Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Inner Worlds

This was my last day of workshops and these children were the youngest I will have worked with on this project. Some told me they were 5 others were 4, they told me all about their pets, their toys and their families. Its been a few years since I worked with children quite so young  and they surprised and charmed me. They recognised some of the places along the trail which led onto a few stories that I felt might have been a little exaggerated. These involved quad bikes, mermaids, a family with 7 dogs and relatives from somewhere like Ethiopia, Utrecht or was it Erith, I never quite got to the bottom of it, as it appeared they had lived in all these places. The class carried out my rather grown up suggestions about history, botanical accuracy and even map making to the best of their abilities. The books I took in were largely disregarded.....too spontaneity.....copy that....WHY I can do this instead? The result was usually Mums Dads and Brothers and Sisters and some much loved pets. A few drawings ventured outside from home or school.

I loved the their care free approaches, no one asked for a rubber, no problems about have I started in the wrong place? I need a ruler, how do you draw a bird, endless searching for the right thing to copy. None of that, just straight in and make it up!

As these children explained their drawings to me I was really blown away by how easily they dipped in and out of fiction while making these drawings. I could see sometimes their whole body involved in doing the drawing. This was achieved by walking round it as you draw it, then suddenly dive into a shading bonanza with intense concentration, but a felt tip pen blow out would suddenly halt the flow.

This is a map of strood.

botanical accuracy

I tried to encourage team work by getting each table to work together on a map of Strood. This was quite interesting as each child drew as if they had their own sheet of paper in front them...on separate drawings but, a little link drawing sometimes appeared down in the corner crossing two sheets of paper.

Another Strood map drawing (the dots are significant places, which included Russia)

I enjoyed stories between drawings and wished my imagination was able to jump from topic to topic in the same way with equal enthusiasm. The drawings are inner worlds and are real to the makers of them.

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