As a child, art and craft was considered a waste of time. As a teenager other things grabbed my attention. Then the need to make a living got in the way. I fell in love, married, crisis, children, mortgages. Half a decade on, oh the luxury, the space for carving.
Concurrently my world evolved. As a child we worked hard, denied all distractions. The 70s were about maximising. A plethora of gizmos, fashion, music, contraception and travel. The 80s were boom time. Make lots of money, spend even more. Who cares about the planet or other people. The 90s; a dawning of a new awareness. The 21st century; the future looks bleak if we don’t change.
We all set grand intentions, but in the heat of the moment, in the face of seductive distractions, we forget our intentions.
This is not a new problem and the ancient people knew how to overcome it. Maori have karakia for every activity. The chants of African workers, the drums of North American Indians. They invoked feelings and actions that enabled people to do what they’d rather not do. When the basic actions of success are habitual, we can achieve anything we want. ‘Habitual’ refers to actions that are subconscious.
Modern psychology explains how our subconscious takes care of 95% of our actions. Our subconscious is our collection of beliefs about the world. It determines how we feel about an event, and it guides our response … mostly without our realising. Especially when we interact with people it is the tone of our voice, the micro twitches in our face, our hand movements, stance, etc, that determine how people respond to us. By the signals we give off we determine the experience we have with the people around us.
Too change our world, we must first change our beliefs.
To do this we have to interrupt old thinking and load in new thinking, just like a computer. Then we need to remember to run the new program in the heat of the moment. To do that we need a physical prompt. One that interrupts our old thinking and reminds us to run new thinking.
Helping people create beautiful symbol that prompt new thinking and new actions has been my work for the past 20 years. In Donald’s classes you will carve a symbol into wood that supports your aspiration, or a meaningful gift for someone you care about. The best symbols are carved into a treasured item or something we handle every day, an object that gives us pleasure.
The ART Collective Project is offered and facilitated through the Shiloh Creative Life Centre Charitable Trust.
We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our sponsors Lotteries Grant Board, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Manurewa Local Board for sponsoring the Art Collective Project.