Friday, March 30, 2012

Artist Trading Card update

In the beginning... 3 March, from Marita:

The Creative Kids, volunteer Steph and I gathered together to start to create a space for the "Artist trading cards" to be displayed in the up-coming end of term exhibition. We talked about the cards that have been posted to Wallen NH and North Melbourne NH and mused over the sorting boxes or pigeon holes that mail gets dropped into behind the scenes at the Australia Post. These ideas were the foundations for the group to create their own miniature post boxes from recycled materials (boxes and postcards).

The group worked with focussed energy, chatting and sharing ideas for re-arranging their boxes in to a space to hold the cards.

Some were challenged by box re-construction and whilst all created a unique piece with their own signature creative style. A few started to yarn bomb a wooden frame as a possible place to hang the boxes. This became a lot of fun and a bit messy, the group had to work out ways to weave and attach wool around each other, some CKs were very excited and energised by the freedom to 'yarn bomb'.

The group cleaned up beautifully together. We then sat together and discussed ideas of putting on a performance for the end of term exhibition. An impromptu reheasal erupted at the end of the session, as lots of CKs were bursting with dramatic energy! Thank you everyone for a vibrant morning.

Then... 17 March, from Marita:


With Steph the 'wonder volunteer', the Creative Kids all gathered around the table with a sense of anticipation in the air, as they readied themselves to finally receive their artist trading cards (ATC) from the other art groups. I invited the group to sit and reflect, whilst everyone was arriving by journaling or drawing a completion of this sentence "I am wondering...." in connection to receiving the ATCs. Then another invitation was given to have a volunteer Postie to give out the cards. Each person received an envelope of 4 cards, a mix from the 3 Neighbourhood Houses. 

They also received a set of blank postage stamp templates, to make their own stamps for a group art piece to be sent back to the Wallen and North Melbourne Neighbourhood Houses and some to design and keep. The group sat quietly on the mat in a close knit circle of more anticipation. 'C', the Postie delivered the parcels and the quiet and patient CKs took their time to look at the cards. Then the group was divided into groups of pairs, and given the invitation to share their cards with their partner and to respond to the questions.... 

"What is it like to receive these cards?"
"What would you like to say to the other artists, who made the cards?"

Responses as keywords or phrases were noted on small cards.

After this sharing and reflecting activity a few CKs seemed filled with energy that they needed to release, I invited them to move or dance one of the cards they had received. This experience transformed into a whole group activity with a giant length of apricot shimmery fabric. Some exuberant CKs moved wildly about the room, under the length of fabric, some dancing their artist cards, whilst others held the edges up to create a sail effect. We then moved to working on the postie boxes from the last sessions, to add more collage detail and to create postage stamp designs. The group cleaned up beautifully as a team, and with some encouragement as somehow a few CKs had transformed into wild animals: Leopards and Tigers roaring! Thank you everyone for your energy and creativity, expressed in so many ways all in one session.

Thank you Marita and Steph - you are both wonderful. Thank you! Amanda.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh dear...

I have just received word from the Manager of Sussex Neighbourhood House that 'someone' has been down to the House, leaving their mark for the upcoming Sock Monkey workshop (3rd April).

And, their lunch-wrappers...

And, their favourite game,

Oh dear... I have my suspicions. 
The bunch of bananas in the kitchen are missing and someone has chalk all over her paws...

Cheeky little monkey.
I know her motive, she just wants to meet some new friends...

So join us, 
next Tuesday 3rd April, 10:30 - 3pm.
$40 full, $30 concession
All materials included
Ages 7 years and up 
(that includes the big kids among us!)

Bookings: 9354 2210 /
or swing down to the House
235-237 Sussex St, Coburg North
don't forget a game of hopscotch on your way past 
and be careful of the banana skins, goodness me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sock Monkey's

Introducing a sock monkey

This is Georgie Girl, my sock monkey ‘poster girl’. She is sitting on my knee as I write this. When asked to explain a little more about my /our sock monkey workshop, next week, I knew she needed to be nearby.

A sock monkey is hand-crafted out of one pair of socks. Cutting, stitching and stuffing. With each alteration your sock monkey comes alive. They are full of personality and have an unexplainable ability to hold many stories and emotions, revealed in time and creation.

Described by ‘sock monkey queen’, Kat Thorsen,

“The process is quite miraculous… The simple process of making a loveable creature allows for a moment of safety and caring.

Sock monkey’s are more than toys, they are healers”

Every sock monkey is unique! Here are a couple of Georgie Girl's friends, the two Mr Murphy's.

And here is one of 'the Mr Murphy's' with his owner.

We hope to meet you on the 3rd of April for some sock monkey magic, at Sussex Neighbourhood House, 10:30am - 3:00pm.

Amanda & Georgie Girl x

PS don’t forget your lunch

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook project 2012

This year I participated in the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook project 2012. A wonderful, global project which encouraged me to throw aside any thoughts of a 'perfect finished piece', instead I was encouraged me to 'simply sketch'. 

I certainly look forward to the collection arriving in Melbourne at the NGV on Nov 10th-21st. I was also fortunate to share this experience with two very talented friends, Jan Allen and Chris Gould. It was great to chat along the way, offer suggestions, receive suggestions and feel supported, as our Sketchbooks formed into final pieces.  

The following video shows the final sketchbook and an introduction on the process I took. 

A little brown-covered sketchbook, with blank pages arrived in the post.
Oh what to sketch... I had selected the theme ‘In 10 minutes’
I wondered and pondered as I sat on a tram waiting for it to leave.
I started to write a poem about ‘waiting’, about time, about 10 minutes.
Then as the days passed I reduced lines of my poem to the strongest, most meaningful.
One line, each day, scribed in the sketchbook.
Each line was accompanied by a sketch - whatever came into my head first, is what I sketched. I came to know more about time, about being early or late, about waiting, about me, about the world around me.

I would encourage others to participate in this great project - you can sign-up for 2013 now!

The Sketchbook Project 2012 World TourThe Sketchbook Project is a constantly evolving library of artists' sketchbooks from across the globe.
This year thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at art spaces in 14 cities. After the tour, they will join the collection of the Brooklyn Art Library and made available to the public seven days a week.

ATC progress

How exciting - take a sneak look at the Artist Trading Cards from Wallan Neighbourhood House. I wonder which ones will make it to Sussex Neighbourhood House..?

Last week (and next) my good friend Marita, and fellow creative arts therapist, worked with the CKs to create holding spaces for the much anticipated ATC postal drop. A ladder-like structure with individual boxes is starting to form and is looking very creative. I look forward to seeing the final piece when I return on the 23rd, with the exchanged cards.

Unfortunately the past two weeks have seen me with all-day teaching commitments. A big thanks to Marita and of course the wonderful Steph. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Artist Trading Card frenzy

25 Feb

A change to the set-up as the CKs arrived to find tables out and palettes full of paint. Our mission for the day was to create 5 Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) each, to trade with two other Victorian art groups. 

To begin 'C', who often brings his animation trading cards for inspiration, gave us the low-down on 'trading'. We all soon enough got the concept of continually swapping cards with others. So ours were going to be no different, although little pieces of art rather than 'popular characters'. 

To provide us with a theme, I invited all CKs to bracket-in (focus on) 'things I love'.

There were flowers, favourite and special toys, rainbows, imaginary friends (one of whom I almost sat on him - thankfully he moved in time!), animals, places and sunrises. 

A love of flowers

Rainbows and flowers 
A black cat with a pink nose

Cards complete and drying I asked each CK to draw a small sketch in their journals of each card and to write what they wanted noted on the reverse of each card. These I will type up and stick to the back, before sending off.

I was very impressed by the enthusiasm the CKs showed in participating in this project and can't wait to 'do the swap' - which will happen in a couple of weeks.

A big thank you to fellow art group facilitators, Natalya Garden-Thompson and Nikita Burt for collaborating with Sussex Neighbourhood House Creative Kids! I look forward to seeing your groups ATCs and I know the CKs do too.