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.
25th January 2019
As I arrived to the class room, I was very happy to see that last week’s beautiful and very imaginative space drawings have been already given attention and displayed! Next to the colourful soft pastel drawings is now also a new surface set up: a board for creating constellations – real or imaginary.
We had a lot of talk about stars, shapes and constellations at this session and had great fun looking at them and creating them in many different ways: using threads and drawing pins on the board, pencils and white pastels to draw them and (re)creating them from… marshmallows!! (It wasn’t easy to resist eating them too). The children also used movement and their own bodies to create imaginary constellations: they worked in small groups, secretly as much as possible to come up with ideas, then they “acted out” and constructed their constellations in the middle of the class room floor. We all had to try to guess what the constellation was: we had a (moving!) boat, an eye, a top hat and a clock!
On our third session on the 28th of November (2017) we have been looking at contemporary installation art works by other artists – a slideshow of perhaps little challenging but curious and interesting works where the artist uses light / shadow / reflection as a material.
The images show details of installations by Martina Galvin, Felicity Clear, Chris Fraser and from a collaborative participatory project “Silk Gardens” I did at the Bloom Festival in Phoenix Park a number of years ago:
The looking and responding session went really well and we found that the children were curious, focused, very responsive and full of great ideas about possible making processes, materials used, scale,`transportation`and installation of works. These conversations introduce a new vocabulary and support the seeing and understanding of contemporary art, works that are site specific, interactive, collaborative and may integrate light, sound or their environment.
For the rest of our session we continued with paper folding and cutting processes, finished the `windows` we started previously and introduced a simple `pattern – cutting` process: we made lines of trees!
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!
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.
Session 2 – 16th January 2017
Assistant Artist: Kim Jenkinson
We started our school based sessions with Looking Back and Responding to the exhibition visit – which was a while back by now! Christmas and Winter holidays happened in between and I was not expecting it to be easy to recall our gallery tour a month before.
I was very impressed and happy to see that the opposite happened: the children were excited and enthusiastic to tell all about the outing, remembering the exhibited and discussed works in detail, recalled all steps of the art work we started on in December and had great fun giving titles to the artworks we looked at again, as a slideshow on the white board.
This exercise was also useful as there are a couple of children who missed the gallery visit so they needed to catch up with all that happened.
After finishing the process of the collaborative drawing (as in our previous post) we introduced the idea of the ART DIARY: each child has a copy with blank pages to document their own experiences of this project through drawings, notes, sketches, writings, little mind maps etc… all to come!
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.