Embodiment and Creativity
I have long been interested in the way creative work is contained within the body and is then projected outward into the world. The body of an artist, musician, scientists and others becomes an alchemical vessel that must contain creative material during the process of its transformation. David Bohm explained how abstract ideas in physics were contained as subtle senses of movement within his body. The composer Michael Tippett described the way in which the various tensions inherent in the music of his opera, Midsummer Marriage, was held within his body during its long period of gestation. In the case of art the sculptor Anish Kapoor and I have asked "Where is the Work?" and "Where does the Work take place?" Does the work reside in a piece of steel or stone or within the body of the viewer? Or in some space between the two?
Similar questions arise in psychotherapy. Healing exists in a space between therapist and patient. In addition mechanisms of transference, countertransference and projective identification allow psychic material from one party to take up temporary residence within the body of the other.
In 1998 I held a discussion of this topic with the Jungian therapist, Penny de Haas Curnow that led to the creation of a discussion group in London between some artists and therapists. Unfortunately because I had to return to Italy and I was unable to attend further meetings of the group. Nevertheless my active interest in these general questions continues.
For a workshop with David Peat
Issues of creativity and embodiment are also explored in my latest book The Black Winged Night.
Call for Information
I am particularly interested in reading papers and essays, or receiving first hand accounts, on these general question of embodiment of creativity, the way creativity emerges out of and returns to the physical body. Also on mechanisms of projection and embodiment in psychotherapy.
Note: To avoid overloading my email box please do not send attached documents before informing me. I'd be grateful if you'd send a preliminary email message with a brief note about the paper or essay and its approximate length. Thank you.
The Alchemy of Creativity: Art, Consciousness and Embodiment
Contact F. David Peat