Stage One: Give a Man [sic] a fish and you feed him for a day – Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime
An Overview of the Crearte Stage One Sessions
Session 1: The focus for this session was introducing the idea of uncertainty in art and throughout the session participants were encouraged to see the potential in the materials they were asked to work with. After an initial discussion with participants regarding the nature of art and a sharing of prior experiences, this session asked participants to work in a group and create an object that made use of the materials they had available. At the end of the session they were encouraged to tell the story of the object.
Session 2: This session required the participants to explore the potential of materials and an introduction to technique and process for making and casting from moulds was introduced. The rest of the session was left open for participants to work with the artist to explore materials and make use of the resources available within the studio to make their own casts and explore the potential of the media.
Session 3: This session was led by a lecturer from Goldsmiths and placed a focus upon the power of the visual image to carry messages to a wider audience. Drawing upon a wide range of artists and drawing upon the art lecturers own work, the session provided an introduction to the idea of the exhibition and required participants to reflect upon their own identify using a guided exploration technique. Using this refection as a starting point, participants were asked to create a collage that was based upon their own responses to the guided exploration.
Session 4: The fourth session had a practical focus and used the sculptures created during session one. In this session the artist asked participants to work in groups to deconstruct the original creations and reconstruct into a new sculpture using additional materials where needed and drawing upon techniques used in previous sessions. They would then be required to “tell the story” of the art piece. These were then shared and the process discussed at the end of the session.
Session 5: This session drew upon the expertise of an artist whose specialism includes film and sound. The session explored the possibilities of using technology as a tool for conveying meaning. Students were asked to work in groups to create a piece of work that made use of video to convey ideas of their own belonging.
Session 6 and 7: Participants were introduced to the work of an artist currently studying on the Artist Teacher Masters programme at Goldsmiths whose work draws upon his experience working with refugees in Egypt.
Following this, participants were asked to begin the process of creating their own pieces to be displayed at the exhibition that reflected their own interpretation of home and identity. Time and space was allocated to allow participants to engage with the process.
Session 8: The final session was the exhibition of the participant’s works Crearte participants from across Europe were invited to a private view and to speak to the artists about their work. This was followed by visits from the pupils from local schools and included the pupils of the teachers from the school.
The conclusion of the project led us to identify four key areas that we felt are central for any learning experience to be successful. These can be summarised as:
The Head: To be effective learning needs to take into include exploration of subject knowledge and in doing so should provide opportunities for the learner to reflect upon their own understanding
The Hand: In Art there is a need for skills to be taught explicitly to improve confidence and competence of all participants however this teaching of skills should allow for individual and group exploration and investigation
The I: No individual is situated in a vacuum. To be effective learning needs to encourage self regulation and reflection. The individual needs to brings something of themselves as a starting point for learning.
The Us: We recognise that we learn better from each other and recognise that to learn effectively the content needs to be meaningfully connected to our situation and context.
The images in the gallery provide exemplification of how these four areas were addressed in the training provided.