Art and Spirituality: Hand in Hand

Queens Theatre 3, Thu 5th Oct, 10:00am, 1 Hour Facilitator: Kamara Bell-Wykes 1st Provocateur: Rani Pramesti 2nd Provocateur: Kyle Morrison

Do you have a sense that the work that you do in ‘the arts’ is spiritual in some shape or form? How is the ‘soul’ filled through our practice? How does our practice keep us ‘alive’? Have you had ‘spiritual experiences’ whilst working on your craft? What can we learn from our dreams? This is an opportunity to share and celebrate the spiritual aspects and experiences of our work.

Key Points (Updated Live)

  • We started with the questions surrounding art as a spiritual act: in performance, in audience, in creating - How does spirituality manifest in your art, and How does art inform your spirituality?

  • Having spiritual experiences through dreams and having that echoed through your personal and family history, and discovering meaning in those experiences through artistic creativity.

  • The importance of words and the relationship to spirituality, and in Indigenous faith, ancestral dreaming is deeply connected to familial and personal identity.

  • How do we envision the world around us? The philosophy of the First Nations connects all with the earth and its living things, and when Indigenous people are onstage, they are creating a spiritual experience. We spoke of the challenges of contemporary Indigenous representation in theatre, and how an approach to solving those problems is spiritual.

  • In opening up to questions, we discussed the previous and upcoming works of the two provocateurs and the benefits of providing opportunity for the cast to undertake spiritual healing during rehearsal. We spoke about the deep connection between personal philosophy and religious practice with creating safety and artistic inspiration within the creative process.

  • Art and spirituality: the chicken and the egg? Does our spirituality inspire what art we create, or does the art we want to create require spiritual support? We spoke about both approaches to creating work, and how they are intertwined.

  • We spoke about the unique opportunities within spirituality to tell stories, and how creative processes such as allocating an hour for sleep and dreaming each morning in the rehearsal space can create imaginative and ancestral inspiration well beyond the confines of a traditional rehearsal room and schedule. We spoke of the necessity to working with other artists and facilitators that share your creative process, and allow for the unique spiritual requirements of the cast and crew.

  • Individual spirituality and art practice will become fused in their outcome, as they are complementary. We spoke of what it means to be an artist and becoming a keeper of familial stories, and how we can often have unlikely roads into the theatre.

  • There is a curious sense among current First Nations communities that art is an indulgence, and that if you have the skills you should contribute to something more directly relevant to Indigenous issues. However, the irony is that art has permeated the deep spiritual culture, and that connections to dreaming and the land are indistinguishable from the life of an Indigenous person.

  • We spoke about the importance to having conversations about differences in faith and values in diverse casts, and the need to be interested in the unique spiritual and creative practices of people. The need to create a safe space in the rehearsal room is key to effective collaboration and the unique opportunities of storytelling.

  • We finally contemplated the provocation that theatre is an inherently spiritual experience, and that we all have a spiritual urge and purpose to perform and create, and leave a legacy for the future creators and peoples. We articulated the need for trust and respect, love and forgiveness, to create work and social change that deeply resonates on a spiritual level.