Art+Movement+Live Music workshop 3

This time we added a new element to our Art+Movement event: live music. Saskia Lankhoorn, an amazing pianist, was the connecting thread throughout the workshop. 1. The kids started with a warm-up, visually expressing their emotions on a sheet of paper, while reacting to the live piano music. 2. On a long paper roll hanging on the wall, they interpreted different ‘moods’ of music that Saskia had prepared for them, expressing notions of horizon/landscape, bright light, water drops, angry and sad, etc. 3. Our next exercise was performed on two very large sheets of paper on the floor. Using circular movements, the kids created floral and mandala-inspired compositions. 4. We finished off by drawing outlines of our bodies on another paper roll hung on the wall. It was interesting to see the individual characters and creativity of the children. Through the drawing or movement, they expressed their emotions and sometimes they were simply captivated by Saskia’s hands playing the piano.

Art 9: Book illustration

For this art class I asked the children to bring their favourite books and to select a short piece of text. The assignment was to imagine our own fantasy illustration for the existing book, but some children chose to illustrate their own stories. Before the process started we looked at various children’s books with distinctive illustration styles and techniques. I proposed working with black marker (or ink) and enriching it with a colourful collage technique.

Dance 6: Head and Senses

We explored the concept of the head, our magic box, with the skull protecting the brain as if it’s a treasure, and explored the senses connected to our head, which help us perceive the outside world. The kids tried to feel with careful and gentle hands the head and neck of their friends and seemed to really enjoy the process. We started by looking at each other in the eyes, then moving from the eyes, to the nose, ears, back of the head, tongue and, of course, skin as well … lots of funny faces and poses. As usual, the kids finished by drawing some impressions of the class.

Art 5: Clay facial masks

For inspiration we looked at the tribal art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, especially at their facial masks. We mentioned also Pablo Picasso and Paul Gauguin, who were seduced by the beauty and originality of exotic art: sculptures and facial masks. Using our fantasy, we first sketched the masks on paper with black markers and colourful pastels. While we listened to soft drum music, the emphasis was put on spontaneity, expressiveness and depicting one’s emotions. In the second part of our class we worked with clay to transform our sketches freely into 3D objects.
The masks will go through a firing process and in the next class we will be painting them to bring them to life even more.

Dance 2: The spine

A fun and inspiring first class in the new space.
The class was divided into groups:
1. Science: the kids were very interested to find out information about the spine and watch a funny short video;
2. Dance: they tried to start moving from the spine, creating a little chain of different movements or a chain of people that connect together just like the vertebrae in our spine;
3. A playful game based on animals, trying to feel how their ‘back’ or ‘spine’ might move;
4. Lying down on the ground to feel the contact with the floor and the spine resting on it;
5. Drawing what they have learned in the class.

Art 1: Meet a new friend, paint her/his portrait

First we learned some basics about how to draw a portrait, and then we observed the face of a friend sitting on the opposite side of the table. This was also a good way to get to know each other. I tried to find a balance between enabling the kids’ spontaneous expression and teaching them some rules :-). We were inspired by the portrait of a ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Johannes Vermeer, who emphasised the light and contrast between the model and background by painting the background completely black.