Originally, the CC concept was developed and used as part of a residency at The National Cheng Kung University, (NCKU) Art Centre in Taiwan. For details of the NCKU residency please visit this link: https://ashokdmistry.com/portfolio/the-creative-continuum-ncku-taiwan/. Developed in collaboration in 2016 By Ashokkumar Mistry (Artist) and 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 populus through a range of interventions. As the name suggests, CC explores creativity through a historical/future focused timeline that forms a mirror to society and encourages debate. 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 ongoing process that shaped local culture and enabled a unique voice to emerge.
The concept was designed to be scalable and adaptable to a range of situations whilst at its core, retaining a balance between participation and responsive making.
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
- Creative conversation and collaboration with everyone
- Providing opportunities for artists and non-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 in all areas including medical, technical and sports. 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 community. The two lead artists worked in multifaceted roles melding their skills as artists, curators and animateur to encourage people to better understand 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