Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mary Bourke - UNLIMITED

Mary used to be a Mayor. In 2008 she was awarded a Queens Service Order for services to local government.
Now she has established Mary Bourke Unlimited. You can check it out here. She works now as a facilitator, independent chairperson and celebrant - just a few of her roles in her new incarnation.

I talked with her about creativity and her life.

Wayne: What part has creativity played in your life?
Mary: Doing/making/designing things are the activities that give me the most satisfaction - and probably the most frustration as well. Frustration when stuff doesn't come out as you have envisioned it and/or lack of technical skill. Thinking about it and having a go are the satisfying bits. Creative people are great mentors for me because they are the ones who are prepared to push the boundaries and move stuff from being mediocre to inspiring/challenging/ground-breaking.

Wayne: In what ways do you express your creativity?
Mary: On a personal level by the environments I establish around me and the people I choose to spend time with. As an interactor I do it by listening, challenging, questioning, encouraging, dreaming aloud.

Wayne: Was there a point in your life when you recognised that you were creative? How did that come about?
Mary: My greatest moments of astonishment seem to come years after the event when I come upon something I wrote/said/did; and say to myself "Did I really do that?" This is usually followed by a quick (and often unsatisfactory) reflection on what manifestations of creativity I might have exhibited in the far less recent past. The points in my life when I have tried hardest to be creative are usually the times when I have been least creative.

Wayne: How would you describe your creative process, in particular do you have any 'habits' that support your creativity?
Mary: I think one's subconscious cannot be underestimated. Good stuff sneaks up on you when you least expect it. I have found that leaving things until the last minute is a great way of unleashing the odd inspired tidbit.

Wayne: What suggestions would you give to others who want to explore their creativity?
Mary: Have a go. Don't be intimidated by others' superior experience/possible scorn/lack of imagination. Focus on solutions to blocks. Challenge people who say "we tried that ten years ago and it didn't work". Put aside fears that somebody might work out what you're really like... Have a sense of humour.

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