Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Workshop on 30th April 2016

We conducted another workshop with children at Dadar(West) on 30 April 2016. There were 7 participants : Prisha, Aidan, Aadya, Snehal , Ishaan, Dhruv, Nitya. The children were of the age group (8 to 10 years) 

Following activities were conducted:

Mind Exercise 

We started with a quick warm-up using a mind stimulating exercise. In this exercise, one participant starts with a random word and the next participant has to immediately blurt out any word that comes to his/her mind, without much thinking. This exercise brings the minds of the participants to a focused, alert state.

Imagine and Expand 
The aim of this activity is to boost the children's imagination. In this activity, the children were   exposed to some famous works of art. About 20 artworks of different artists were shown to them randomly. By observing the artworks carefully and taking the inspiration from the artwork, they were supposed to select one object of their choice, from those artworks. 
Once the object was selected. They were told to draw the object on the sheet of paper. 
The children enjoyed watching the artworks and were very keen on understanding it. They identified the objects, colours, the minute details like shading, textures. They also could conclude on the subject of the painting and were thinking and trying to imagine various ideas/ stories that could come off from the artwork. Some works were shown which were abstract/surrealistic , to which children responded with their own understanding. 

After the viewing of the artworks we gave them a quick re-cap of all the works once more so that they could recollect and select from what they saw.

The aim was not to just select and draw what they saw from the artworks, but to imagine more about the object they selected and expand it further.

Imagine and Expand Activity
There were some interesting results:
Children mainly selected their objects from following works.  

Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers:
Painting to the Left : Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh. To the right top row: Dhruv painting sunflowers. To the right bottom : work by Nitya

Dhruv painted vase with flowers and he also said that he observed some sunflowers with no petals in the shown work, so he also added some to his painting along with butterflies. It was interesting to see how his paper was quite clean and he was focused on just the vase itself leaving the rest of the paper completely blank. Dhruv has a sense of capturing an image greatly in his memory.
Nitya also took inspiration from sunflowers and created vase with flowers and added many smaller vases with flowers to her painting taking liberty; there is no sense of gravity all the smaller vases are floating in air and there is no porportion amongst the vases unless she is trying to show depth. She had made beautiful textures on the big vase. The left flower in the big vase; she has tried to bend her flower which seems to be adapted from the reference painting. 
In both the works done by the kids we see a lot of yellow colour which definitely comes from the artists yellow sunflower. Nitya has changed the flower in her drawing but has continued the essence in the form of colour. 

Cezanne's still life with apples

Painting to the left: Still Life with apples by Paul Cezanne. To the right: work by Aadya
Aadya chose apples from Cezannes work and she created a basket of apples and added other fruits to her work. Her choice of colours was also interesting. She saw in Vincent Van Gogh painting of sunflowers how he had written his name on the vase, Aadya took that and wrote her own name on the basket. She has taken the compositional sense from Cezannes work with the basket of fruits on the left side and a lone apple on the right. She has shown proportion among the fruits with the pineapple larger than the apples.

Paintings of Dragons

Paintings to the left: Top : Chinese Dragon Painting, Bottom: Surrealistic painting by Jacek Yerka. Paintings on the right : Top: work by Ishaan, Bottom : Work by Aidan
Ishaan and Aidan selected dragon as their object and created their own works with their imagination adding fire, human figure, tree. Ishaan has created different form of fire. He has also attempted to to shade his creature with interesting colours. 
Aidan tried to portray a roaring gesture of the dragon in his work. He wanted to make his work look like a comic. if looked at carefuly his painting seems to be in motion as if its really happening. his groung is quite bare with his composition heavily composed on the upper side almost giving it an antgravity feeling. 

The Son of Man (Le fils de l'homme) by RenĂ© Magritte 
Painting to the left: The Son of Man by Rene Magritte , To the right: work by Prisha
Prisha selected the Man from Rene Magritte's work and added her own imagination to the work. In the Magritte's work, the children stressed on the red colour of the tie and were also discussing that the man's hand had a shade of red colour. It could be possible that because of their focus on red colour, Prisha chose to paint the hands of the Man in red and also painted his clothes in the same colour. She has made a good attempt to make new shades of blue and gray using the ones that we give them. She is quite confident with her brushwork. But it seems she soon lost patience as others had completed their work and did not complete the painting
Apart from these works, here's Shenal's work which contained objects he recollected from various works. 
Snehal's work

Paint Together
The aim of this activity is to allow children to be guided by their own free creativity and to be inspired by the creativity of others who contribute to the painting. A big paper was stuck on the wall, and children painted on it one by one. They were supposed to draw/paint something new or add/modify what is being drawn/painted already. The brush, colours, markers, crayons were provided and children could freely choose the tool they liked. In order to allow them to get into the flow, some music was also played. When the activity started, children came one by one and carefully drew their drawings on the paper. But as the time passed, with the effect of music (as we told them to dance and paint) they started relaxing and used brushes and colours to add to the existing drawings, filling the shapes, creating something new and also destroying the earlier work.
As observed from the previous workshops, it was evident that the children get influenced by actions of other participant's work so this can be used positively to allow them to get inspired by other participant's creativity.  

Paint Together Activity
Work from Paint Together paint together activity


Monday, 2 May 2016

Workshop on 13 Feb 2016

We conducted a workshop at Dadar on 13 February 2016. The participants were children of age from 8 to 10 years. The children who participated were Prisha,Neel,Tvisha, Devika,Ishaan,Shaurya,Arjun.

Following activities were conducted:

Interaction with Colours

Interaction is an exchange of gesture when people meet. As per the characters of people, the gestures they exchange could be different like, talk, laugh, anger and fight, dance, play etc. Similarly can colours have characters? Can colours come alive and play, laugh, dance with each other? Can two colours be angry and fight with each other?  Could children explore colours to know them better? These were the major points behind this activity. While children try exploring the colours and their interaction, they can also realize that they are also interacting with colours and can play with them, can make colours dance or make them fight with each other.

In order to make children understand how colours can interact with each other, we showed them some video clips. These clips had animated characters of various colours representing some interactions like dance, fight, talk, quarrel etc. And the most important part was, the interaction shown in each clip was abstract and open to children’s interpretations. The information was not spoon-fed to them, rather it was something that children had to think and understand on their own. 

The children were given acrylic colours and a paper and were encouraged to explore various ways of interacting with colours on their own. Also they could explore how colours interacted with each other by merging, mixing. They were given complete freedom to create interesting effects on the paper by pouring the colours, using tools or using fingers. 

Colour Interaction Activity
Here are some works from this activity:

Works from Colour Interaction Activity


In this activity, the participants were made to sit in a circle and each one was given a paper. For a specified time, they were told to paint/draw anything of their choice on that paper. After the specified time was over, they were told to pass on their paper to the immediate participant next to them. This was continued and the papers traveled round in a loop(from one participant to next) till it finally reached the participant who originally started on it.   

The aim was to allow them to get inspired by what previous participant has created and expand it further by adding their share to it. They could create their own new drawing or add to the already existing work too.

Music was played in the background so as to allow the children to loosen a bit and to get into the flow of creativity. This activity also helps the children to realize how a work can develop with a group effort as they will be presented with a completely different work from the one they originally started.  

Loopy Activity
Here are some works from this activity:

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Observations: Workshop at Sapphire Heights

We conducted another  workshop at Sapphire Heights Kandivali on 17th Oct 2015. The participants were few children from the previous workshop plus some new.
Names of children who participated: Jeevika, Aathira, Shreyas, Aadit  
The children were of age from 4 to 10 years. 

We conducted following activities:
Before we started with the activities we showed them an interesting video named "La Linea" (“The Line") which is an Italian Cartoon series showing a character (drawn as a single outline) and his encounters with object/adventures as a part of infinite line on which he walks and he himself is a part of that single line. What is brilliant about the video is the expression of the creativity through something so simple as just a line. We wanted the children to know that creativity can be expressed with something as simple as a line.  
Character from La Linea, Courtesy: Wikipedia
Self Portrait
The Self Portrait is a depiction of your own self. Aathira knew what a portrait is and she explained “when the picture of face is drawn till the shoulders”. We asked them about self portrait and how they can create their own picture. There were some thought-provoking answers which left us astonished as to how innovatively these children can think.
E.g Aathira said, by remembering about your features from your memory, one can do a self portrait.
Shreyas’s answer was unique: he said, we should paint all over face, our body and press ourselves on the paper.
Actually what he said was such an original thought because he has never heard anything about artists and their experiments. When he said it, I remembered that I have read something similar to his idea somewhere, After recollecting and searching where I had read about it, I found out that : although not exactly in the same context of self portrait but the similar idea has been executed by one of the Gutai Artist: Shimamoto Shozo, check out this link to see this experiment.

After which we introduced them to the concept of symbolic self portrait. A symbolic self portrait is a depiction of all the things that describe you the most. Because you are not just the representation of your face but much more than that and which can be best represented by your liking. Children started painting their own portrait by identifying what they like. 
Self Portrait: Aadit,Jeevika,Aathira
Jeevika’s self portrait showed flowers and it showed that she loved shades of blue the most. Her entire palette was full of blue colour.

Aathira created a self portrait depicting her school houses. And the symbols for each of the houses.
Shreyas’s self portrait depicted space containing Sun, Earth, Mars and a spacecraft. He also created distinguishing representations of stars and comets. He explained about his self-portrait that he loves space and wants to be an astronaut.
Aadit said he loves cars, so he depicted one. His representation of a car is unique, it has all the four wheels side by side.

Still Life
Artist Paul Cezanne is a master of creative still life. He used day to day objects like apples, oranges, vases etc. as an inspiration and painted them in his unique style creating thick brush strokes. Most important point of his still life paintings was : not copying or imitating the object. He wrote about the still life that “it is realizing one’s sensations”.
We introduced the concept of still life and briefly told about artist Paul Cezanne. Aathira already  knew a bit about still life. She told about her understanding of the concept to others:  “Still life is a painting of objects that can remail still and also have life, like fruits, flowers etc”. However she discarded trees and plants from still life as plants sway with wind.
Shreyas was curious whether stars and planets can be painted as a still life.
Children were told to paint the still life by looking at the objects arranged and simply take it as an inspiration to paint it. They were also encouraged to not copy it as it is, not represent it as it is.
Here are the results of painting:

Still Life: Top Row: Shreyas,Jeevika  Bottom Row: Aathira, Aadit
Exquisite Drawing
This is a collaborative activity where each participant has to contribute his share to a painting. We introduced this concept to the children by showing them a small example of a sentence creation using collaboration. Each one was given a piece of paper and on it, either noun, verb, adjective or an object/animal was to be written in the space allotted (till the marking). After writing it, they were supposed to fold the paper (so that the next person is not able to see it) and pass it on to the next participant. The order in which they were told to write down was in such a way that in the end, an interesting sentence will be constructed by it. The sentences thus constructed can be amusing as well as bizarre.
As we started this example game, children enjoyed it a lot, and interesting sentences were constructed: 
"Vedantika acting red toys"
"Crowd running red rabbit"
"Lion dancing kind car"
"Mumbai running pretty rabbit"

Then children were given drawing papers and were told to repeat the same activity but this time with drawing. It produced some amazing results.
Exquisite Drawing: Top row:Aathira, Aadit Bottom Row: Jeevika, Shreyas

Overall, the workshop gave some thought provoking insights for us as well as the children :)