(Build an Imaginary World, 3 Day Project, World Yoga Festival 2018)
I am passionate about inspiring children to express themselves using art. The sessions are much more about process and play with materials than an art product; I use the framework of a loose theme to hold space for process-led art. The themes that I use are very open to interpretation, for example ‘worlds of imagination’ / ‘zoom’ / ‘seeing sound (what does sound look like?)’. Usually we start with a short activity together, such as looking at a picture book / playing a game / watching a short clip / doing collaborative drawing / listening to music. The short activity will vary according to the theme. We use these short activities as a way to warm up for a period of making. We then start the making by investigating which materials we want to use that session; materials are very important as, in general, the subjects of the sessions have a lot to do with sensory experience – touch, sound, colour, etc. Materials often inspire ideas in themselves: it is about thinking through touch and doing. Creative choice is key in the sessions: the choice to paint / draw / collage / use felt tips / write / build / suggest other materials, etc. I will sometimes introduce new materials to work with for a specific session (e.g. perhaps tinfoil for the ‘sound’ theme, etc.), but there will always be a range that children can use. During the making, I am there to chat to about decisions / ideas and support the making, and I usually circulate in the art spaces and children approach me when needed / I sometimes approach them to find out about their making, especially if I don’t know them well. Sometimes the making flows easily and children are happy making on their own / in groups (chatting to me sometimes if they want to) for an extended period; other times we may come back together earlier for another short activity / game. It really depends on the children that are in the session and what their needs are. From the first session I listen closely and use the children’s ideas and likes / dislikes for materials / activities etc. to inform future sessions with them.