Article :Hellmut Wolf,Gultekin Bilge, Béatrice Cofield
Art, a science of creativity, a lesson of perception and a thinking tool.
In our project to illustrate Hellmut Wolf's music, Land of the Whales, I invited the children to reflect in my painting about a school playground about some other codes of communication than language. Viewing the wotk of Gultekin Bilge,contemporary master of creativity, they disovered a semi- abstraction where codes of line, form and colour replaced words.Retracing the feel behind a word, a story to convey, they understood that the expression of an emotion was measured, like a musical note, by its energy or intensity. In Gultekin Bilge's universe, a whirlpool of energy, form and colour, they felt free and motivated to invent their own words.
The gesture :
whether they invented their own words in space by letting their hand dance, flow in space or unto the paper, they discovered they had to use their whole being, their hand as a bow on an invisible string instrument in order to apply various types of pressures unto their brush.
Such awaqreness, such contact between hand and brain while listening to the music of Hellmut Wolf was remarkably sustained, as an ever ending flow, as the perfect balance or frequency between a mind relaxation and physical activity.
In Hellmut Wolf's music where the beat rhythm carry what we could call too a very precise dialogue, a clearly defined two and fro between various instruments , where some vocals, sound effects become another instrument and echo each other in a perfect sequence, the children could indeed impregnate themselves with the feel of communicating with precision , of being empowered to reach out to the other end of an ocean.
This fusion of two senses, of the perception of sound while engaging oneself in the physical activity of drawing and painting does trigger the ability to use all parts of the brain, thus to connect all elements of a picture, to create, leap unto the unknown, to make precise choices, to visualise such choices, to think with such images.
In these studies, a wealth of detail , flow of transparencies and contrasts flowed spontaneously, in a limited amount of time of actual painting ( one to two hours ) for most children within a large group where they somehow became a visual orchestra.
Some african cultures have recorded their whole history trhough music and dance. Drawing while listening to music is about leaving a mark, thus making us more aware of the origin, the creativity, the emotion,the meaning carried in our current languages.
Lines or rhythm and colour are notes of music or a code, a language to convey a feel and a meaning.
While we have in music eight notes, we could sum up our" line notes" in three levels to measure the intensity of the feel conveyed : the horizontal line, ( sleep, utter relaxation), the wavy line in half circle loops to convey the energy fo joy, the mountain peaks or triangular line to express anguish or anger.The same for colour.
In Steven's picture aged 8, we see particularly clearly, the feel of being tuned on the right frequency, of not letting it end, we see this perfect levelling of the mind mirroring the passive, relaxed stage of perception while the vibrations emitted from this haphy face are carrying ideas and sustained all across the page.