Introductory Workshop 21st July 2008

Milly in the City (Gallery)


The window of the front gallery still hosts the yellow and blue transparency shapes from the private view. Preparing for our first workshop we cover most of the window with tracing paper. We have a long roll of it and we stick the edge of the roll on the window above eye level. We let the roll drop to the floor and we cut it at the bottom where it meets the base of the window and stick it down. We repeat this three times until the whole window width is covered. Surprisingly enough the colours of the transparencies –sandwiched between window glass and tracing paper- come through purer and stronger than before. With the city outside the gallery concealed by a frosty layer, we meet our first workshop participant, Milly. 


Milly is here with her dad and they are the only participants of this workshop. Our first activity is drawing using the projector and a selection of boxes. We bring the shutters down and it gets darker. Milly picks an ex tea box which she deconstructs and cuts a circular shape away. This box also has a pre-cut shape on it which when projected on the paper we put on the wall turns into a big bright eye. Milly identifies it straight away and it is painted blue. From this point on our drawing becomes a ‘face’ or a ‘creature’. However, each of us sees a different face, with most adults seeing an angry face and Milly seeing a really happy and friendly one. She would like this creature to be her friend with whom she can play her dolls with, so it needs to have a name. We all pick a syllable or a letter to make up the creature’s name. Na-Mi-Zo-R-E. Namizore. 


Milly in the City (Gallery)

Milly in the City (Gallery)


Namizore being further painted upon, strong light from the city passes through the tracing paper and shutters and casts rectangular bits of light on the wall and floor. These light areas are the rectangular holes of the metal shutter frame. They look like bricks of light and we stick yellow tape on them. Milly also marks their outline with colour. As the time goes by the sun must go higher outside because the light bricks on our wall and floor keep on moving. If we keep on marking them with the yellow tape we will end up having a whole yellow wall of city bricks. We decide to bring Namizore down. We unstick the drawing from the wall. We lower it to the floor. Milly presses the capture button of the camera every few seconds (when we are not in shot) and animates the procedure. We play it back to her and it looks like the paper is moving all by itself. 

Naming Namizore

Naming Namizore



We are ready for the second part of our workshop. Each one of us gets an A3 white piece of paper and draws a line across its longer side dividing it into two parts. We then draw shapes on the line and also stick shapes from a selection of random paper cut outs. All our shapes (drawn and stuck) touch the line and either emerge above the line-horizon or are sunk below it. We then take a pair of scissors and cut the paper in half. This is a tricky business as every time we come across a shape we need to decide whether to cut above it or below it. Either way each one of us ends up with two bits of paper; two bits of ‘skyline’ or ‘cityscape’ or ‘cityline’ or ‘landscape’. We mix up our halves and place them opposite each other on our drawing that is now stretched on the floor. We have two long lines of horizons opposite each other and through the gap between them we can see parts of Namizore.


We are ready to screen print. We mix the red paint and medium, we coat the screen and Milly helps us screen print on the horizons. We end up with blocks of red paint forming a long square flat line. Then we peel away the A3 horizon papers and Milly is amazed to see a red line with shapes growing either side of it appearing on Namizore. Before it looked like we had two Cities opposite each other with maybe a river in between them. Now the river itself has become a City, and not just one but two, as towers, roofs and peaks and blocks of flats stick out form either side of it like a giant heart beat pulse or sound wave. We take the discarded bits of A3 paper we just screen printed onto and place them on the grid. Milly stands on our drawing and looks down on the new City we created spreading out in front of her feet. For a moment I think she is going to step in it.  




The City at Milly's feet

The City at Milly's feet



Workshop Leaders

Measure by Measure



Milly Kotecha and Parag Kotecha


1 Response to “Introductory Workshop 21st July 2008”

  1. 1 Parag Kotecha August 8, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Just a quick note to thank Bryan, Patrick and Natalia and the City Gallery for providing my daughter Milly and myself what was a certainly an enjoyable day but more than that -a unique opportunity to experience the creation of an artistic work first hand.

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