My collaborative work with children is an intrinsic part of my practice. Where possible the children and I set the direction and content of what we would do together as the sessions progress. For Playing with Art and Architecture I had designed the course prior to meeting with the children. Architecture and space would create a focus point and we would work on scale, constructing both on a miniature scale and on a very large scale the latter would demand that the children would work together possibly creating two large pieces of work. Session Two allowed me to pitch my ideas to the children and to figure the logistics of the space we were be working in.
As with all groups of children embarking on a new course the participants may change a few times, Session Two offered a few new faces. We started with a couple of simple drawing exercises, self-portraits on a reflective surface and life size body mark making on a 8metre roll of paper placed on the floor. From here we took the 2D nature of the drawing to 3D. Using tape, string and our bodies we connected together creating forms and shapes. Initially we worked as one group but we divided into three smaller groups. Some of the children seemed to be quite self-conscious as we drew awareness to the body. At this point I asked the children to come out of the pieces and find other anchor points within the room to build their sculpture pieces, shortening this activity. On reflection the concept of this activity was perhaps too abstract and quite challenging for the children to grasp for a second session.
Unfortunately the technology on the day failed us and we were unable to look at the digital images of 3 contemporary art works I had brought with me. Instead we discussed my ideas and their ideas for the course. The children were particularly interested in learning how to build the 3D structures that I had suggested, on their own and not in groups. The children also wanted to expand their knowledge of and skill level in the drawing styles and themes of their choice. I also observed that many of the children were very driven in developing creative projects in their spare time and not in school time. I wanted to be able to integrate their ideas and choices with mine whilst broadening their exposure and understanding of contemporary art. The logistics of the space itself also impacted on my initial ideas hence I had to rethink my approach.