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Wheesht: creative making in uncertain times
Wheesht int.v., n., adj., Scots and northern English dialects: to be quiet, to quieten, to hush, to remain silent. To haud or keep one’s wheesht: to be quiet, to hold one’s tongue. Also in diminutive forms (whish, whishie): the slightest sound. The least whisper. The faintest rumour or report.
In Wheesht, Kate Davies asks how we might best enable and encourage our creative practice in the face of ambivalence, uncertainty and doubt. At a cultural moment when it seems that creativity can be anything to anyone, Wheesht poses a set of radical and redefining questions. What if, instead of breaking or disrupting, we made mending and repair the focus of our work? How might creative praxis change if it became more about bringing other people forward than blowing one’s own trumpet? What if we stopped wishing for creative freedom and thought much more carefully about what limitation or impediment might have to show us? Might shutting up and hauding our wheesht be, in the end, of as much importance to our creative work as other, louder, forms of expression?
Whether you like creating words or images, sounds or sweaters, at moments of uncertainty it is important to try to find new things to say and different ways in which to say them. With her firm belief that simple acts of making can always make things better, this book is Kate Davies’ creative call for us all to haud our wheesht and listen, before making our work, with conviction, with purpose and with heart.