Monday, 24 January 2011

The Bubble Project week 2

You can usually give a bit of a sigh of relief on week 2 of a project; you know a little of what to expect- the people you are likely to be working with, the room layout, the pace of the day... and so we relaxed a bit into the project. Added to our core group of Young Carers were new faces, bringing fresh ideas and energy.

painted latex glove

With our projects with older people, I'm used to the discussions and word making being the popular activity and older people struggling with confidence and the physicality of visual art making. However with the young people, Phil and our roles are reversed. Here Phil is the one having to find inventive ways to motivate the group, and my job is to introduce ideas and techniques and watch the Young Carers run with them.

Phil worked in a low-profile way this week, asking people to comment on their work as they made it - little insights began to emerge, interests and concerns, ways of looking at the world. It's these little phrases that can tell so much about someone; Phil jotted them down, getting poem sketches. I saw him talking with Ryan and snapped a picture of the piece that was developng out of a conversation about the band Green Day. Ryan's work has a punky energy and a touch of Scarfe too - I'm hoping that some of the cutup song lyrics will find their way into his final piece.

Ryan's Customised Trainers

This week we continued with the customised trainers, continuing to find ways of combining the word and the visual. You can see more examples at our flickr site. I love the bold simplistity of Ryan's sprayed, written and painted on trainers, and the storytelling of Kitty's. With a little guidance from Phil she devised The Trainer of Optimism and The Trainer of Evil, each with a twist on her initials: Kitty Bongo for happiness and Killing Bonanza for her dark side.

Good things, Kitty

The life size portraits continued to grow and take shape. It was inspiring to see the energy of the participants being channeled into the action painting, using the diffusers, spattering, spraying, dripping, paint brushes and hands the artworks quickly took shape. Its great working on the floor, it encourages a loose physical approach, working 360 degrees around the piece, loosing the sense of top and bottom. 

Next Saturday we will start to cut the figures out, so we can take another look at them with view for exhibition. 

Collage making was our additional technique this week, particularly when it combined image, colour and word. Kitty did a fantastic collaged hand, that I hope she will add to her life size portrait. It seems to sum up the day, a hand never still, and covered in ink!

Thanks again to our helper Louise. This week we also had two volunteers, Bryone from the Youth Fed, who found us by happy accident at the beginning of the day, and stayed joining in activities and invaluable help clearing up tables, brushes etc. and the wonderful Sarah, who brought with her a welcoming calmness brought of years of experience in teaching art and textiles, and skills and ideas from her own professional practice.

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