By Judith Prest
I have been a member of IWWG since 1996, attended my first conference in 1997 and have been there almost every year since. It has been life changing. My life, my circle of friends and my writing have all been enriched by the Guild. One of the big lessons I have taken from Guild teachers over the years is to begin from deep down. I have learned that when I write poetry or do my mixed media arts, I am taking dictation from my soul.
Each summer in my workshop I share my love of SoulCollage®, a process developed by Seena Frost, a writer, artist, and family therapist. SoulCollage® is a collage-making process where you intuitively choose images and then form them into small collages on 5 X 8 cards, eventually creating as Seena says, a “personal deck of soul-tending cards, each card a mirror of self and soul.” In the process, you learn to dialogue with the images you choose, letting them speak through you. Images have the power to cut to the chase and bring you to the heart of the matter, to your deep center. They can also be very powerful prompts for writing.
Images, visual art and other means of creative expression all feed your writing. This is particularly true with SoulCollage® because the practice includes dialoguing with the image in each completed card. I have made over 300 cards since I began the practice in 2007 but do not always do the written dialogue with each one. When I do make the time to write from a card, I am rewarded with fresh images and insights and often poems. Creating these cards and writing from them is like awake dream work.
This summer I will offering SoulCollage® online at our 2020 IWWG Summer Picnic in three classes. Even if you are not at a conference you can still create! I’ll provide information on resources for materials and guide you step by step to create your own collages.
If you have never worked with the SoulCollage® process, I hope you’ll join me for a new adventure into your inner world – one where your soul reveals itself through imagery and words.
Judith is a poet, photographer, mixed media artist, and creativity coach. Her poems have been published in several literary journals and seven anthologies. Her chapbook, After, was recently published by Finishing Line Press. A retired school social worker, she works part time running recovery writing and expressive art groups at New Choices Recovery center in Schenectady, NY. She gives workshops and leads retreats for poetry, expressive arts, creativity, and healing. She lives in Duanesburg, NY with her husband, three cats, and her business – Spirit Wind Studio, LLC. Judith joined IWWG in 1996 and attended her first Summer Conference in 1997.
Soul Card “Wisdom” by Cathleen O’Connor, created in Judith’s class 2017