ROMBi founder, education specialist and psychoanalyst, Penny Georgiou has long been a promoter of creativity and using puzzles to open new horizons for children and adults alike.
This week we are supporting Children’s Art Week which is a UK-wide campaign run by Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education.
The awareness week which kicked off on June 29th encourages schools, art galleries, museums and community groups to plan and provide art activities and events. The ultimate goal is to provide opportunities for children, young people and families to take part in practical activities with artists and art educators.
In 2020 Children’s Art Week took place across 3 weeks with activities being carried out online, at home and in schools. Each week had a different theme including; The Natural World; Connecting across generations and Literacy and creative writing.
This year to support the advocacy work of the visual arts engagement and participation sector, Engage will be launching a new campaign called ‘Let’s Create Art‘. This campaign will celebrate the amazing health and wellbeing work delivered through the sector.
‘Let’s Create Art‘ will showcase the vital role of visual arts engagement in promoting positive wellbeing and micro-grants will be made available to support activity in Wales, Scotland, and England.
Penny's exploration of creativity:
Penny’s research and responses given on Quora are based on some of the consistent principles that her research has found so far. Penny describes that probably the most important one is:
“We each have a ‘higher mind’, wherefrom we access the flow of our intelligence that is not distorted by noisy human opinions, not even our own. It is quiet; it is gentle; it does not force itself upon us - we can only receive consciously what is always available to the extent that we are in a frame of mind to do so topic by topic, and at ease about it. Our flow of intelligence through higher mind does not give us violent commands, or instructions to oppose anything or any one. It gives clarity in states of being in its own terms - ie, as we desire to be, whether in stillness or in doing or having or perceiving or knowing or understanding etc.
Most people probably have had this experience consciously at some point in their lives, eg in ‘aha’ moments: ie, when they get a bright idea and it works out in a simple way, or even in a grand way eventually growing and developing despite seeming obstacles. This is a natural process.
To the extent that we are living, most of our lives are actually working out on the basis of so many variables that we are not aware of and do not understand. This is so obvious and pervasive that we can vitally depend on it while remaining ignorant of its implications.
So, when we do not have an idea of how important what we are ignorant of is, we cannot factor it into our contemplations about our life circumstances. This is one way of seeing why life can be so distressing. ie, too narrow a focus, or overly threat-based focus, and not knowing that it could be otherwise, or how that could come to be, or even if one ought to do so. Especially given our awareness of the apparent randomness of suffering, and of victims and perpetrators of suffering. We really don’t know how to get our heads around all that, and yet its data-streams are flowing incessantly.
What is not commonly known is that the potential for an ‘aha’ experience is on stream consistently too. To access it, we just have to be in a frame of mind to pause and to ask creative questions from a genuine desire to know and receive answers, and keep doing so whenever new questions of more detail arise at the next step, and the next step, and the next step. And they will, as this life is a never-ending journey of discovery if it is to be characterised in our experience as anything other than suffering.
- When we are in this phase of mind, we usually don’t oppose creative ideas, we just tend to spend regular time there. When we are not in this phase of mind, it all seems very far away and out of reach, even ridiculous.
- It is only from this perspective that we can settle some otherwise undecidable questions. In my experience, these subtle questions that each of us has and doesn't know how to formulate (about ‘the basic terms of our contract with life and life with us’ is one way of saying it), once we do get to a point where we can ask the question, the answer comes and we do not have to revisit that point again in the same way.
- There are many such questions but not really so many as to overwhelm us. Once we have a few major points such as this clarified, we can begin to trust the process and seek wisdom from the correct place, each time it is clearly not available from the usual suspects (:-) - ie local mind, our ‘human’ judgements, divisive opinions, knowledge and experience to date, prejudices, biases, etc.
- Anything that consistently isn’t working out can become our cue to take the next logical step, ask creative questions to our ‘higher mind’. ie, ignore everything that we think we know that isn't working and allowing stillness to obtain.
- I say, ‘creative’ because the quality (of intention) of the question determines the quality and consequences of the answer. There is a structure and a discipline within the principles of our existence.
- Reaching for something creative for yourself will bring what you are asking for into your subjective experience.
- Reaching for something destructive or diminishing for yourself or someone else will bring what you are asking for into your subjective experience, (not theirs).
Most often, our influences prompt us from childhood to develop our use of our minds, (our ways of thinking, our opinions or attitudes) on the defensive/depreciative side. In looking to ward off threats, our attitudes can inadvertently oppose the natural flow of creative information between our more narrow focus (local mind) and the greater part of our awareness (higher mind).
Some of the details that I refer to in responses on Quora indicate some basic starting points for exploring and cultivating a conducive ambience in our experience; one where we are able to pause at will and seek answers beyond the usual noise that can otherwise sustain confusion indefinitely in our daily lives.”
Penny’s research promotes the daily use of puzzles such as ROMBi to open our minds and access our inner creativity.
Daily structured handplay allows our minds to sort through ideas and take the best ones forward. This is especially true for children building foundations.
Getting involved in children’s art week
Penny is an advocate for individual’s exploring new avenues. Children’s Art Week is a great opportunity to encourage families, children, young people and schools to take part in fun, creative activities that they might not have tried before, including puzzles like ROMBi.
More than 17,000 children, young people and adults took part in events for Children’s Art Week in 2019 in venues across the UK. This year is slightly different with the ongoing pandemic, but teacher and parent resource provider, Twinkl has listed some useful art resources for KS1 and KS2 for everyone to get involved:
- These fun Art Challenge Cards for KS2
- These Warm Up Drawing Exercises to inspire KS1
- This beautifully illustrated Children's Art Week Banner
- This lovely Children's Art Week Write Up Worksheet to enable children to evaluate how they have taken part and what they have learnt.
If you are a learner, teacher or parent wanting to find out more about ROMBi or Penny’s research visit our ‘contact us’ page here.