Our 8th session on the 15th of February started with a discussion, responding to what we have done so far and recalling all the different ways we created maps and pictures of spaces, imaginary and real. We also revisited our first mind map about place to see the connections between brainstorming ideas and art processes.
The children were asked to look at a selection of their drawings with the aim of creating a textured collage version of one previous work: choosing between the space/universe drawing, the imaginary place map or the journey map on the long scroll from last week. A full image or a smaller segment of the selected work was chosen to be an inspiration and a guide to the collages – made using a wide range of textured materials, pieces of fabrics, threads, strings, textured wall papers, tissue- and corrugated papers, cotton wool, soft foam shapes etc. These collages will be used as plates for a Collograph print making process at the following session.
Session 7 took place on the 8th of February when we looked at again, a different way to explore and create MAPS.
The children drew maps of their journeys from home to school, on long, narrow strips of papers (till rolls). The shape of the paper presents a challenge of course, as everyone has to figure out their own way to represent roundabouts, changing directions and the turns and twists of their journey. There have been some unusual and very clever solutions in the class!
Mapping of the visual elements of these routes was followed by the mapping of sounds, significant colours and smells – turning the activity into a sensory investigation of everyday locations and travels.
Ms McFeely had the long maps perfectly displayed – suspended from the beams in the high-ceiling classroom.
Our 10th and final session before the children`s exhibition took place in the school on the 26th of February. As we were approaching the end of the residency, I wanted to make sure that we spend some time to revisit and reflect on the project, trying to recall all that happened during the last few months.
After recalling and discussing creative processes, we focused on unfinished works that were waiting in the children`s folders: paper cuttings and dyed papers which gave a great opportunity to revisit techniques of paper folding, pattern drawing and cutting.
We also gave a little more attention to the long wall paper collage piece that the children started at the Project Room of the Lexicon the week before, responding to the exhibition they visited. Taking the collaborative process yet a step further, we assigned the children to a spot by the collage (randomly) and they were asked to add drawings to the piece in a way that they create / recreate / join / re-join images that are already there. I felt that, this time, the process is more fun and less disruptive for the children, somehow they got the idea that they can work on or contribute to other`s works in a positive way. This time nobody was upset about his or her collage being altered by others!
The collection of the paper works in the folders have been tidied up and we talked about the possibility of an exhibition in the class room. This is the first time we mentioned it – and everyone got pretty excited about it! Patricia discussed it with the school and the date of the 13th of March was set for the exhibition.
I decided to combine these two sessions here because this collaborative process took two days to complete
Our 7th session took place over nearly three hours on the 6th of February.
Following a number of previous discussions with Patricia, we decided to introduce collaborative working processes encouraging the children to try to work together and not only alongside each other. The process included the planning of images and collaborative decision making on large scale drawings. The class was divided for 8 groups, so we had 3 or 4 children in each group only, making it all a little easier perhaps. The large scale drawing responded to the theme of “light in nature”, linking the work to the original broad theme of “light”.
The process proved to be difficult and challenging for many children in the class, they had to spend time to understand that making a picture together, collaboratively doesn`t mean that they work alone using a separate section of the large drawing paper. Once finished, each picture was presented to the class by one member of the group and discussed by the other children.
We didn`t mark group numbers or names on the drawings as we wanted to take this process further to explore ownership and authorship of collaborative works. The pictures were collected and given to a different group to draw large, simple shapes on the back of the paper. These shapes were then cut out without considering or checking the drawing on the other side. Some children felt that this was clearly destroying their previous work and they found it difficult to accept that their ownership of the work is so profoundly questioned. I was hoping to hold onto the fun elements of the process, trying to focus on funny and unexpected outcomes and make sure that it is a good experience for all involved. We regularly discussed what we are doing and frequently reflected on the possible answers that came up when we asked “Who made this picture?”, “Who created this funny image cut in half?” etc.
The 8th session on the 13th of February continued this process by taking the cut-up pieces and reassembling them into a random narrative, using simple story making / story telling in a way you would use the Story Cubes. The groups were rearranged for this again, so each piece of drawing has been now handled and changed by a number of hands along the way. This story making proved also difficult for many children in the class as they had to agree on a story line as much as possible and they were now working in larger groups.
It will be interesting to hear feedback from Patricia now, a couple of months later, to see if this creative process has benefited group dynamics, group work, connections in the class.
Our 6th session took place on the 23rd of January in the school.
We introduced another another process connected to Batik: using hot wax from burning tea-lights to create images and patterns on paper. There was some silence in the class room!
We set up a space for each child with the burning tea-light, a small paint brush and paper and started a slow drawing process with the melted wax. As the paintbrush and the wax has cooled down relatively quickly, everyone needed all their patience to create their pictures.
The pieces were then painted all over with fabric dyes. A separate, un-waxed sheet of paper was also painted in a pattern or design, decided or chosen by the children.
13 February 2017
Assistant Arts Practitioner: Kim Jenkinson
Session 6: DRAWING, BLIND DRAWING, VIEW FINDERS and RESPONSE
Following on from previous conversations and sketches/mind maps in the diary we continued with a fun process of Blind Drawing: children were asked to try to draw each other (connecting to ideas of portraiture) while not looking what they are drawing – we placed a sheet of strong paper over the pencils to create `blind drawings`. As it often happens, some children have been a bit slower to `let it go`, draw without control and `perfection`. Others just had fun straight away, having a good laugh at the outcomes… The important experience of no right or wrong and the acceptance of whatever the outcome combined with the understanding of the senses – and what happens when one of the senses is restricted…
Thanks again to Criona Murray the class teacher: there is another beautiful display awaits everyone in the class room and the spacious corridor area leading to the class room!! She did find the time to select and mount(!) prints by each child for a striking display that truly shows the quality of the work done by the children!
6 February 2017
Assistant Arts Practitioner: Kim Jenkinson
PRINT MAKING Session: very very busy, exciting, surprising, fantastic fun, `smudgey` and soooo messy!! – just a few opinions of the day.
We organized a longer session to accommodate this process as it needs a considerable amount of time for set up, demonstration/explaining and clean up. I also wanted to make sure that we have sufficient time to create a number of prints with different colours, different papers etc and allow for a bit of an experimentation and plenty of fun along the way.
We included two print making processes:
- Collagraph printing (using our previously made plates; relief print combined by intaglio mark making)
- Stencil printing: using the inked acetate plates with pre-cut paper shapes as stencils
23 January 2017
Assistant Arts Practitioner: Kim Jenkinson
Our third session started with a little more `looking back`and further discussing shapes. This was a great introduction to the process of developing collagraph plates for our printing sessions: children made simple drawings (that incorporated basic shapes) on mounting board cards. The large shapes/drawings were then filled with little shapes of pre-cut soft foam in a mosaic style: the small pieces needed to be firmly glued onto the board with little gaps in between and without any overlapping… many instructions to keep in mind! There was also a bit of a difficulty with having to cover the lines of the drawing here and there but everyone had a great start and the colourful images started to emerge by the end of the class!
I would like to include here a few photographs of the impressive class room displays of the previous drawings (already “exhibited”!!) and some of the detailed and very impressive drawings in the project diaries.
St Mary`s NS Sandyford – SESSION 7
5 April 2016
Final stages of Batik processes always involve the removal of wax from dried pieces. To do this in the class room (at least to introduce it) we chose to do a bit of ironing – ironing out of melted wax from paper based batiks, so we truly kept up with the “Danger Art” as one of the children called it earlier in the year!
Ironing is also a reason for not having many images to show from this session – we were all so busy that there was little chance for documentation.
While the children were taking turns with the ironing we also started to work on plans and ideas for a three dimensional, sculptural work: small installations, constructions of the places/locations identified and explored earlier. I wanted to make sure that we try to approach this with a bit of abstraction and minimalism, so decided to limit the choice of materials to 3. This definitely doesn`t make it easier and we went through a lot of discussions and explaining and describing etc. But everyone had a plan, an idea developed and a material`s list at the end! Thanks again to Ms Broderick for her fantastic support and help, she assisted the children with these plans after the session, talked through them all and made sure that everyone in the class has the experience of the ironing in the same time…!
Really looking forward to the construction phase!
Session 8 – 13th of May – Our last session of PRINT MAKING
I have decided that for our last session of art making we could re-visit some of the printing processes: two different techniques combined! We used mounting board pieces again to build a `collage` – type image but this time from soft foam shapes and cut outs. These were glued onto the mounting board and dried during lunch break – drying easily and quickly!
Once the various shapes were dry and firmly glued to create the base of images we used large masonry nails to carve and `draw` details into the foam, making a combination of relief and intaglio printing processes.
It was great fun I think and great success – re-visiting techniques and having the time and resources to try out processes again is such a great experience for everyone involved. These materials also allow for printing multiples, using the plates as stamps. Based on the multiples and colour variations – some interesting works were created.
A great part of our session was spent with discussions, reflections on the project – I will include these in our last posting which will focus on evaluation, documentation and `looking and responding`.