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Preparing for Creativity with Tom Ang

Mill Tye Gallery would like to thank Tom Ang for being a guest photographer and for sharing his wisdom with us. We hope you enjoy the last blog in this series.




Photograph by Tom Ang from his ‘Homescapes' collection.

(All photographs in this collection were made at home or in a small room.)

The Tapu and the Karakia - Preparing for creativity, with Tom Ang.

The aim here is to leave normal space - that of living, surviving, grinding at work with all its worries and stresses - to enter the creative, nurturing photographic space. Here you breathe a fresher, cooler air; enjoy a livelier awareness and heightened sensitivity.

In two steps:

TAPU: put aside the cares, worries and concerns for a time. Like leaving your city shoes outside the house, taking off your coat when you enter your room. Or tying your dog up when you enter a shop. You are not trying to abandon anything, not wishing to eliminate legitimate worries. You are simply putting them in their right place, temporarily; for retrieval later. That way you free yourself to be and experience in the present: worry is about living in the future, regret about living in the past. Joy exists only in the present. Creation takes place only in the present.

  • Allow yourself to acknowledge the worries and concerns you have.

Say “OK; let’s put you outside for a short time. While I’m in (my creative space, my room, with my camera in my hand, etc.) you lot - my troubles - can wait outside for me until I’m done. Wait quietly and don’t fret. I’ll be back for you.”

KARAKIA: a simple, personal, non-religious invocation that transports you from one mind state to another: it helps take you from the burdens of the present into another state of mind. Like coming across a waterfall, or entering a quiet, calm cafe off a bustling main street.

The Karakia helps transport you into a calm, creative, sensitive state of mind.

  • You could repeat a simple mantra e.g. ‘I am calm. I am strong. I am creative.’

  • You could invoke something more inclusive ‘May all beings be at peace. May love flow unhindered throughout the world. May we work together, giving freely to help each other, to create to make beautiful.’

  • You could remember the lines of a beautiful poem to yourself. For example, Thomas O’Shaughnessy: ‘We are the music makers, the dreamer of dreams / Wandering by lone sea-breakers, sitting by desolate streams / World-losers and world forsakers on whom the pale moon gleams / Yet we are the movers and shakers of the world forever, it seems.’

For further information about Tom Ang, his photography and his books please visit https://tomang.com

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3 Cornard Mills, Mill Tye, Great Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 0GW

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