Creativity deserves to be challenged. In a world where we often perceive everything in black and white terms, creativity offers an exciting opportunity to challenge its purpose. To most people, creativity means to create tangible outcomes, such as artwork, a book or building. These outcomes can, indeed, be inspiring and spectacular but I’ve noticed, with my own creativity, the outcomes have become somewhat more profound.
And I’ve noticed this with the creativity in Chelmsford.
For example, Concrete Canvas, which took place in the city earlier this year, had tangible outcomes. It produced a variety of vibrant street art and injected colour and culture back into the community.
Yet, I also saw intangible outcomes hidden beneath. Whenever I walked past one of Concrete Canvas’ artworks, I felt connected, to the artist, to the organisation who made it happen, to the themes, to the stories within the paint, and I felt a shift in my awareness.
Could connections be one of the intangible outcomes of creativity? I certainly believe so. The connections I felt have stayed with me and encourage me to reflect on challenging the meaning of creativity, allowing it to challenge us.
Other creativity I’ve witnessed in Chelmsford is the Behind the Rainbow exhibition at Chelmsford Museum. Again, the tangible outcomes have been the stories, photography, poetry and artwork of LGBTQ+ artists. But I also noticed the intangible outcomes of the exhibition, and to me, that’s raising awareness of queer voices and forming connections with those outside of the LGBTQ+ community.
What other outcomes could this lead to? A shift in mindset when it comes to understanding marginalised individuals and diverse identities or discovering a part of yourself you never even knew was there?
I don’t think there’s a black and white answer.
All that can be said is my profound awakenings have strengthened my connections to life, culture and art. It’s becoming a spiritual experience for me, to challenge creativity and its meaning.
It’s important we give those intangible outcomes space to grow and exist. This could be through talks in social or community environments, chatting with family and friends about the intangible outcomes or even writing about them in a journal or notebook. There could even be workshops on connecting with creativity or something similar to help people reflect on the other outcomes that creativity can create.
It’s clear from the impressive array of creative buzz in the city, that creativity enjoys being challenged. Might we find new realisations or shifts in perspective, if we provide space for the intangibility of creativity to surface.
There is much to discover about creativity and the profound understandings that can manifest from it. Chelmsford certainly gives creativity scope to stretch its wings, challenge its own purpose and help us reflect on the intangible outcomes it offers us.
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