The Secret Artist 2.1: Welcome The (Creative) Resistance

Are you a Secret Artist? Do you believe in the creative process? Interested in learning more about the journey of this Secret Artist? Then please subscribe HERE!   


“Creation is a disturbing force in society because it is a constructive one. It upsets the old order in the acts of building a new one. (…) And the work of creative spirits is what gives society a chance of directing its inevitable movement along constructive instead of destructive lines.”

The Nature of Creativity: Contemporary Psychological Perspectives

Robert J. Sternberg.

Dear Secret Artist,

Today a personal and broader perspective on the subject of resistance.

How was your transition into 2017? I hope smoother than mine!

I began this year in a tight knot of fear. I felt overwhelmed and defeated before I’d even started. An all-pervasive sense of impending doom engulfed me.

At first I fought back, “no, no, no I don’t want to feel this now, more than ever I need to be confident, not consumed with doubt and insecurity, this cannot be, this cannot happen. “

I have a lot riding on this year and I’m feeling a lot of pressure. So when I felt this dip in confidence I immediately panicked and felt like everything I’d worked for could slip away.

I got tough with myself. I pushed through my intimidating lists. I tried to ignore the suffocating pressure on my chest and the chilling feeling that I was sliding backwards.

As the first days of January unfolded I went numbly through the motions of picking up the reins of a life that, from this depleted state, felt alien. With my physiology on red alert for days on end I was exhausted, I was so resistant to feeling weak that I crippled myself.

‘What we resist persists.’


I could not tolerate the feelings of powerlessness and thus I had given away my power. This realisation gave rise to a flood of anger and in that moment I snapped, I broke. Like a brittle little twig I floated away on a river of sadness, no longer caring where I was going, down, down the stream, following the current, along with all the feelings that were frightening me.

Into the dark.

Into the space of unknowing.

No longer stuck between my fearful self and my hopeful self, I could move, I could breathe, without holding on, I could feel.

I felt the untamed feelings through to their peak and at the pinnacle of intensity, a sudden release. I popped out the other side, awake, alert, spacious, I could survey my surroundings.

I was not lost and alone in the dark. I was in something more akin to an incubator, a self-created cocoon. Here it was clear, that all I was wrestling with was part of a natural cycle of growth and transformation.

Little by little, secrecy is evolving into openness, holding back is becoming expression and fear is morphing into joy.

If you’re experiencing  a drain of energy and feelings of anxiety,  ask yourself;

What am I resisting? Take a moment to be still and go deeper: what am I afraid is true about myself?  What don’t I want to feel? Then, open to this fear and allow what frightens you into your heart, to land fully, clearly, deeply and then just for a moment, release resistance and let it be true and then see what happens.

When we fight fear we become fear.  When we open to fear we find love.


In the world around us the winds of change are blowing and those who resist the change will create the change they fear at an accelerated level. Slowly but surely the tide is turning, for as we try to lock down the world under our command we simultaneously unleash the forces that cannot be controlled.

We instinctively feel this year will be challenging, we are stepping into unknown territory. Individually and collectively we will be shaped by the mysteries that lie ahead.

Transformation is a process that encompasses both the new and the old. Whether it’s the dominant authoritarian order that seeks to preserve the status quo or part of the creative force that seeks new ways of being and new ways of living. Both will be challenged to recognise that we are not separate from what we fear, and that the harder we push against that which we seek to destroy the greater the resistance.

A more fluid approach to acceptance and understanding, both in our own personal lives and the world around us will help us develop the balance and strength to give birth to the new.

A creative approach to resistance might be exactly what we need to be free.

“and you push me into a state of emergency,

How beautiful, To be, State of Emergency,

It’s where I want To be”




From the 19th -21st I will be screening a short video: Material Girl as part of the London Creative Network showcase event at SPACE Studios.

This Material Girl film forms part of an ongoing dialogue, which includes photography and performance. Material Girl splits between the personal and the archetypal.

Material Girl is like a mask that covers the body with material but this mask reveals rather than conceals. Prompting questions such as “How do the forces we struggle with reveal ourselves?”

Material Girl has been a vehicle to explore feminine consciousness and the challenge to break free from oppressive patterns of thought and behaviour. She is an emerging entity, an unknown, evolving through conversation, bringing dialogue, creative resistance, joy and beauty.

To reflect the importance of dialogue and the way Material Girl allows a space for other women to connect to their creativity, during the showcase I’ll be recording a podcast of conversations about Material Girl with young women from the Dream Of Life London project and other artists.

“The transformation of the world occurs through Beauty”

James Hillman

Until the next,

Love and Best Wishes


Gemma Kauffman’s practice encompasses a variety of strategies and media, which include painting, performance, installation and film. Theatrical and fantastical, her work is both compelling and dynamic. Kauffman is an advocate for the creative spirit of all people and has during the last 10 years pioneered transformative approaches to social engagement.

Are you a Secret Artist? Do you believe in the creative process? Interested in learning more about the journey of this Secret Artist? Then please subscribe HERE!

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