INSIDE THE ENSO
Shared reflections and insights from The Enso Circle Founders and Artists-in-Residence
Note: This thoughtful, moving post is by Nadine Rusinek-Bloomfield, an Enso circle Resident from Toronto. She write from a "real-life-happens" perspective that speak to all of us who find that our creativity isn't always guaranteed or automatic but sometimes needs to move "like molasses." Thank you, Nadine. Michelle and I loved your thoughts on this sometimes difficult subject.
Detail: Under the Ice (photo encaustic) by author, 2021
I am not sure how I alighted upon The Enso Residency program. I am beyond grateful I did. I
had been circling around my art before accepting the invitation - briefly touching down and
engaging but without the needed discipline necessary to advance my artistic growth. This was
because life had wedged itself between my ambitions and reality.
There is a certain kind of judgement and pathology ascribed to the self-described artist who doesn’t ‘art’ (or art ‘enough’). Are quantity, hours and output realistic indices of one’s status as an artist? I came to Enso in the stuck place - that frozen landscape where one’s feet seem trapped in ice and inspiration feels forced and inauthentic.I had been pushing a Sisyphean boulder (an art-based thesis about Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy) up this icy hill. If the opposite of trauma’s freeze response is flow, then does persisting with art heal as a kind of icebreaker? Can it elicit flow when forced, when one is truly frozen? Where is our ability to heal in the space between stuck and unstuck? What exactly is inspiration? These are the questions I ask myself every week as I engage with Enso. Being lost in the process is artful, it is authentic. It is engaging with the divine.
Jacob’s Ladder appeared in my work the first term. I wasn’t expecting this imagery and
had to look up its significance. The Divine, flow - connection to forces beyond our
comprehension. This is art. Dr. Paolo Knill, father of expressive arts therapy, spoke about the
“Holy, wholly other”. The art lives beyond our hands, as its own spirit. It tells its own truths. By
engaging with these works, by staying on the surface and not analysing or interpreting, we may
hear the insights the art offers. Persistence begets flow and flow need not be fast, it can move
Enso is a moving circle, it is living community. Connection and community shifts
one into dialogue. This term has been beset with health issues and I am tethered to the circle by
a golden thread. Enso is the thin rivulet of water that bores through ice. Enso, therefore, is hope and offers that frame in which to persist, to chase flow, however slow. Enso holds this space.
Sometimes it is invisible but we persist with the faith of knowing Winter’s ice yields to Spring’s
Nadine Rusinek-Bloomfield 2023 #ourensocircle #theensocircle