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Friday, 27 February 2015

5 senses workshops SEE - the eyes are listening...


We use this sense probably the most and are rapidly becoming conditioned to see in particular ways through exposure to instant culture throughout the media. 

On a more mundane level we all need to see to live a daily life and just noticing details or looking at our surroundings in a different way can be inspiring. 

This week's workshop was about seeing through the eyes of an artist, how and what we see and how we translate that into marks. 

I visited The eyes are listening at Hastings Museum recently and loved the large paintings of Tom Hammick.

In terms of creating artwork I am very interested in the right brain left brain function. After reading Betty Davis' book, Drawing on the right side of the brain, I am sure there are ways of strengthening our use of the right brain thus being able to harness its global skills and lack of critical awareness  allowing creativity to grow. 

So to get students started and to switch off the left brain function we drew an upside down drawing, This is an exercise to copy a drawing by Picasso of Igor Stravinsky. By doing this the brain reads the lines and marks as just that, it no longer recognises them as eyes, arms, a collar etc so the right brain is in control and this allows the student to make a drawing without preconceived knowledge and spacial judgement . The result is a better drawing. Still not necessarily perfectly (if there is ever such a thing) accurate but conveying a more real sense of the original subject. 



Time changing greatly affects what we see so students drew from view finders on the windows to record what they could see at different intervals during the workshop - overlaying the images made on tracing paper. 



I had asked students to bring in white objects to draw so we could just focus on the forms without too much distraction while they made 3 specific drawings, 1st to make a drawing using usual observation, 2nd to make a drawing looking at the subjects and not the paper, trusting the eye and the hand to connect to create an image, 3rd to make a drawing entirely from memory of the subjects, by removing them. 

I hope doing these drawings in this way highlighted how we store up image in our brain, and when we draw we can either use the images accumulated subconsciously by just living or we can re learn new lines, angles and marks by looking carefully and memorising by repetition these new images. Increasing our own artists resource of our mind. 

Students then continued to draw the white still life using slit shaped view finders. 



Saturday, 7 February 2015

5 senses workshop SMELL


This workshop was a fantastic feast of memories, associations and stories all tumbling out. Identifying moments in our childhood, rights of passage and first perfumes. A rich tapestry of stories of relationships, of when and when perfumes were bought and used ranging from Yves St Laurant, Poison, Chanel no 19 to Jo Malone and the smell of fresh cut grass. 

Miriam was practising losing herself in process and produced some lovely experimental work. 

I tried to keep up with doing some work myself but with so much reminiscing and memories emerging instead we enjoyed a really open and varied discussion including Wolfgang Laib's pollen fields, Anish Kapoor's wax train in the Royal Academy, dead foxes and lemon scented cleaning fluids.... 

Anish Kapoor's Wax train  and Wolfgang Laib's pollen from hazelnut. see the link below to watch his video. 

What was really pleasing and motivating was the connections that students were making through articulating their memories and how this was inspiring confidence and the desire to apply these new thoughts and feelings to ongoing work. We all left the morning buzzing about setting new projects in place. I found myself really encouraging students to begin to set themselves their own chosen parameters to work within and to create a body of work following on from these experimental workshops. 

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