Last year I embarked on an adventure without even leaving the comfort of my home office. Sam Bradd asked me to join him and 25 other colleagues to write and publish an anthology on our flourishing yet somewhat unknown industry: “Visual Practice”. What began as a writing assignment for a 2,000 to 2,500 word essay has now become a connected and diverse talent pool of practitioners all over the world – oh, and a book! Drawn Together Through Visual Practice.
We celebrated locally in Vancouver this weekend, and many of you took part! Thank you!
On October 29, 2016 the Gallery Gachet hosted somewhere around 50 of us. Four local authors were in attendance: co-editor Sam Bradd, and contributors Aftab Erfan, Stina Brown, and Aaron Johannes. We heard about the work being done by leaders in the field of facilitation, conflict mediation, education, and all other areas using visual process to establish common ground. Seasoned pro’s Avril Orloff and Corrina Keeling drew live at the event.
What many people might not know about “our” industry – the field of folks working away in meetings, retreats and conferences as visual thinkers, scribes, graphic recorders, facilitators and teachers – is that this is a profoundly generous and caring profession. In every case, the need to truly listen to what’s taking place in a room or meeting at any given time requires the full attention of the recorder and/or facilitator. There’s no “half-ass” in this business. We show up fully, for the sake of the meeting, the people, and our own high standards. There is a certain gentle power or “presence” in that – our full focus adds a quality of attention to what’s already happening in the room. Besides bringing creativity, visual practice elevates the energy, attention, retention and engagement in the room.
We as experts don’t often tell our stories – so often the meetings are confidential. But we come together in this book to share some of the mystery and magic we work within. My chapter is called: A Learning Journey – Connecting Self to Planet. You can download my chapter for free here. It’s based on four gatherings I led with the Climate Justice Project through the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives with Marc Lee. In this initiative, Marc, Sam and I guided a group of strangers toward self-determined transformation – connecting their individual experiences with each others’ to see themselves in relationship with the larger context of the planet and our collective future. It was an amazing eight weeks!
So, the next time you have an important meeting coming up; an initiative that you are leading or change you are hoping to create in the world – anything that involves getting groups of people together to relate or collaborate – consider this community of Visual Practitioners. We are here to serve! For more information, visit the International Forum of Visual Practitioners, pick up our book, or contact Stina directly: stina at stinabrown.com.