My doctoral studies have drawn heavily on my focus and energies this summer but I have been adamant about preserving time with my children and family for tops up on creative inspiration. Not least, because my own thinking is influenced by the philosophy of Gadamer, for whom engagement with literature and art is a continuing feature.
Two trips standout this summer, a meeting with Welsh and Dutch artists, our own Children’s Laureate, Eloise Williams, and the Dutch impressionist, Vincent van Gogh. You may correct me for van Gogh hails from a time long past. Yet, stepping into Bristol’s Van Gogh Immersion Exhibition one is transported inside the artist’s mind and most compelling works, which invites temporal dissociation and gifts powerful learning moments.
an artwork is never exhausted. It never becomes empty. . . . No work of art addresses us always in the same way. The result is we must answer it differently each time we encounter it… The Philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer
It was an absolute pleasure for my children to meet and be inspired by home grown talent. A one-to-one meeting with the inaugural Children’s Laureate Wales 2019-2021, Eloise Williams, who has helped re-tell the magic of the Mabinogion (14th century tales based on the mystical word of the Celtic people). Not only is her book beautifully written, but is an artistic delight. The tales are rich, thought provoking, and lay good foundation for processing ambiguity and developing deep thinking. Straight off the back of meeting with Eloise, a warm and passionate soul, my youngest got straight to work on her own stories of fantastical beasts.
Art and literature demand participation, and this participation correlates to one’s participation in the world – Adam Norris on Gadamer
For now I’ll leave you with a short video, and to consider the power of art and literature to illuminate, educate, inspire and motivate.