Abstract art and systems thinking

Thanks to Andy Parkinson for his comment on my previous post, it opened the door to a new way of understanding and exploring systems and connectedness: through abstract art. You can take a look at his work and  blog. He says:

The paintings are systems, exploring themes of identity and similarity, repetition and the impossibility of repetition and the impossibility of repetition.

I wish I had learned about Andy’s work a couple of months ago, while I was taking the Cultural Leadership and Social Learning through the Arts course. We discussed art in a broad way, but we didn’t have time to explore the various methods in detail. Interestingly, as part of the course, my friends and I facilitated the workshop “Circle Painting: Exploring our relationship with each other and the environment” with the purpose of experiencing a connection with each other and the environment, through basically painting circles. The workshop was based on the work that Circle Painting does in the U.S. and although the participants enjoyed themselves and there was some discussion around connections and such, I wonder how an exploration of, for instance, Andy’s work would have been a good alternative to the arts-based learning within the workshop. Whether that is having participants creating and connecting patterns, or analyzing a painting.

Panels created at the Circle Painting Workshop at UVic

I still need to learn more about Andy’s work and take a better look at his paintings. In the mean time, I wanted to highlight art as a conduit for understanding of systems. There is so much potential there!

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