Monday, April 22, 2013

Term 2 begins

Saturday saw the start of term 2 for Kid's Shed. Sadly we did not get the numbers for Creative Kids to run, however enrollments are coming in for term 3, which is great. I really look forward to seeing all then. To my wonderful Creative Kids who re-enrolled and are patiently waiting, thank you for transferring to T3. To all the new artists I can wait to meet you soon. 

So it was an unusually slow start to my Saturday morning. As I casually pulled into the driveway of Sussex Neighbourhood House I was met by a very excited Kids Shed artist. In between excited jumps and fast talking she told me about a friend who thought she couldn't come to Kids Shed – but had counted all the money in her piggy bank and she had enough! Could she come? It was very lucky that the lovely Alex was at the House, whilst we were explaining the situation to Alex the friend's Mum called and enrolled her - just in the 'nick of time'. There was a lot more jumping and one happy Kids Shed artist. 

The piggy bank proof.

Arriving together 30 minutes later the two worked really well collaborating on a new sculptural project.
There was also a lot of excitement as the new artist discovered another friend at Kids Shed. 
Big hugs all round.

There were new projects started and old ones completed. With the generous donations of materials from Marita (Creative Arts Therapist and Sussex NH Creative Movement and Dance facilitator), Joy & Natasha (Kids Shed Mother and Sister) and 'the man who dropped off art materials', there was a lot to 'play with'. I selected a few materials for some artists that I thought might be useful. 

For this artist I found 5 match boxes. I thought she might like to use the medium of 'match box art'. Creating little scenes in match boxes. Unbeknown to me she had been collecting them already and was so excited as they were 'just what she needed'. She had made, and was wanting to make another, set of draws. 

For C I had brought water coloured pencils. 
She had not used them before and really enjoyed using them. 

Her drawing is for her new guinea pig – Storm. 
What a lovely welcome home offering for Storm. 

R, found a nice big white piece of fabric to create her own prayer flag. 
It speaks of being healthy and of peace. 
She adds hands of peace, after we talk about the Boston Bombings, 
especially the 8 year old boy that died. 

F finished his oil painting that he started last term. He was so focused and worked well in a new medium - oil can be challenging. 

For S I selected a few pieces of fabric that I thought she might like. One piece was immediately made into a lovely bow and some of the others S checked if it was ok for her to take them home, as she was going to make clothes for her dolls when she got home. How exciting, she had just gotten a sewing machine from her grandmother. She also found some wool in the box of textiles and reconnected with finger knitting.  

I was able to take new photos of her S's book for her project movie below. 

What a creative start to the term!

'S's project

Very talented with a needle and thread S took on the challenge of bookbinding with immense dedication and skill. After looking through a book on Artist's Books, she selected a style as inspiration. Page after page she carefully tore and folded. This book has now become her sketch book, where she has included textiles, pencil and multi-media. I will continue to add to her movie as the pages fill. 

Music credit: Noriko Tadano, Staircase to the Moon

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Peace in our hands

In response to the Boston bombings

"I saw it at work, on the television"
"People died, there were bombs, two clouds of smoke, it was scary"
"There was broken things everywhere"
"People got hurt"
"There were bombs"

These quotes were some of what the Mixed Media students shared about the traumatic events of yesterday. We opened the evening by discussing with the group what we knew, what we heard, saw, thought of the Boston bombings. A way of processing what was inside – bringing it outside. 

My idea for the night was the theme of peace. We acknowledged our own hand in the process through art. We sit closely together on one large table. We discussed peace – as harmony, as not harming others, as peace for all. 

Each artist begins by tracing their own hand and then filling it with what peace meant to them. 

Some selected colours. When I asked this artists which colour he would like that reminded him of peace, he selected the orange pencil. Mel, our assistant for the night noticed that orange represents harmony – we had a lot of moments and connecting of ideas over the evening. 

For some it also included words.

We had a discussion about the word dignity, a question raised by one of the participants. A google search of the word revealed respecting others, what being ethical means, what we value. We discussed how we treat others as we want to be treated. I then shared my keywords/phrases on peace that I had also 'goggled' and noted down before leaving home: (all of which the group had already voiced – they knew peace well)

a statement of harmony
lack of violence
freedom from fear of violence
healing relationships

One by one, as hands were complete, the artists placed their own on a group piece of paper. 
There was great consideration of placement, where and how did you want your hand to be.

Two hands reach inwards – 'brothers' connecting to each other.
One reaches off the page. 
Another is placed lightly touching another – a gentle touch, just like it's owner. 
They are all connected. 

As we shared what we now knew about peace one artist realised that we needed to write PEACE 
on our now group piece. 

Each artist selected a colour to represent peace and took their turn to make their PEACE mark. 

We left it on the wall of the North Studio at Sussex Neighbourhood House 
as a reaching out and statement of peace. 
Please feel free to add to it if your passing.

Peace is in all our hands. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The arts

I have just started reading what seems to be a lovely article on the arts towards greater kindness in our communities. The below quote I really liked and wanted to share. So true from my perspective...

The arts can entertain and delight us. They make us think and feel. They can challenge, surprise, disrupt, provoke and cause offence. The arts have been used to reflect back to us who we are and how we live, tell stories of our own and other people’s lives, and help us imagine other worlds and other ways of being.

The full article can be found at people united. Very inspiring as I go into a group tonight – I wonder what we will share, be delighted by, come to know...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kids Shed – major project feature

It is with great pride that I share with the world the major projects from Kids Shed, 2013 (term 1). They all did so well and I loved seeing what each artist was working on each week. Kids Shed is an open studio style approach where young artists can explore their interests independently, yet in a supported environment. A big thank you to my two volunteers Emily and Claire, who are wonderful.

I am slowly putting together a collation of the artists projects over the weeks, but rather than wait until they are all ready I will post as I go.

'C's project

C selected drawing as her medium for her major project. I noticed in Creative Kids last year that she was quite taken by my book on Amazon women. I brought this in for her as possible inspiration. She also loves animals. Over quite a few weeks she sat quietly drawing, inspired by one of the stories. In the last two weeks she took one of these into a painting. What struck me was how her work started to look more and more like a self portrait, reflective of her gentle presence and closeness to animals. C will continue her painting into term 2. 

Music credit: Ketil Bjonstad, Night Song.

'K's project

Over the weeks K formed an installation piece which begins by turning a found object at the shed into a birds nest. She creates a playground incorporating more found objects and her artwork. Her birds nest was later transformed into a tree with a little assistance and on the last day she herself became a part of the artpiece – she put herself in the work – she was the bird. K is very adaptive with materials and has a strong sense of storylines in her work. I love hearing about her work and her process – there is so much content in process! 

Music credit: Be Good Tanyas, The Littlest Birds

'H's project

H decided on a self-portrait for her major project. She begins with a detailed sketch in her journal and then goes on to a canvas board. I admired her focus and patience during the weeks in mixing shades and working on form. She surrounds herself with a background of things she likes, flowers. Well done H, you were very dedicated, it was a challenging project.

Music credit: Nervous Doll Dancing, Aerial Grace.