Sense making through Poem Houses: An arts based approach to understanding leadership
Grisoni, L. (2011) Sense making through Poem Houses: An arts based approach to understanding leadership. Visual Studies. ISSN 1472-586X
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Publisher's URL: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/1472586X.as...
This article introduces an arts based approach to leadership inquiry using ‘Poem Houses’- an art form developed by Brigid Collins. Poem houses are three dimensional artifacts combining visual interpretation with poetic text and which hold special significance for the maker. The bringing together of poetry and assemblage in the artworks made by Collins is a conscious attempt to create the conditions in which an ‘uncovering’ may happen, by means of a process of layered collage and juxtaposed words and images – in what amounts to ‘Intermediality’. This artistic form has inspired the methods and tools used in the workshops led, with Grisoni and described in this paper. The focus for this inquiry is leadership development and in particular, sense making processes arising from the creation of and reflections on poem houses made by workshop participants. The poem houses provide an innovative visual narrative of individual and organizational experiences of leadership. Examples are drawn from a workshop for public sector managers where we show how new insights of what it means to be a leader and collective reflections on the creative process were generated. These findings create individual and organizational narratives that contribute to our understandings of the current context of public sector leadership.