Residency at Ballinteer ETNS – Artist: Tunde Toth – Session 1

Session 1: EXHIBITION VISIT at the Lexicon!! – 13th December 2016

Assistant Artists: Kim Jenkinson and Joan Somers Donnelly

I`m delighted to have the chance to work with younger children for our residency this time – with Senior Infants, Críona Murray`s class at Ballinteer Educate Together NS.

After a brief session of introducing myself and “saying hello” at the school,  I was excited to meet the class of 28 little children and their teachers (and a very supportive parent!) coming to visit the exhibition at the Municipial Gallery in DLR Lexicon. The exhibition: The Swing of the Sixties: Trinity`s College Gallery was an inspiring and very child-friendly choice, showing art works from the The Trinity College Dublin Art Collections.

I wanted to approach the artworks from a child centered point of view, focusing on a few selected works that I thought will be equally interesting and challenging; mainly abstract art works that we can discuss in an inclusive and playful way.  The children were very responsive and we all had great fun questioning, investigating the works and not looking for final answers or explanations…!

After discussing the selected pictures, we moved into the Studio space where we started on one of our response activities: looking at shapes that we saw in the exhibition. The workshop started with drawings of various shapes on large sheets of papers, using oil pastels. These works than were collected and re-distributed randomly in the class without the children`s names on the pieces. We made sure that nobody received their own work.

This, of course have caused a bit of a confusion and an initial disappointment; it`s not easy to `give up`ownership of one`s creative work and accept the fact that someone else in the class going to continue working on it, contributing to it. The `second maker`of the picture drew circular, connecting or slightly overlapping shapes on the back of the paper, before the works were collected again.

At this stage we have run out of time so we continued this process in the school in January 2017: the drawings were given back to the children again randomly, they cut around the outline of the circular shapes, creating abstract and surprising pieces that belong to the whole class really, since individual ownership has been replaced by co-authorship.

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