Play and fine art has been a collaboration of mine for a while now, the street play day was a success and I was able to document it effectively. Process is priority over product throughout, especially when working with children and the community you cannot predict or I wouldn’t like to control what the outcome of the work will be. The next brief I’ve set myself is a series of workshops running in a local primary school that I have already worked with doing my scrap sessions. The workshops would be a class at a time, setting the children the brief of designing what they would like added/changed about their outdoor space at school. This is a rare opportunity for the children to collectively brainstorm ideas and to make decisions that are usually made without them. Its not a competition, its a chance for them to be creative and remind the adults that the playground is their territory, its important to them, their recess and their learning. They have a large space outside and some concrete area, a grass area, a corner hut to sit in, a shed with equipment in (I also donated my scrap to them last year so don’t know if its still there) and a climbing trail. I am not setting out to criticise the school at all, I thought it’d be an interesting way for me to facilitate play in a structured environment and promote the importance of play in schools. The workshops would have a ‘template’ of a piece of paper and materials provided to make, draw and have fun. I thought maybe if I have a couple of moments to make observations through drawing rather than in the standard method of play-observing in words. At the moment before the events begin I have been urging myself to play more myself, make and draw every day and general playfulness. This week I have been observing my course-mates in their studios at ‘work’. A tutorial the other day made me think about how those that ‘survived’ education and coming out the other end with creativity still at the forefront of their learning are surrounding me in my workspace. This is both work and play, we are part of a collective notion that we are there to work, think and produce. But we are ‘at play’, doing what we love and enjoy. It would be madness and a waste of money and time, to be doing a fine art course if you did not enjoy what you were doing.

I hope to use the art from the workshops to produce a tapestry displayed in both the school and my university. We all have that final image in our heads of what we want to end up with, but the trick is not to be logical about it and rather just let the art take you somewhere you didn’t expect, that’s where the fun is.

L x

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