Posts in imagination
Wings IMG_4877.jpg

I am working with Cleveland, Ohio artist Kathy Skerritt as her supervisor for her work on the Ashridge Doctorate in Organisational Change.

Kathy is working within Deep Ecology and Eco-feminism, using her artistic process as the basis for questions into her relationship with the environment. On her doorstep in Ohio is Lake Erie where Kathy has been working on a programme to re-orientate the stewardship of the Great Lakes towards a commons framework rooted in the wisdom of the ancient, Indigenous communities.

In her field diaries, she describes a trip to the lakeside where she observes the gulls, hoping perhaps, for the gift of a feather which might become a focus for an artistic offering. Later she finds the remains of a gull where there is absolutely nothing left but the wings, the surgical amputation performed perhaps by one of the hawks that make a home in nearby skyscrapers.

I found this image of Kathy's work, with all of it's archetypal associations with water and air, modestly placed among the pages of the diaries she offered as part of our supervision conversations.

It took my breath away.

Change the world or go home

I've been a great fan of Hugh McLeod's Gaping Void website.  Hugh draws cartoons and creates Blue Monsters for a living.  He describes blue monsters as the 'What for' in business; not the conventional 'mission and values stuff.' It's the stuff 'that men in suits tend to get embarrassed about because it's personal. But it's the stuff that makes the difference between success and failure, because this kind of stuff brings folk together in all aspects of human life.'

Hugh says, 'I've been asking myself for years, what comes after conventional, Madison-Avenue-style advertising, now that we live in a post-TV, post-advertising, post-message world?'  Yet there is no assumption here that any of these advertising images will disappear, instead there will be an even greater proliferation of images and a fragmenting of the image culture.

A reader asks:  'What happens to a society when there is no longer one common campfire for everybody? Does this actually matter?'

Actually it does.  We will need to light our own campfires and image (imagine) our own culture.  No one is saying this will be easy but images are the currency of change whether we like it or not.  And Hugh's method of minimal but sharply disturbing pictures and words quickly gets to the heart of what's needed.  It's the stuff that makes a difference.