Session 4 – The Town Planners

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Artist: Helen Barry, School: The National Muslim School

We were based in the classroom for our forth session together. The children worked quickly and efficiently. We had re looked at our planning sheet that depicted the plans for our city/ community at the beginning of the session. The detail on the planning sheet is incredible. The depth of the work through images and words led to some interesting and challenging discussions that explored their understanding of creating their city based on their needs and aspirations. The teacher Ms Donaghey is equally involved as the children and I are. She moves from child to child asking them questions that further enables them to figure things out for themselves.

I had thought that we could create a site specific installation using the work we would create in this session but I had not thought it through enough and realized that I was being impractical. We drew out buildings, resources and facilities that would be required in the city. I asked the children to focus on large flat colourful shapes that could be added to at a later date if we wished. Our images were stuck onto lengths of transparent paper. Each length resembled a city street and layering them together would offer a view of a city streetscape. Each length could then be looked at closely and have detailed information on each building or shape depicted.

I would like to record some of the children’s discussions so we can capture the development of their ideas in creating a city. Creating the installation part did not work and I shall have to go back to the drawing board to rethink how best to move this forward. The children have suggested a maze like arrangement that I shall need to think through and figure out the logistics. No doubt in the coming weeks it will be the children who will offer the best way to install the work.

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