Saturday, 18 January 2014

Black and White

This piece of art was started to meet the needs of the children to feel the paint... to experience creativity with their whole bodies without the need of using paper after paper to meet the need of this feeling to physically experience art without the intentionality of creating SOMETHING except for the experience... that it is becoming something is just a biproduct of the process...


 It began with the word "Together" and the aim that this was a place for us to paint TOGETHER. A place to experiment with the paint and also to collaborate. Just one pot of white and one pot of black paint was put out - indicating only two at a time could paint. This was so that the children do not have to stress about there being enough space to create. The easel fits 4 children easily, but I wanted this to be a place of freedom from stress of "this is my area" and also by encouraging them to swap paint pots with each other also helped with the sense of collaboration. The children were told before hand that this would be a painting that would grow and grow and that it was OK to paint on top of somone elses work... as I would be taking photographs of what they were doing all the time... in the same way that it was OK to paint over my letters...
This first day it was necessary to write a list of who wanted to paint as there was so much anxiety amongst the children that they would not get the chance to paint... the list worked great... and once all the children had had a turn it was open for those who wanted to continue or have another go... this worked out very well, and the children had found their rhythm and were able to either play or paint as they wished.

 The next day it was open from the very start for those to paint who wished to... after rest time only three children wanted to be in the atelier, two on the easel and one creating art with loose parts (and informing me when I should take a photo of her process). After a while two more children entered the atelier and wanted to paint and hovered over the shoulders of the painters asking every 10 seconds, "when are you finished, I want a go"...
It took a few attempts to explain that these children had the right to explore and paint as long as they wished, and that when they were finished that they too would then have as long as they wished to paint... and that in the meantime they were welcome to watch with respect or to play elsewhere and that I would call them when there was a paint pot available... it eventually worked...

And once both these children had finished their princesses they put their paintbrushes down and went to tell their friends that they could paint now if they wished. the two children came immediately. One painted for 10 seconds and then her need for painting was met. The other painted for a long time having the whole easel for herself - she moved across the whole of the easel painting her and there with a purpose only she could understand. I filmed her creativity and have watched it and still I cannot see a pattern in what she is doing BUT it is quite clear that SHE has a clear purpose in her actions... During this phase one of the children that had painted a princess said "but now my princess is gone" and we talked about how I had taken photographs so that she would be able to see her princess again and also that her princess was STILL there... she was just hiding under the paint... this made her smile with an understanding that yes, her princess WAS still there.

 After a while the children all moved on to other things... there was not much paint left and with the weekend upon us I thought I would use it rather than waste it... I started to fill the paper with spirals singing the song "Lilla Snigel" (Little Snail) - it did not take long before the other paintbrush was picked up and more spirals were being painted and then I handed over my paintbrush to another child who also wanted to paint snails...
Once the paper was filled with snails then there was a new purpose to the painting... drawing lines to connect the snails which then devloped into making lines right across the paper...

video
 Here you can see a very short snippet of the movement of the art. There was a great deal of movement on both days, with song, dance and moving back and forth...

Here is the art at the end of day 2. Next week we will be continuing with it... but I have a feeling that there might not be a great deal of interest - as I am introducing clay next week to this group ... and they are VERY excited about the prospect... BUT I am also going to be introducing a third colour to the art... so one can never really know.

1 comment:

  1. There was definitly always an interest in the Together paintings and several were made over the term... some of them having specific techniques, but most of them being completely free. Often there was a lot of body paiting too in these Together paintings - and the tidying up and cleaning of the pots and brushes afterwards soon became a popular activity in itself...

    I am not sure what will happen with the Together paintings now... after the summer the atleier will be in someone elses hands who wanted the challenge of seeing what it is like to work in the atelier...

    I will have the library and philosophy room as my area of development... so I guess there will be a shift of focus... Together Stories maybe?...

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