artist, and not on actual physical external places (‘site’).
For that reason I asked participants to close their eyes, and to listen to my guidance in three steps:
- Stage ‘place’ – finding a creative place within. I suggested that the place could be an image, a sense, a feeling, a memory, a ‘knowing’, or a thought.
- Stage ‘centre’ – acknowledging a personal point within the place, a core of the individuality.
- Stage ‘gift’ – ‘pulling up’ or ‘dropping through’ the centre, and accepting a message, or a gift, that was awaiting them there and which was given or left by someone/something apart from the participants.
After each stage I asked participants to slowly open their eyes, and write/draw what they saw.