My interviewees shared the feeling of appreciation of life and sensing its beauty by experiencing it, not by observing it. Yet, that feeling manifests itself not just through an individuality that is remote from reality, but rather through the individuality which must operate within the collective context of reality. As Katayoun ( para. 38) declares, ‘my art is my life. I do not separate the two’. It is by knowing the individual character of the self that artists assert that they find the ‘gate’ in which they can experience the collective reality. It is a duality in which individuality opens a way for the artist to experience the collective. Varini ( para. 14) explains the way in which two things may be seen separated yet are integral, using the metaphor of love: ‘When two people are in love they do not love the same person but each other… yet they are perfectly able to understand and share that love’.
While the research started with the notion of the individual, it evolved into the shared context, and now returned back to the individual that is within a context. Likewise, my art work shifted to examine the duality of the inner individuality expressed as a collective. In Confessions of an Angel (2008; ) I assert the desire of an artist to know himself through the process of helping others to know themselves. In a subsequent experiment that was made into the film A Fallen Angel (2008; ) I told a short true story of an inner experience I had, to students of Playback Theatre. My experience inspired them to re-enact and perform it with their own input. This form of shared creativity demonstrated how people can learn to draw inwards both as a group and as individuals within a group.
At the same time my paper presentations changed from presenting ‘structures’ to more open discussions, adjustable to the context and aiming to explore ways in which the audience can be inspired themselves while I discuss inspiration. In a two-hour long presentation that I gave together with another artist for the Alister Hardy Society (Oxford, March 2008), I have allowed for ample input from the audience, and assumed the role of a facilitator. Although I was the ‘expert’ in the field of art, as feedback suggested, and my presentation shed much light on the topic, I noted that art can elevate audiences, who consider themselves ‘not creative’, to be prolific and fluent in expressing their own insights, using spoken words. It seems that the individual needs merely to be inspired within a group.
I concluded that the function of the artist is simply to focus the awareness and attention of others to the creative process within every person.
However, artists assert that the inner creative process operates not just with the seen or heard inner reality, but also with its absence, mainly silence. ‘I prefer to be quiet when painting’ Chan ( para. 14) explains ‘it is in the silence… that the communion… can take place’. Chan’s experience demonstrates that her communion is conducted through silence, and in that way silence is not seen as a negation, or cancellation, but rather as a new form of communication. For that reason, sound and silence were chosen as core themes addressing the theme ‘space’, in chapter 12:
Chapter 10: Stimulation (Sensing–Feeling–Acknowledging). Chapter 11: Internalisation (Shape–Movement). Chapter 12: Application (Place–Space).