Session One: Learning To Learn in the Dominican Convent

It’s fantastic the school has a large spare room in which we can work each week. We have only just met and I am thinking and creating on a large scale. Hence for my initial session there was not a sheet of A4 in sight and incase the tables were too small we used the floor to stretch ourselves out and what we created from wall to wall. The children were able to move about freely and encouraged to use their entire bodies in expressive ways. Using the floor rather than tables also enabled me as the artist to mirror the stature of the children as I too can lie on the ground or crouch down with them meeting their eye line. I believe that this first session with the children needs to driven by play and offer different ways to express ourselves whether that is jumping up and down with excitement, being able to curl up in a tight ball or ask a question through pictures or gestures. At this early stage I am another adult who has entered their space and I wanted to create a gentle and fun atmosphere that sparks curiosity in all of the children and the teacher.

I specifically requested to work with children in junior infants who are aged 4 and 5 years as this would enable me to continue my focus with early years children and further explore how Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework supports my practice and how in turn my methodology can support Aistear. My collaborative practice with early years children has contributed to my increasing interest in learning about learning, how we learn rather than what we actually learn. We are all learning together, I sense a slightly new departure for me and I left the school with a clear question. How best can I visually articulate the pedagogic processes and rhythm it creates within the classroom?

The children and their teacher will collaborate equally throughout this residency. We are in a unique position as this specific residency will be further supported by my Artist At Work residency in dlr Lexicon. This is a brand new building on the doorstep of the school and over the next few months the children will visit me in my pop up studio in dlr Lexicon to work on our collaboration whilst they explore what other things this new library building holds for them.

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