Article About ASB in Funzine Magazine | Art School in Budapest Art School in Budapest: Article About ASB in Funzine Magazine

Art school in Budapest art school in English Language with NVC Nonviolent Communication courses

Art school in Budapest  art school in English Language  with NVC Nonviolent Communication courses

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Article About ASB in Funzine Magazine

Free Flowing 

A small art school in the heart of the 7th district, based on principles of non-violent communication is offering a variety of art courses – and not juts for aspiring pros! We took part in a Flow Training to unleash our hidden creativity. Here’s how it worked out.
The tiny school is led by artist Barbara Guttman, who’s been living in Budapest for over eight years and is currently working on her PhD at the University of Pécs. In her school Barbara offers a wide range of courses: kids’ courses, Ars Modocourses to help young people applying to art schools, theWeekly Contemporary, a theoretical course on what contemporary art is all about, Studio Drawing and Painting courses – and the Flow course. The term refers to a psychological concept coined by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, describing the feeling of completely focused motivation one feels when fully immersed in an activity. The course is said to be for everyone regardless of age, skills or talent, with the sole aim to awaken participants’ sleeping creativity and to re-create the joy of self-expression. As the process of self-discovery is always a very intimate one, the course works with small groups of 4-8 people.
We head to the art school on a sunny morning in early spring. Being a bit early we chat to Barbara, she tells us about her other passion besides arts: non-violent communication. It’s a process of communication with the main focus on honest self-expression and compassionate connection to others. This type of communication has helped her improving the quality of her teaching, Barbara tells us. One of her principles: first connection, then teaching.
A couple of girls arrive, we sit in a circle on the floor, Barbara rings a bell – the class begins. A quick round of introduction: most of the participants are expats studying or working in Budapest, looking for an outlet for their suppressed creativity. We throw a ball, the one holding it gets to speak about herself and her expectations of the class.
At the Flow class, it’s all about listening to your feelings and expressing them creatively – and establishing a compassionate connection to others’ feelings too. We choose our dominant feeling from a bunch of cards (I choose excitement), close our eyes and imagine what shape, color and smell our feeling would have. I imagine excitement to be star-shaped, in bright yellow, orange and red – I cut it out from paperboard and color it with crayons. Well, it’s not too pretty, but it shows excitement.
Listening to your own feelings is one thing, empathizing with someone else’s is another: the next task is about establishing compassionate connections. We randomly form pairs, exchange our feeling-cards and make small pieces of artworks from those, too.
The ultimate goal is to experience the flow, it’s the creative process that matters, not the outcome. Barbara is very conscious about that, so we never discuss the finished works –a big relief for me! As we work on I slowly get rid of feelings of having to measure up to expectations and creativity starts to flow easily.
As creativity is best not restricted to two dimensions, we get to do some other exercises as well. Again, the feeling of the moment is the starting point for all of us – how would you express it in one movement alone? We start to act out sentiments of calmness, curiosity and frustration – own feelings as well as feeling of the others in the group.
The next exercise is about finding the essence of things. The means? Lines. How would you express different sentiments with the help of a line, and one line only? We draw – lines, over and over again, most turn out to be long and complicated. Too complicated, so the task is to narrow it down. Which part of the line is most expressive concerning its subject? Again, we add a dimension and draw our lines with our hands in space.
My conclusion? I’d definitely recommend the Flow class to anyone who’d like to get in touch with their feelings, listening to what’s inside and express it creatively – without any pressure to create something ‘valuable’ in the aesthetical sense of the word. Although from time to time I found it a bit straining to concentrate on my temporary feelings throughout the whole course, time passed by very quickly and it was a rather refreshing way of spending it– connected and creative.

Anna Kunkli

The article was published by Funzine Magazine on March 23, 2011.
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