i2ADS — University of Porto's Faculty of Fine Arts



children: 48 between 6 and 9 years old
children with special needs: 1

An editorial boom was observed in this 21st century where begins the creation and publication of picture books dedicated to children and speaking about the death. Understanding that a book is a mean to reach all the possible and imaginary themes, it is pretended by the artist to use it to create moments of observation, reading, creation and questioning related with art and the children’s experiences. The teacher’s and artist’s role will be of children’s orientation, combining the experiences (pedagogical and artistic) and providing new work spaces for creativity, reading and art.

Two classes from the Conservatório de Música do Porto (1st and 3rd grades) were chosen by the artist to develop artistic projects related with the death concept. It is supposed, with the project, to explore the construction or setting of the death ideas and understanding through the picture books, knowing that the theme is (normally) quite difficult to talk about and that the usual talking about it is the absence of talking.

description of the activities

The artist will be working for seven hours (divided in five sessions, with the approximate duration of one hour and half each one) with each class. For the last session, the illustrator and writer of one of the chosen picture book were invited to an encounter with the children to present and talk about the construction of their book. All the sessions, oriented by the teacher and artist, will be recorded by photos (and, if possible, by video) attempting to not interfere with the children’s projects. No children is informed about the concept of death present in all the books, in an attempt to create a natural construction and understanding of the theme and book.
A list of six picture books was created as a basis for the project’s development, but it isn’t closed to other suggestions. Also, it is possible that not every book will be worked, because they will be chosen between the teachers and the artist and because there are only five sessions to develop the work. These books are:
◦ Efémera – Eugénio Roda and Gémeo Luís – 2014 – Edições Eterogémeas
◦ O Livro da Avó – Luís Silva – 2007 – Edições Afrontamento
◦ A carícia da borboleta – Christian Voltz – 2008 – Kalandraka
◦ Queridos extintos – Arianna Papini – 2014 – Kalandraka
◦ O coração e a garrafa (“Hart and the bottle”) – Oliver Jeffers – 2010 – Orfeu Negro
◦ O Anjo da Guarda do Avô – Jutta Bauer – 2014 – Editora Gatafunho.
Some of the books will be worked in both classes and others only in one of them, because of the text difficulties or facilities in the different reading experiences.
Since the aim of the activities is to explore each book by image, by text and artistically, the strategies will be developed through the following steps:
1 images of death – reading books only by image, with the text hidden; creation of new texts for the images of the picture book
2 texts of death – reading books only with the text (without the illustration); creation of new images for the texts
3 searching death – searching and “collecting” in every-day-life dead objects, people, musics, languages, materials…; thinking about forms and colors of death; creation of new images of death
4 what says the author and illustrator – sharing of experiences between author/illustrator and children about a specific picture book.
The artistic techniques to be explored will be the same used by the illustrators of the chosen books.



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