Originally, the CC concept was developed and used as part of a curatorial residency commission at The National Cheng Kung University, (NCKU) Art Centre in Taiwan. Developed in 2016 in collaboration with the late Kevin Ryan (artist and Director of Charnwood Arts), ‘Creative Continuum’ (CC) sought to explore, build and connect existing strands of creativity within a city or community by engaging the populous through a range of creative interventions. As the name suggests, Creative Continuum explores creativity through a historical and future focused timeline that forms a mirror to society, encourages debate and visualises and otherwise progress of creative evolution and accomplishment. CC used a mixture of active research, participation, and responsive making (the creation of new artworks in response to the local environment and interactions with local people) to bring forth unique cultural perspectives in the local milieu. CC saw creativity as an open, democratic and ongoing process that shapes local culture and enables newness to emerge.
The concept was designed to be scalable and adaptable to a range of situations whilst at its core, retaining a balance between curating work made through participation with citzens and responsive making by artists.
CC was developed along the lines of four core values which are:
- Recognising and respecting informal/everyday creativity in communities
- Culture as an ever changing and evolving concept
- Curatorial conversation and collaboration with everyone
- Providing opportunities for professional artists and citizen-artists to lead collaboration
In order to engage people within a university (that did not traditionally offer creative subjects), it was important to recognise creativity outside traditional art spaces and subject areas – in all areas including medical, technical and sports science. Moreover, the growth and history of the university was examined from the perspective of creativity in order to imagine its development into the future. CC openly invited artists to participate and collaborate by developing opportunities to exhibit and engage with the local people. The two lead artist/curators worked in multifaceted roles melding their skills as artists, curators and animateurs to encourage people to consider and act on their own innate creativity. Through Creative Continuum, NCKU were able to engage thousands of people both in person and online to see the past eighty five year of the university through the lens of creativity.
Photographs by Kevin Ryan and Ashokkumar Mistry