Beginnings of Tropical Rainforest Mural inspired by a handling session that young people from the hospital took part in with the Manchester Museum’s reptiles. The scene depicts a chameleon hiding amongst tropical leaves. The paper used to collage the leaves and the reptile was marbled by residents of Galaxy House in two 1 hour workshops, and then enlarged for use on the wall. The chameleon will eventually have collaged scales to emphasise the reality of its texture (which the YP will have seen first hand).
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Last week, I arranged for the children from the residential hospital ward to come and see the exhibition. The visit was preliminary to their study of Shadow Play in school (focus being on narrative and time) while it also provided an outing for them during their half term holiday. I made worksheets which aimed to help them focus on the idea of past, present, future and how certain work’s in the Dark Matter’s exhibition represent different aspects of time. Most of the children seemed to grasp this idea well including an obvious 3 who were highly engaged. However, there were a few who were either easily distracted or unwell which were quite difficult to work with. Obviously, this is natural even when working with kids who are mentally well but I found it difficult to know how to divide my attention: I didn’t want to ignore the children who weren’t interacting but I also wanted to make sure that the children who were engaged could get good feedback with the task. I think I managed this OK though and everyone, minus one, managed to complete the task ready for their first school lesson.
Following this, another visit was arranged – for them to come to the shadow lab and work interactively with the resources at the gallery. With other groups, it probably would’ve been possible to do both visits in one but, with this group time is limited due to concentration and individual appointments. I however, thought this worked quite well, as they were able to see the gallery in two different contexts and also with two different groups of staff: during half term, the nursing staff and during school time, the teachers. The second visit yesterday, I felt went well as the teachers were able to help keep each child more effectively engaged. Perhaps it was also the type of task and also the fact that many children just find going round gallery’s boring. Surprisingly, the two girls who found it most hard to engage the first time round, interacted the most with the facilities in the lab (another positive for going on two different occasions). Going back to class with them, I introduced a lesson of experimentation with different collaging materials to create an image/shadow reflection (based on a book by Suzy Lee which was provided in the shadow lab). This went really well – surprisingly more so with the younger kids (which is something I will have to think about for next time).
Shadow by Suzy Lee
I thought this book would be a good starting point for the kids to experiement with scenes and each object’s shadow. It is also a good example of a book which tells a simple story without words: the little girl starts off playing in a room of objects and gradually her imagination grows and the shadows start to develop a life of their own.