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.
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
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!
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.
St Mary`s NS Sandyford – SESSION 6
1 March 2016
This week`s session was shorter and directly followed on the works of the previous work: we had many waxed pieces to dye! Using fiber reactive cold water dyes again, the children painted all the waxed designs and pictures they prepared last week. “Re-visiting” processes and materials is always interesting and reassuring.
A very enjoyable and rewarding process – resulting in myriads of colour shades and mixes!
Truly beautiful work by everyone!
St Mary`s NS Sandyford – SESSION 5
23 February 2016
Our 5th session was a very busy one in the class room: we continued using hot wax for batik processes, but we also introduced a professional wax heater and wax application techniques.
This equipment certainly needs a careful, safe set up in a class room and a structured way to include it in a school session involving a full class. We tried to keep everyone busy, focused and occupied with various activities: drawing places and locations of selected memories, preparing sketches for the batik piece and working on write ups of previous sessions.
Dividing the class this way we were able to work with 4 children at a time from the hot wax pot and keep the process safe and rewarding.
The children prepared two batik pieces with a mixture of pure beeswax and paraffin wax: one referencing the chosen location/place/space, the other a multiple line drawing of simple geometric shapes. The geometric shapes were carved/scratched with large masonry nails afterwards, preparing them for a crackled, textured batik finish.
I also would like to include a few pictures of the very impressive, colourful and creative displays of previous works on the corridor, just outside of the classroom. This is a small school building where one needs to be very inventive to find an extra space for anything, including art works!!
St. Mary`s NS, Sandyford, SESSION 4
1 February 2016
Following from processes of the last session – oil pastel drawings painted over with cold water fabric dyes – we started on a basic wax and dye technique using burning candles!
NB. You need to be obviously very careful, in fact everyone has to be, so maybe this is not one for a very lively or very large class, unless you can do it outdoors..
NB. One also has to consider the smoke alarms as Maria pointed it out to me even before we started; I was grateful for this as I did not think the alarms might go off…
We had 4 long candles burning in the same time and we had a space arranged and allocated at the front of the class room and children were called up for their turn: dropping hot, melted wax onto papers.
The children prepared 2 drawings for this process: one of simple shapes and another of a little more detailed image. Taking this process further, we started the application of hot wax with paint brushes, using a wax heater (specialized for Batik processes). The children were still working on papers, having choices of various sizes and colours
All waxed paper pieces were then painted over with the cold water dyes and left on the drying racks to dry over the next day or two. It`s an exciting waiting time to see how they turn out; the drying process often has an unpredictable element.
I think this session was certainly the most enjoyable for everyone so far – working with burning candles and hot wax in the class room is not an everyday occurrence!
St. Mary`s NS, Sandyford, SESSION 3
19 January 2016
Our third session on the 19th of January was much more colourful than the previous ones: we took the exploration of memories further with oil pastel drawings.
The children were asked to try to choose and focus on one particular memory – a place, a holiday, a family event – and try to `find` and the select visual elements of this memory.
Was there an important colour? (or anything else for our senses – smell or sound?) Did something change or transform in that memory/story? How important is this change/transformation? How can we signify and show this in our drawing? Can we leave out detail that doesn`t seem to be so important – would the memory be represented still? – all these questions were raised and discussed… and decided that it is all rather difficult…
Still, everyone tried and we all had fun and the children made beautiful and striking pictures. We also used fabric dyes that I prepared and mixed beforehand to paint over the oil pastel works: this process introduces the basic technique of Batik, where wax is used as a resist on cloth.