Residency at St. Brigid`s GNS, Cabinteely, Artist: Tunde Toth Teacher: Laragh McFeely – Session 1 – 2

St Brigid`s GNS (Cabinteely) — 3rd class

SESSION 1 — 20 November 2018

SESSION 2 — 27 November 2018

We started our residency with two short and connecting sessions in November – so I decided to reflect on these two introductory and discussion based sessions in one post.

Laragh, the class teacher and I started to plan the beginning of our project at the planning evening (Blackrock Education Centre), trying to discuss aspects of our chosen theme PLACE, considering various approaches and creative processes we could bring to the class. We both are keen to create a residency that is collaborative, interactive and participatory as much as possible in a school environment. I`m interested in process led, experimental working methods where the children will be encouraged to develop and express individual ideas, opinions as well as working together with others.

No better way to start this than a session of brain storming and mind mapping! The children were very responsive and there was no shortage of ideas and connections when discussing PLACE. After the general brain storm we tried to break down the responses and associations into 4 groups: nature, buildings, imaginary places and places from memories. The children were asked to write further ideas and responses to these words and make little drawings for each.

 

Laragh was telling me about the school garden at our initial meeting. Considering the significance of the garden in the school`s life and the school`s location next to Cabinteely Park, we knew that nature-places and the natural environment will probably be important when discussing place and connections with places. we were planning a walk in the garden or the park as part of our session but weather conditions made this impossible. Laragh took out the class for a walk later, between two sessions. The children collected natural materials from the grounds – a large pile of leaves, barks, nuts, flowers, grasses etc.

I suggested a Looking and Responding session for the class, exploring exciting, fun and accessible examples of Land Art. We looked at contemporary works and classic Land Art examples, many from Andy Goldsworthy, and discussed ephemeral pieces that won`t last, the concept of site specific works and various materials that artists use.

Rathfarnham ETNS Art Project 2018 Session 3 Artist in residence: Tunde Toth

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!

Ballinteer ETNS – Session 4 – Artist: Tunde Toth

30 January 2017

Assistant Artist: Kim Jenkinson

Our fourth session in the school was a bit more structured and focused than the previous ones – this was necessary for this part of the process: finishing the collagraph plates, checking every piece while completing the shapes/drawings and filling remaining spaces.

This was followed my mark making: adding extra texture, decorative markings to the soft foamy shapes with pencils. This will create additional detail in the final prints…

The plates are completed beautifully with plenty of patience from such young artists!!! Ready for a PRINTING SESSION!

Ballinteer ETNS – Session 3 – Artist: Tunde Toth

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.

 

 

 

Residency at Ballinteer ETNS – Artist: Tunde Toth – Session 2

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!

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.