Yvonne Buysman on cocreativity: building community through flowers and systems thinking.

We welcome Yvonne Buysman, a new member of AR+ and an ARTist in the world of tech. Yvonne is also completing her doctorate in action research and was part of a coLAB on co-creatvity.

Yvonne reflects on her experience of coLABoratorship and offers a glimpse of community with other ARTists in AR+:

“We were welcomed with the invitation to bring a “plant” or a “flower” as a way to introduce ourselves for the first session of the coLAB. This session was all about creating a ‘protainer’ for our work together which took place in the following months- April 2021- February 2022.  A flower! What flower?! I was immediately drawn to this artful invitation and to the practice that emerged as a way of connecting with others through the more than human or languaged world.

My choice of flower was the amaryllis as it relates to my Dutch roots, its regenerative spirit, and resilience.  In fact, amaryllis bulbs had  just come directly from my cousin’s farm in the Netherlands. They’d arrived in a sturdy crate filled with, these robust bulbs and roots, hungry for fresh dirt to grow in the Florida sun where I live.

Through this coLAB, I gained a new community of global Action Researchers. I enjoyed the variety of flowers, countries and cultures represented through the accents of the community. We had members from wonderous places such as the Basque region, Greece, Scotland, New Orleans, San Diego, and earthy Portland, Oregon. Each session offered a new way to connect with our own creativity and extend that with others. We had reflections on our own ancestral lineage. We experimented with poetry and photography.  We even played out real life conflicts through the theatrical scripts of a  “Math and Circus” practice which transformed my thinking and helped shift how I relate to and use power and love in my life.

The collective energy of this community celebrated participatory (and feminist) worldviews.  I felt at home in the safety and trust of the “protainer”; I opened my voice through artful expression; I engaged more my embodied knowing in this cocreated space.  I gained a new sense of power in breaking my own binary thinking. Previously I had been feeling stuck in a fast paced, high performing, and often ego-centric system.  Here in this AR+ space, we practiced the eco-centric. I realized I could bring this type of working/relating/learning also to my own professional system by looking more to the wisdom of art and nature.

I include the photo of the amaryllis which joined me on the journey, and which serves as a bridge as I enter a new coLABs focusing on Leadership initiative within the eco-crisis. As the world continues to face social and ecological divides, I am feeling energized to continue learning and growing through emerging communities which care about personal, local, and global perspectives.

Transforming, regenerating, and blooming capture the actions and spirit of these coLABS.  I am grateful for these spaces and look forward to the momentum which future experiences with the ART+ community will bring.  

After all, if we are striving to collectively flourish, then don’t we all need more flowers and plants in our lives and futures?