Complex Emotions Unravelled In Expressive Digital Collage – DaDa Art Therapy by Stan Reed | Alternative Fruit
Digital and analogue collage involves taking images from one media and mixing them into a new media. We combine various things with differing artists and design objectives to combine their stories. This can leave us with a deep and interesting picture that, with a little help from designers and artists, we can create for the first time. This juxtaposition of thoughts, ideas, and feelings in novel ways is a concept used in DaDa. This form of comedy takes random statements and re-enactments that have a humorous jump between them. It's the linking of the two elements which creates the form, and the skill of the art is in how well this is done. Collage of action to collage of image, the link formed by artist, professional dog walker, and music wizard Stan Reed is DaDa too.
Stan Reed isn't just any image creator. His life has involved some unusual and harrowing circumstances which ultimately make his work even more potent. Since being given up for adoption as a new-born, Stan struggled to find a place of belonging. When adopted, his new family treated him poorly. They would beat him, and Stan ended up being placed in mental health care as a teenager. One particular institution that hasn't been named had some disturbing practices. Apart from humiliation and deprivation of necessities such as food and sleep, a form of therapy put in place was attack therapy. This involved sudden and unexpected assaults on the mind and body.
Clearly this would leave anyone battered and bruised with a serious need to escape from life as we know it. For Stan, and like many others who suffer with CPTSD, he turned to drugs. Those who know the on-going Our Nexus Of Sorrows poetry series by Scott Free will be familiar with CPTSD. This happens when traumatic events occur during development for prolonged periods of time with no reasonable means of escaping them. For children this is especially common as they are mostly powerless throughout this period.
Now at the tender age of 50 and over two decades clean, Stan Reed takes art to the next level. His digital collages use literature, pamphlets, illustrations, and magazine clippings among many other things. Stan even goes hunting for skulls of wild animals to add to his macabre collection. Is Stan Reed using art and collage to explore the landscape of memories and feelings that exist within his soul? Are these images a reflection of the inward chapters that flicker from page to page? To us, as viewers, the symbology and emotivations have a personal language to ourselves. Our own subconscious can draw on each image and its constituent parts to form likenesses with our own stories and situations. This open ended strategy helps the work to be accessible and full of extra dimensions perhaps the artist did not even contemplate.
You can catch up with and see more of Stan Reed Art online
Follow Stan Reed Art on Facebook
Mapping the brain is an ongoing adventure. What bits do what for our conscious experience and where our awareness comes from are hotly debated subjects. When we peel open the conscious, we find yet more layers of brain activity that we are not aware of. Is this still us? When ideas and similarities pop into our head, are we the one who thinks them or the one who agrees to accept them? When creativity comes into play, the process of filtering is reduced. We allow the spontaneous to become part of the process. How does this happen in the brain? A group of scientists decided to find out.
Music is perhaps one of the most creative industries in the world. The use of frequency and timing has an almost unlimited scope. We have an amazing array of instruments on hand that can produce any frequency and wave-shape that we like. With computers it's possible to use evermore tiny and ever longer increments of timing to exact precision. How can music be studied in a way that explains the neurological process of creativity? We must scan the brains of people while they are being creative.
A group of 32 guitar players were hand-picked for their ability to play along with jazz music. How can their creativity be quantified though? Another group of judges were employed. Professional jazz musicians were needed. Four luminaries in their field were given the job of scoring each guitarist on their creative ability. It was hoped that by reading the brain activity of the guitarists while they jammed along with the music would shed some light on how they come up with their unique music.
It was theorised that the right hand side of the brain is responsible for most of our artistic and abstract thought. On the other side of our brain, the left hemisphere, the linear and logical thought processes were more common. It was found that the guitar players did indeed demonstrate strong right hemisphere thinking while being creative. The most creative of the batch showed the most activity in this area. The least creative improvisations resulted in more left-brain activity. This result fitted with the left-right brain theory. This isn't enough though, the brain is not an organ of two sides but an organ of many dimensions.
Clearly there is more happening than just two sides of the brain competing for conscious thought. The experience of the guitar player became a matter of interest. When guitar players had a lot of automatic actions from years of practice their creativity was more easily accessed. Those who had to think about what they were playing tended to demonstrate lower creativity. When experience was filtered out of the equation the results showed that all the musicians used their right hemisphere to compose music with.
This doesn't necessarily mean that creativity is best. Often when a song becomes a hit it's because it follows a guideline that other hits have proven. The real skill in writing music comes not from being unique and original but by doing what people want in a way that sounds new. This unique blending of the two hemispheres and the two opposing virtues of mind is what makes a truly great piece of creativity.
Read the study here.
Choose Love on Alternative Fruit is reader supported. Because of you, more people get to discover creativity and art for themselves. Thank you so much!
Follow the editor on Twitter