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Nurturing creativity: A journey of personal transformation

Ferrara, Helen (2011) Nurturing creativity: A journey of personal transformation. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The ‘idea’ of creativity invariably seems to meet with general approval. In fact, together with ‘innovation’, ‘creativity’ has become a common catchcry of our times. After all, we are told that we are living in the “Creative Age”, and we constantly look to innovation as being the answer to the problems that we perceive to be facing. However, it is one thing to like an ‘idea’, and quite another to be willing to make the journey to discover some of its possible sources - this is the difference between thinking and doing, the difference between theory and reality. Theory could be described as thinking that has been formalised and reality as the whole where living unfolds; so while there can already be considerable difference between thinking and doing, there is a ‘chasm’ between theory and reality.

This thesis is a representation in words of an actual occurrence – a personal transformation, a change in attitude. This could be described in more detail as a conscious opening to perceiving with an attitude of creativity by attending to the nurturing of creativity. A personal journey is unique, yet a human life is as much about relationships and connections as it is about personal growth. I have therefore chosen the company of guides to help me travel this journey. The main three are: Carl Jung for his support on exploring the whole of the ‘self’; David Bohm for his lucidity in expressing a holistic view of reality; and Robert Nash for his encouragement, through the use of scholarly personal narrative, on including lived experience in academic writing. Besides them, many others have been consulted on creativity and the nurturing of creativity, including some through interviews. By delving into creativity, both within and outside the territory of the ‘self’, this thesis also explores how perception is affected by societal concerns, with one of the principal influences discussed being the hierarchical order we live by – patriarchy.

It was my search for creativity that made me realise the need of nurturing my creativity in order to find it. This in turn led me to seek wholeness; thereby it was inherent that I should link the personal with the social and the academic. Thus in the writing of this thesis I have found myself weaving webs of connections, often across sheer windy chasms of dissent, to bridge academic writing with lived experience and the nurturing of creativity, through as holistic a perspective as I could access at the time of writing. The beauty of webs is that they hold, having innumerable points of connection to support them. Even if they are broken they can be built again and be made stronger, with ever expanding clusters of creative interconnections, as in our diverse human community new ways of seeing are constantly emerging and growing through the nurturing of creativity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor(s): Moody, David, Main, Alex, Mhando, Martin and Wright, Peter
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