… the body which forms them.

February 25, 2007

“Though human ingenuity may make various inventions answering by different machines to the same end, it will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple, more direct than nature does; because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing superfluous. She needs no counterpoise when she creates limbs fitted for movement of the bodies of animals, but puts within them the soul of the body which forms them, that is the soul of the mother which first constructs within the womb the shape of man, and in due time awakens the soul that is to be its inhabitant.”

This quotation from Leanardo da Vinci comes courtesy of Andrew Campbell who sent it along with the picture. I asked his permission to replicate it and he replied to say yes and gave me some history on the picture itself.

“that picture was made by a young asian (indian) woman, who worked I think for PriceWaterhouseCooper, it was during a workshop I organised for a company in Oxford in 1998. It was subsequently incorporated into a book-manual of personal mastery/leadership exercises published in 2000. I was asked to create artworks for the book – but I proposed that rather than put my artwork in I could put in works selected from workshops i’d run, by people who did not consider themselves arty or artists. the artwork people produce are often like aphorisms or short sayings of some kind – this one is a beautiful object – like a child within a woman’s belly… and i still have the original here, I also have a better jpeg if you prefer…the artist was Rose Nathan the exercise was exercise one: aligning with the person that you want to be. ”

Andrew is always interesting, always challenging. I often disagree with him, I frequently don’t understand him but he does interesting work. He shows people how to use art to express complex issues. So if anyone is looking for a UK based artist able to help people with this sort of interpretative work then I will happily make the connection (or Andrew can leave details in the comments)

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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