Session Eight: Understanding movement and poise

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Artist: Helen Barry, School: Our Lady Of Good Counsel G.N.S.

Our aim for this session was to start to build an animal or bird from organic materials found in the garden area. I had discussed with the group as to their preferred choice. The area outside ‘The Meadow’ building is a sensory garden. We wish to introduce other elements into the garden in a subtle way using natural materials. Our initial ideas of using blocks of colour would not sit well in this space. The area provides a very comforting and relaxed space for the children to be in.

I took a small group of the girls into the garden to work ‘en plein air’. The decision has been made to create a heron, a bird that signifies stillness and stability for the girls. We embarked with a small saw, snips, twine, raffia and wire. Over the last few sessions we had explored movement and how this enhances the ability to really understand and observe that in turn can deliver a better representation of what is being studied. Our discussion had led me to believe that they understood the poise and posture of the heron.

I led n the logistics of building and weaving the parts together but it was girls who made the choices of what pieces were used and how they best formed the heron. They worked with speed and accuracy to create a very beautiful piece of work that will be worked on again in the next session.

Whilst we worked outdoors the others in the group remained indoors creating small wire birds from an assortment of different types of wire. Again I was hugely impressed at what the girls achieved. We had previously made origami birds in flight. I think that this understanding of the movement of birds in flight was transferred to the wire birds. It was especially lovely to hear one of the girls discovering creating in 3D with wire was something that inspired her and she was eager to continue exploring this new medium.

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