Not surprisingly, Public Experiment #1 has already surprised me. You know how, if you really take the time to analyze it, your craziest dream can be traced back to things that happened to you that day, or that have been on your mind? The brain flashes your unfinished business back at you, hoping you’ll think about it in another way and resolve the issues. Well, I think it’s the same with creativity.
Maybe creativity is a sort of waking dream where your brain puts together all the bits and pieces you may not have noticed that you noticed…. a color someone was wearing, a phrase overheard at Starbuck’s, the feeling a just-finished novel leaves with you….or, a pile of beautiful materials you’ve been collecting, unfinished bits of projects, a technique you’ve been wanting to try. They all get thrown together in a special place in the brain until the little voice says “today I will begin”, and your brain opens its secret compartment and spills out all the wonders. Has this happened to you? Have you been amazed at the treasures you didn’t know you were hoarding? Have you learned how to open the doors to the secret compartment whenever you like, or do you wait until they burst? Or, do you work from a strictly conscious series of choices?
Consciously, I had envisioned a “dark, foreboding, three-dimensional forest” as the beginning of PE #1. I saw a path through the forest into the light of a spectacular garden. Well, that’s not what seems to be happening…
That darned, happy Fair-isle Freeform piece is screaming at me, and Gaston Phebus’ geometric skies won’t leave me alone, and the hole-y little book I made a million years ago is nudging my arm, and all the while there’s a quiet voice insistently asking “what are you trying to say?”.
Remembering that I started with two ideas: gardens, and unlimited techniques, I’ll let some other people tell you what I hope to say with PE#1:
Rumer Godden said “A garden isn’t meant to be useful. It’s for joy.”
An old Chinese proverb claims “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” said Marcus Cicero
Andrew Crofts believes “Garden design is all about concealment and surprise.”
And last, but maybe best: “I like gardening – it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.” (I’ll add, so are books!)
Here is the nearly-finished front cover of PE#1: