My Journey Into Creativity by Henneke Andreae

The creative process is so inherent to our lives. Has it not shaped us from the start? And was it not there ,when I watched with imagination’s creatures climbing up the patterns in the fabricof the curtains, in my very early years?

From playing with sand, making dolls clothes, writing stories in school to learning to knit and sew by a teacher old school-style. Making scrapbooks and performing Abba on playback shows. Creating art, creating atmospheres, creating friendships. Creating life. I started gymnastics when I was three. I stood a lot in handstand. Was twirling, balancing, jumping and cartwheeling. Inside, outside, on the back of my mum’s bike, trying to turn around without her noticing.Movement was a big thing in which I could find expression.

In my teenage years I changed to jazz dance and contemporary dance. And that ruled my world. I became part of a performing dance group. And it opened my eyes: to music. To expressing emotions. To myself as an individual, to the wider world with all its colour and complexities. It was hard work. But in dancing the dances, the stories, the emotions, I became one with them, and that was powerful and beautiful. But in dancing freestyle, to a good song, on a dance floor with plenty of space, that’s where I found freedom. To close my eyes, follow the music and let go; I can glide through the Universe, become one with it All.

In my twenties I picked up a camera and over the decades I have loved making pictures. Catching precious moments, as well as training my eyes to see beauty. I also had a great art teacher in the agricultural college, who showed me ways of painting and drawing, that taught me to loosen up, to look from different perspectives and create something completely different from what I had done before, which I had not thought to be possible for me. Another road had opened up. Arriving in Ireland I tried to make a living in writing calligraphy, in making calenders out of wood and paper and photographs. I learned the tin whistle for a season, and played in some films.

In my thirties life became a bit more serious. I made candles for three years. I created a home with gardens, with good food on the table and coziness with many stories. Later I moved back into town and because life was a little tough I went back to dancing. For a while every Sunday night I would go, often on my own, and have a dance on the dance floor, sometimes with eyes closed, sometimes smooth and sometimes rough, and often with a big, big smile, singing along and having fun. Such good memories.

And then my forties came, I am deep in them now. I moved back to the countryside and after settling in, I got into Jole’s classes and picked up painting again, and writing, and weaving. These have been wonderful years. Every season there are new discoveries. With every year I am learning more about what is around and in me. I so love the process of searching, of what you want to express. You might feel far from it. You might feel it come closer, getting excited and sometimes, within one brushstroke, you found it.. the soul..