We started today with the two groups of older children who I haven’t met since session 1 or 2. The Painting With Light, Session 3, had gone so well with the previous groups that we decided to re-run it, albeit redesigned with the benefit of the earlier experience and in the context of the slightly older children. So when the groups came in I had two sheets hung across the room and chairs facing them, and I invited them to sit down here where they could become the audience of their own “show” . I switched on the overhead projectors and demonstrated some of the possibilities of playing with my own shadow on the screens then invited them to take a turn. Each boy in turn then went behind the screen making their own different body shape shadows. Although one or two showed some reluctance at first, everyone participated. The “audience” provided encouragement, applause and ideas.
After everyone had had a turn I introduced them to the materials available to add to the overhead projector screens and invited them to take turns to thus change the colours and textures of the light cast on the sheets to interact with each other’s shadow images. We invited them up in ones and twos at first one creating shadows while another coloured and textured the light source, but it soon became a more organic process with boys moving from screen to projector to audience. Everyone participated, albeit in different ways and to different extents but we were very pleased with the evident pleasure in the activity from the majority of the group and the richness of the imagery and interactions. After some time I introduced music also which worked particularly well with the first group where some of the boys moved in response to it.
One boy spontaneously created small narratives with everything he did, and wanted to know what each abstract shape could represent. Another started to put toys he found in the room on, introducing this idea to his classmates. Unlike with the younger children there was no difficulties about the boys sharing, perhaps because there were two projectors and plenty of space created between them and the screen this time, they collaborated easily and organically although some boys took a more passive role, observing more and participating less than the others, so that those who were particularly excited by the work had access to it unchallenged.
List of materials, resources etc
wools, goat hair etc
Coloured cels / acetate
Pegs, safety pins
objects in the room that create interesting shadows
Lap top to play music
Two overhead projectors