ANGELA SCHÜTZ @ ART & SOUL WORK

From Creativity to Psychology

My professional career began in 1985 as a commercial artist in Germany where I was born. After having worked in advertising for 7 years an increasing desire for a deeper understanding of human nature led me into psychology. I enrolled at the University of Bremen, Germany where I graduated with an MA in Psychology in 1999. My main areas of study were psychodynamic theories that explain who we are out of the formative years of childhood. They never managed to give me a satisfactory answer to what enables personal growth after that. How can we become more than we are, if what we have learned to be is all there is? From Psychology to Spirituality My practice as a singer in a jazz duo opened another avenue for me to explore. When singing I had recurring experiences of being plugged into an energy that seemed to lift me out of myself yet made me completely one with myself. There was no separation between me, the song and the audience and the effort of singing even difficult songs just dropped away. I stopped making music and started being music. This experience of wholeness and expanding beyond my ordinary self led me into subsequent exploration of the spiritual dimension of life. After university I decided to leave Germany for a voluntary year at a retreat centre in London. At the centre I met an artist who encouraged me to take up painting and introduced me to Quakers. I got interested in the Quaker spiritual practice of ‘listening within’. It reminded me of the healing gift of silence and inner stillness I had experienced on silent meditation retreats before. I regularly attended Quaker meetings for over 10 years alongside an expanding painting practice that gradually took over my musical activities. From Spirituality to Psychosynthesis From 2002 until 2006 I trained as a Psychosynthesis counsellor at PET (Psychosynthesis & Education Trust) in London, a transpersonal training that embraces the spiritual as the seat of our potential. According to psychosynthesis we follow an inherent tendency to become fully who we are and get into conflict and pain if that natural flow gets blocked. Psychosynthesis with its great variety of interventions aims to unblock and support the flow of creative energy from the transpersonal. From Psychosynthesis to Creativity During my training I discovered the powerful work with imagery. Images are like doorways to our potential. They can unlock transpersonal energy that transforms blocks into stepping stones. Inspired by this I started painting much closer to my personal experience using the images that emerged as a creative guide. Studying Transpersonal Arts at Tobias School of Art & Therapy further deepened my practice and my appreciation of colour and art as a direct reflection of the soul. Art & SoulWork Art & SoulWork is the result (and a work in progress) of a continuous process of integrating personal, spiritual and creative experiences and insights into a holistic way of living and working. It ‘begins with the assumption that a human being is a world of meanings, emotions, dreams, wishes, fears, a past, a cultural milieu, and an interior life of thought and fantasy – in short, a soul.’ and is based on the idea that ‘creativity is being in the world soulfully, for the only thing we truly make, whether in the arts, in culture or at home, is soul.’ (Thomas Moore) It embraces practices that facilitate presence and creativity and draw on our potential such as art making, working with colour, movement, music, writiing, visualisation and silence. Contact me if you are interested in any of the above.  

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