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Graffiti Studio

"Studio 3-2-1" Artistry Residencies For Complexity Agents

SW France (30 min from Toulouse Airport)

  • 1-Week Retreats: Dates in September and October 2024 to be announced

  • 2-Week to 3-month Semi-Autonomous Residencies: On request all year round

The Studio 3-2-1 Concept 

This residency offer brings the arts into practical application for facilitators working in emergent, hyper-object type contexts.

The studio has at its heart the concept of the liminalities of the arts, sciences and faith traditions, where "Artistry" relates to the dynamic, the flow between the fundamental truth domains of the human condition - otherwise referred to as The Good, The True and the Beautiful.

 

We are looking to the arts not just as self-expression or for therapeutic interests, but how they can be a critical dimension for our consciousness, our sensemaking, our biographies and our ethical engagement. Artistry is therefore about integrating the movements between creativity and dialogue, between the intuitive and the rational, between all the polarities, contradictions and paradoxes that make up our worlds. 

  • Expand into the freedom of your own studio environment (1st person)

    • with professional artist's facilitation

  • Capture your personal and dialogical narratives on film (biographical portrait witnessing film (2nd person)

  • Be part of a sensemaking collective experience, exchanging and integrating knowledge; engaging with the symbols, signifiers of our analytical frameworks (3rd person)

    • with experienced complexity sensemaking practitioners

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Art work by Tyler.World "Hold me" - 2022

The Studio 3-2-1 concept ​​draws on the vast wealth of cognitive and sensemaking frameworks available to us. As a high level view, below is one way of representing the process 'map' that will guide the immersive environment and facilitation themes. As a Theory U (Scharmer) representation, the primary lenses might be represented in the order of 1st, 2nd then 3rd person. True to the holographic nature of reality, the Studio name of 3-2-1 evokes how the experience will be flowing across in multiple iterations and cycles of such lenses.

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Artistry as Cognition

In acknowledgement of thought leaders in sensemaking, participatory inquiry and cognition, such as John Heron and John Vervaeke, it is worth highlighting how the arts can provide a crucial bridge between the dichotomy of our everyday experiences and our efforts to theorise life with "propositional" knowing. The arts, in the words of Heron and Vervaeke, offer us forms of "presentational" (or perspectival) knowing, that offers us deeper 2nd personal, interpersonal forms of meaning making - that artists such as the poet David Whyte refer to as the "conversational nature of reality".  

"If we agree that presentational symbolism* is indeed a mode of knowing, then we can no longer conveniently distance ourselves from its use by delegating it to the artistic community. We need to bring it right back into the mainstream knowledge quest."

*Presentational knowing referring to how all our experiences in the world have meaning and can be expressed by metaphor, abstraction, image etc.

John Heron (1992). Feeling and Personhood. Sage: London. (P. 165-168)

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Residency Practical Details

In contrast to a training course, seminar or workshop, the Studio 3-2-1 experience offers the quality of presence of being an artist, in your studio. 

The facilitation process will lead a dynamic between our intuitive, our rational and collaborative narrative sensemaking.

  • Leveraging the arts as "breakdown by design", to access the consciousness afforded through the "Theory U" cycle.

  • We offer a space for the unique qualities that the arts offer for deep listening, and for integrating our knowledge and wisdom (vs. acquiring).

 

Take-aways:

  • Personal narrative video portrait (using the www.interiortruth.com method)

  • Your personal and collaborative combination of art work / art performance / art curation project and developmental journaling

  • New horizons for your professional complexity facilitation skills.

Pricing:

  • 1-week Intensive Retreat: In-person facilitators, all materials

    • €2250 + accommodation (at a local hotel) and travel to Toulouse

    • Max 8 participants

  • 2-week to 3-month Residencies: Free use of the studio and workshop space, selection of creative materials and weekly remote coaching with facilitators

    • €450 per week including accomodation (at the farmhouse)​

    • Ideal for combined remote working time

    • Max 3 residents concurrently

Hosted at the Le Pigné, near Toulouse, SW France
- Art Exchange Hub Project Location

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Unconditional witnessing through the silence
- your personal narrative on film

Creating the space, the silence and the signifiers of your journey.

Based on the unconditional silent witnessing with the www.InteriorTruth.com method

The residency environment and energetic space is an ideal setting for connecting to our inner voices.

Holding lightly the term of biographical portrait (we are not necessarily aiming to capture a whole life story arc for example), the chance to sit in fron of the camera can be seen as a personal expressive art project, to provide you with a unique meaning-making experience.

 

The biographical process is primarily based on an unconditional portrait witnessing filming, but can include any of the following creative adventures:

  • A distinct art work (sculpture, painting, installation, authentic movement, poem etc.)

  • A performance, a ritual, a celebration.

  • Moments of pure observation.

  • Curating a collection of objects, other art works, in the mezzanine gallery space of the farmhouse. This experience of curation are just as significant as in creating original art works - and can indeed lead to broader narrative horizons.

Integrating key philosophical principles on the human condition and flourishing

Balancing right and left brain hemispheres -a unique integration of cognitive scaffolding (left brain) and holistic, syncretic sensing (right brain). It is now better understood that conditions such as depression emerge with an overactivation of the right brain. 

The dance, the movement between our inner polarities is at the heart of this process, with the dynamics being held together by a contemplative practice of silence and witnessing.

Included in the experience we will be: 

A direct access to our 'pre-cognitive' faculty through the creative senses as a person-centered sensemaking process

A space that allows us to step back and integrate all the tensions, contradictions and polarities in our lives. 

Supporting you through the scariest aspects of the creative impulse

Re-enchanting our post-modern educational conditioning

...Life as art....finding meaning in the second half of life.

The permission artist is to explore the liminal edges of our life...and it's meaning. The evidence is resoundingly clear, as we learn and socially recognise more about mental health issues, and reckonings such as "I don't want to be the richest person in the cemetery"

Integrative Dance Between Divergent Faculties

Image: John Oliver 2023  

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For details on the significance of the reciprocal movement between left and right hemisphere faculties, see the John Vervaeke's exposé in the Meaning Code episode below.

 Our Facilitators

Flavio Fabiani

Complexity, Arts and Biographical Facilitator

Flavio is Co-creation Designer and Partner at the Italian organisational development consultancy PeopleRise, and Member of the Faculty at the Dutch visionary educational foundation, Knowmads. Flavio has extensive experience in complexity facilitation for corporate clients and in executive coaching, grounded in multi-disciplinary practices from narratives sensemaking, the arts, energetics, through to the social sciences.

Flavio is studying with the Biographical Institute, Holland, on the art and craft of capturing, mapping and reflecting on the natural arcs in our biographical journeys. 

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Nicola Powys

Artist, Expressive Arts Facilitator, Writer

Nicola is an artist, activist and writer using words and paint.  Nicola is a veteran arts facilitator, running immersive experience for corporates, and business schools.  For Nicola, the process is often more important than the result.
Play, rule-breaking and trying to keep open to different approaches and materials, focuses the mind
and challenges limits, becoming a problem solving and sometimes, existentialist experience.

 

Discover her artworks here: 

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John Oliver

Artist, Portrait Filmer, Complexity and Sensemaking Facilitator

John founded the organisational development consulting brand Human-Equity Ltd in 2008, integrating his corporate and engineering background (in aerospace and satellite technologies) with his social sciences background after working in Africa and Nepal for an NGO. 

His consulting work for 10+ years was based on narratives sensemaking, applying complexity principles thanks to close collaboration with Dave Snowden (a relationship that began with Dave as his MBA lecturer in 2000), and John's certification in developmental psychology (with Lectica.org). 

Since 2020, John has committed to both a broad artistic practice (painting, sculpture, performance), and a continuation of his narratives work with an unconditional video witnessing approach pioneered by Nic Askew.

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Signing up for the residency

Participants will be selected initially after joining our waiting list, and then a call will be arranged. We will be selecting participants to ensure the ideal combinations of profiles.

There are two possible directions of "contrast" cohorts (i.e. a deliberately multi-disciplinary participants, from different professional backgrounds), or "coherence" cohorts (i.e. from similar professional backgrounds, seeking to deepen their field or community). There will be between 6 and 8 participants per cohort.

The application process will be firstly based on a waiting list, before arranging a discovery call. Please click on the relevant waiting list button below to send us your contact details, and we'll reply with a short form to complete.

Further References On The 3-2-1 Studio Experience Design

Creativity as "Divergent Flow"

Image: John Oliver 2023  

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A Proposal For Distinguishing Creativity as "Divergent Flow" From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's High-Challenge High-Skill Flow.

For over 20 years I have been fascinated about the "Map Making" process of the creative experience, and how artists relate to their practice.

There seems to be a unique opportunity to see some of the common patterns in order to make sense of the often baffling, exotic, hyper-abstract aspects of modern art (see JF Martel and Leonard Shlain's writing on this - references below).

Reaching somewhat back to the 19th century philosophical writings on art such as John Dewey, the meaning of art as "experience" remains a provocative statement, and lived out only in pockets of counter-culture movements (for example festivals such as Burning Man).

But it is impossible to imagine our lives without the expressive arts - something that the cultural anthropologists can state as being core to the human condition and evolution - going right back to the first cave paintings. 

With our post-industrial society embracing the "concrete" (e.g. scientific research breakthroughs) or "high performance" (e.g. sports, musical) examples of successful 'Flow" states as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (with the worthy qualities of high skill and high challenge), there is now a new opening for society to value the proposed 'Divergent' type of flow that occurs in the unique qualities of the creative process - as described ever more eloquently by research in the cognitive and contemplative - spiritual practice domains.

 

In the zone of Divergent Flow, I propose we access states of wonder and surrender and listening, vs. peformance or achievement type states of Flow. 

Ezra Pound called the artist the "antenna of our race". Art is not merely self-expression. It is prophetic, and not just for the privileged diet of the elite.

Paraphrase from Marshall MacLuhan, Understanding Meda

 Témoignages 

East Forest

"J'ai trouvé tellement rafraîchissant d'être détenu dans une énergie d'opportunité complète et de grand espace - un médicament dont on a cruellement besoin ces jours-ci.

 

Permettre à quelque chose de plus grand de passer est le plus grand cadeau et la porte d'une conversation.  Et c'est un véritable témoignage du processus de "filmage de témoins" pour offrir une invitation à un devenir honnête et vulnérable."

Research References

Books - Recommended Reading

  • "The Hidden Order of Art": Anton Ehrenzweig

  • "Focusing": Eugine Gendlin

  • "Art and Physics": Leonard Shlain

  • "Art and Artifice": JF Martel

  • "The War of Art": Steven Pressfield

  • "The Artist's Way": Julia Cameron

  • "Finding Meaning In The Second Half of Life": James Hollis

  • "Ethical Life": Webb Keane

  • "The Creative Experience As Spiritual Practice": Peggy Thayer

  • "The Doorway to Artistry": Esther Meek

  • "Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy: Brain, Body, and Imagination in the Healing Process": Cathy A. Malchiodi

  • "Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking": David Bayles, Ted Orland

Articles and Papers

Videos / Podcasts

  • The Meaning Code - exploring deeply integrative philosophy, art, ethics and meaning making.

    • Episode Nov 11th 2022 Significance of reciprocal movement left and right hemisphere faculties - John Vervaeke ​

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