Creativity, Arts and Sport ~ Gatherings from Ireland #185

It seems to me that it is widely assumed that ‘sporty’ people and ‘arty’ people are poles apart and as one who loves both sport and the arts I’ve grappled with this for years.

It has all come to a head today because  there is a writing ‘do’ that I’d love to go to this evening BUT what about Wimbledon? Needless to say, I’m asking myself  How could anyone organise anything on men’s quarter finals day at Wimbledon which is bound to go on late into the evening?

But that’s just the warm-up or should I say the ‘preface?’

Kuhn

Back in 1976, I first came upon the concept of paradigms through T.S. Kuhn’s book  The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.  It’s a book that I always keep very  close at hand because it has always seemed so useful in trying to grapple with what can seem like different ways of thinking, different worlds.  I know, as a young sociology student, I wasn’t really meant to be using Kuhn to help me see how it was possible that someone would think that ‘doing a line’ could only mean ‘ having a fling’ when, of course, it could mean ‘being a line judge’ at Wimbledon or wherever.

I firmly believe that both sport and the arts require creativity.  To me, they are like opposite sides of the same creative coin. I think, though, that those who frequent the different camps don’t realise how much they have in common. And worse still, I think there can be a tendency to categorise kids from a very early age as being either ‘arty’ or ‘sporty.’

Yes, ‘natural’  talent and leanings come into play with regard to both sport and the arts but I think we need to look at them as being within the same broad paradigm ~ a paradigm in which there is so much common language.

So, now I must dash and check on the latest scores at Wimbledon.  As for the writing ‘do’ tonight, I think that calls for yet another way of ‘doing a line!’

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

9 thoughts on “Creativity, Arts and Sport ~ Gatherings from Ireland #185”

  1. Thanks for that perspective, though I still feel the twain seldom meet. Sport is at the centre of society. If you’re interested in sport, you have an automatic ticket to acceptance. The arts is associated more with the margins. It would be nice to think that some common ground could be found.

    1. Hi Derv, many thanks for your comment. I’ve been thinking a good deal about what you’ve said and I keep arriving back to the extent to which the ‘reality’ of many, many sports is that they are very elitist and innate talent is by no means sufficient to see the cream rising to the top which is heartbreaking.
      I suppose a lot depends on one’s definition of ‘the arts.’ The cross-over between music and sport, for example, seems to me to be very strong and the extent to which sports journalism is now such a craft is very interesting.

      Lots of food for lively debate at next year’s Waterford Writers’ Weekend, what do you reckon???

  2. Great points here, thanks. I agree there should be a more flexible and blended approach – its all self expression in a way. One interesting thing I not
    iced where I live in south belfast – a local leisure centre were running art classes for a while (not sure if still going). Id love to see more of that!

    1. Hello Roberta, I really appreciate your comment. Yes, I definitely see the arts and sport as being huge forms of self-expression. We have a few camps that combine sport and the arts in my locality too and they are great for giving kids tasters and also, I think, for letting kids with different interests get to know each other as ‘people’ rather than as being a ‘great footballer’ or a ‘brilliant poet.’

  3. This is such an interesting post, Jean. I have always thought, having been an art teacher, that there was some kind of connection between athletic and sports-loving people and artists. I, too, am one who loves sports, and has participated in them as well as dance. I think that the creative angle is true, but there is a physical angle as well. Art is a physical activity, as are sports, and writing. Moving the hands and the body connect to our creativity and to our memory. In a wonderful book called “The Artist’s Way” The author Julie Camerson advises people who are blocked, whether writers, artists, average people or otherwise, to start writing anything for three pages every day. She also advises walking as the best way to nurture our creativity. I think it is the physical action that connects us to our creative mind! Quite a few professional athletes are also artists, writers and musicians.
    Great post!

    1. Nancy, yes, very interesting about the ‘physical’ aspects of the ‘arts.’ I’m definitely going to get my hands on ‘The Artist’s Way.’ Thanks for recommending it.

  4. Love that ‘doing a line’ vs ‘line judge’ – reminds me it is all perception and if we can master shifting our perception well we just might have a handle – or should that be tennis racket? – on life 🙂

    1. Hi Anne, the word that jumps to mind after today’s semis at Wimbledon is ‘grip.’
      You make me think of a quote that I’ve always loved from W.I. Thomas:
      ‘If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.’
      Perception is so, so much, isn’t it!

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