Friday, July 10, 2009

Extolling the Expressive Life

Libby Brooks had an interesting article in the Guardian on the 9th. Bookended with a look at a thriving London knitting store, her piece really addressed the concept of "expressive life." US writer Bill Ivey coined the phrase and envisions "... creativity and heritage as the fabric of our society that gives meaning and value to our lives." (Ivey's introduction and the entire group of essays called "Expressive Lives" can be downloaded on the Demos site.) These essays raise the hope that out of our current economic woes and many people's disgust with consumerism, a new rebirth of the arts and crafts movement may come about. "The old manifesto has serious contemporary traction," Brooks notes, "respect for nature, dignity of labour, importance of long-garnered skills, access to beauty for all." Brooks likes that fact that craft is slow ("You cannot Twitter a cushion cover," she observes!), has a meditative quality, and is egalitarian.

I hope that these predictions are true and that many more people find a way to make their lives expressive. My expressive life helps me bring together the disparate elements of my life and make a sensible, cohesive whole of them. It also provides me with a strong sense of satisfaction in making something beautiful and meaningful with a practiced set of skills.


Jean Baardsen said...

Well said. I totally agree.

Dana W. Fisher said...

Thanks, Jean.