Archive for July, 2008

Play with Line (3-7yrs) – 30th July 2008

I’ve worked at the Gallery leading workshops for about 6 years now, and I’m definitely and ‘old hand’ at this. Even so, I must admit to having been a little apprehensive about this one. Mainly because I had never before led a workshop that had no desired end product, wasn’t planning to work towards one, or even teaching a skill, even in my own practise as an artist and educator. In actuality though, this one was of the most exciting and enjoyable workshops I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. The children were really engaged and loving every second of exploring the pleasure of drawing and creating lines and shapes and random things without the pressure of drawing anything in particular, or of attempting to be representational.

Line on shape

Line on shape

We started off with a short drawing to loosen everyone up – drawing whatever you wanted on a board that was being wiggled an jiggled by your parent! A couple of the kids were less than pleased with them for doing this, concerned that they were ‘messing up’ their drawing, but when we switched sides and let them ‘mess up’ their parents drawing it was a whole different story! This helped them to get the idea that we were not trying to draw anything – only to explore what a drawn line could be, and have fun with it! We then moved on to working on the walls, the floor, the ceiling of the education space with full-on gusto. We took a drawn marker pen line for a walk, a jog, a run, a jump, had a breather, a pant, a rest then had a game of football, frisbee, tennis with another line – all across the space! This was so cool, the children (and obviously the parents too) were really enjoying themselves and coming up with some really interesting shapes and lines. The next part of the workshop was drawing with light. Both kids and adults took turns in chasing a light (torch) led by the other, with their pen/paint/chalk. Mainly they were all nice to each other – but there were a few lights in places no-one could reach, and a few children running light rings around exhausted looking pen-chasing parents! You could hear the glee for miles . . . Next we gave up the pens and moved on to wool. Soon the space was criss-crossed with woven lines taped down every foot or so, and then we placed stickers at intersecting points. By this point the whole space looked amazing, and we sat back to have a look. I then gave out tape and asked them all to find bits of the space that appealed to them because of a nice placement of line or colour or just because they liked it. Using their hands in a square as a view-finder we soon had lovely framed bits of the space – drawing attention to what they judged to be the best bits. I urge you to go and see for yourself what they thought were the best bits, and the space as a whole, because it is truly fantastic. Be quick though, as more is being added at the next workshop!

Line or Plan?

Line or Plan?

Everyone enjoyed themselves so much some didn’t want to leave, and everyone fully realised the creativity and the wonderfullness of what they had created, just by playing with a line.

Daisy – Workshop Leader

“I’ve never been to such a creative workshop before, we’ve really really enjoyed ourselves – thankyou!” – Parent at workshop

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Explore Light – 30th July 2008

Playing with the ohp and all the materials was really great. After initially being a little hesitant, and starting off drawing figures and images, the girls in the workshop began to really get into the idea of being more expressive and free with shapes, colours and levels of opacity. They were overlaying contrasting materials and colours and holding them to the light, or placing them on the ohp to see what the light did to their composition. By the end of the workshop they were being very discernng about which bits were most ‘effective’ and expanding on those sections. We ended up with some really imaginative and interesting juxtapositions of materials and colour. The girls loved it! I think they also enjoyed writing and drawing on the walls, it is such a great feeling to have permission to do that! – Daisy, Workshop Leader

Working in the window light

Working in the window light

Paint is awesome….painting on walls is even more awesome. Even if its irrelevant.  – workshop participant

Wicked! I loved just ripping loads of things up, sprinkling glitter everywhere! (the glitter was ment to go on a laminating sheet!) and putting it into a laminator! it looked coooooooooooooooooool!- SOPHIE-PARTICPANT IN WORKSHOP

I like eggs- Anon

Reacting on paper

Reacting on paper

We enjoyed the workshop vair vair much and we loved writing random phrases on the acetate like “Save the Whales”. It was great fun and at the end we loved writing on the walls! Cheerio, Caitlin and Katie!!! p.s. I LUUURRVVVEEE JAFFA CAKES!!

Workshop 5 28th July 2008

In the afternoon on the 28th July School on Paper witnessed the 5th Workshop led by Measure by Measure. For 1 ½ hours that afternoon a mix of young and old, large and small came together to try out new processes, to experiment with shape, colour and line and to work together to carry on a visual discussion. With this group of people we started, in a similar way to the morning group, by finding shapes that we liked and creating responses to it. The difference in this case was that the shapes were only to be used as a template for an unknown activity that would occur later. There were two types of shapes being created a positive shape, (cut out from the paper) and a negative shape (with a piece removed from the centre). When two piles of templates were made we moved on to a large scale collaborative drawing. For this a long roll of paper was placed on the floor and a line drawn from one end to the next. Each person then had to draw a shape, this time it needed to be something that we invented ourselves, the only condition for this task was that the drawn shape had to touch the line that ran from end to end on the paper. With this done we moved onto stage two: to draw another shape on coloured card that could be cut out and stuck onto the roll of paper. The only condition here was that the shape had to touch any drawn line.

Part of the huge template

Part of the huge template

 This activity was designed to allow everyone to work together to create a giant template that was made by making relationships between our two shapes and the shapes of others. This template was finalised by cutting the roll of paper into two parts. The dividing line was determined by everyone making decisions about which drawn line the scissors would follow when making its cuts. The essential condition was that we ended up with two large pieces of paper from a single continuous cut.
What occurred next was a dance of people working together to hang a fragile piece of paper the length of the gallery space. Communicating together, the paper was positioned, pressed and stuck into place with everyone playing an essential role. The straight edge of the paper was lined up with the corner of the room where the floor met the wall and the template began to frame the drawings of the previous workshops. With the second dance the second part of the template was positioned higher on the wall and the framing was complete; a new window onto the drawings was created. This action allowed people to freely carry out an activity based on what they liked (in this instance making shapes they liked) and then find out the consequences of those unrelated decisions when they are made to affect something else. As well as framing the drawings the template fulfilled a secondary role of covering many of the marks and lines that had been left behind. This act of covering meant that the relationships between the shapes and lines on the wall had drastically changed so that when we picked up the tracing paper templates, that we had made earlier, we had to think of a place that made sense for them to go. We stuck up these templates making new relationships with what we could see and then prepared for some messy fun.

Template dance

Template dance

We split into little groups, with paint and rollers or with print screens  and ink and all took turns in printing the shapes that we had just placed. With printing ink dripping and being forced through the mesh of the silk we created sticky, bright luscious shapes that sealed a set of activities and brought the visual discussion full circle: react, respond, process, produce; leaving the space ready for others to pick up where we left off.

Stamped frame

Stamped frame

 

Workshop Leaders:

Measure by Measure

Participants:

Rachel Bywater

Harry Bywater

Kevin Bywater

Aviv Shahor

Lottie Shahor

Praero Shahor

Maya Shahor

Gemma Bacon

Alex Bacon

Joanne Bacon

Umaymuh Dakri

Penny Worthy

Inigo Worthy

Workshop 4 28th July 2008

The morning of the 28th of July played host to Workshop number 5. Measure by Measure met a mixed group of parents and youngsters to explore the work that has been growing from workshop to workshop and to contribute more to the visual conversation at City Gallery, Leicester. The first thing that we did was to explore what was left behind and to find amongst all of the drawings and screen prints shapes and sections that we liked. We had a chance to explore other peoples marks and look at how they mixed together; we then highlighted them by drawing the shapes on large sheets of colour gels and created a large drawing together by placing them on a sheet of tracing paper on the floor. In the crowded educational space it was difficult to see the whole piece of paper and the images on it growing into one large picture so people found themselves only being aware of the works next to them. This meant that the first experience that was identical for everyone was the unveiling of the finished picture. This occurred, to the great delight of all involved, like the raising of a curtain as the sunlight brought all of their shapes alive as the large sheet of tracing paper found its home in the front window of the gallery. Each person also took part in recording the event by taking photographs, these photographs were looked at in sequence quickly showing an animation effect, which introduced the website and ways of recording information and capturing moments.

Gel cut outs

Gel cut outs

This activity allowed everyone to react and respond to each other and to think about positive and negative cut outs to make the shapes that they liked in a colour of their choice. It also allowed us to draw, change, alter and combine shapes and lines that meant something to someone else so that it also meant something to ourselves. As a result people from past workshops became connected to the people in this workshop through the shapes, lines and marks that they liked.

Gel arrangements

Gel arrangements

We followed this with a very fast activity that left no time for pondering and thinking only reacting. Each person had a box and we all had a brief time to cut holes or shapes out of the box , then to paint it and then to reassemble it to see what it looked like. These boxes were intuitively placed onto a table to create a cityscape. The idea at this point was to use a strong light to create a shadow from these boxes and draw or paint it. This would have left a new surprising mark on the existing drawings. A problem occurred however, because the light was not focused enough to cast a shadow we had to face the reality of experimentation: sometimes things don’t work. Instead of being downhearted we used the stills camera to create sets of photographs that mimicked a birds eye flying over and past the boxes from a close distance so that we could all see how things seem different when looked at from a different perspective.

 

Box city and backdrop

Box city and backdrop

 

 

 

 

Window drawing from the morning workshop

Workshop Leaders:

Measure by Measure

Participants:

Fiona Broadbelt

Harry Broadbelt

Megan Kelly

Fleur Mitchell

Seema Uchil

Karan Thomas

Playing with light – Family Workshop

This was a Saturday workshop with mums, dads, grans and their children and granchildren. The children were aged 3 to 8 years.

We offered a variety of ways of making and drawing with light starting with making pva pictures using a mixture of transparent, translucent and opaque materials to create compositions. The amazing thing was how different their approaches were and how their personalities really came through in their paintings. One child was very ordered making a kind of mosaic pattern whilst another wanted to try every material, colour, process and application. They picked up quickly that there were very few rules and tried their ‘own’ processes and very much did their ‘own’ thing.

A long drawing space

A long drawing space

They were evidently inspired to continue when they got home with one child wanting to take home a transparency sheet to make ‘mini collages’ without even starting it as he was excited to try something else too! There wasn’t enough time to do everything they wanted to do. Some children drew on acetate, onto the OHP and were delighted to see their drawing scaled up on the wall. Drawing the shadow of the drawing on the wall was a little trickier for the younger ones but interesting as a process because although they didn’t ‘follow’ or ‘copy’ the projected image they still perceived it and seemed to be responding to it in their wall drawing. The parents got really involved too both creating themselves and encouraging their children to experiment whilst assisting them in their creations.

Interacting with the document

Interacting with the document

We also improvised by making light chasing drawings where a couple of children made a drawing with one moving a torch across paper and the other chasing the light with a pen. The children really loved the play aspect of chasing the light and seemed to forget about the drawings themselves making really frenetic drawings that developed quickly.

Objects on an OHP

Objects on an OHP

I myself really enjoyed this way of working during a workshop as there was enough variety of activities for the children to feel as though they were doing their own thing and they were so focused on the process that there was absolutely no room for figuration or thinking about ‘what’ they were drawing.

Penny

Explore Light

 

Wednesday 23 July 2008Workshop Leaders

Lucy

I had a fantastic time working with Hannah, she was very creative and experimental and not afraid to try new ways of working. She used creative language throughout the workshop to describe the artwork in the exhibition and the materials available in the workshop.

Light and Line

Light and Line

– Lucy, Workshop Leader
It was really fun and I liked making all sorts of shapes and pictures with bits of paper and pens.

 

The exhibition is nice, I liked the shapes.

– Hannah, aged 8 yrs

 

Play with Light

Wednesday 23 July 2008
Working on the wall
Working on the wall

The City Gallery Workshop Leaders
Lucy and Katy
Touching the blue
Touching the blue

 

 

I have really enjoyed today, it was great being able to give the children the freedom to be able to produce artwork in the main gallery space, on the floor and walls. The group were able to use their imagination to see further than just the shapes when looking at the exhibition and within their own artwork.

 

– Lucy, workshop leader

 

 

Sasha and Adam and Deborah
Fleur and Gerina
Harrison and Deanna
Emily and Amy
Karan and Seema

Sant and Gurmeet

Holly and Sook- chen

Comments

Karan thought it was “fantastically brilliant”. He wants to come back. He enjoyed the projector and colouring bit.

– Karan, aged 4 yrs
Fun
 
 – Fleur, aged 4 yrs
Good fun do it again.
 
 – Sant, 4 ½ yrs
Good fun very creative/unusual, thank you
 
 – Emily , aged 4 yrs
I enjoyed it thank you
 
 – Harrison, aged 4 ¾ yrs