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Friday, May 20, 2011

"Nine" based on "Trente" with the 3rd graders

Wassily Kandinsky, "Trente" [Thirty], 1937

The 3rd graders worked on a project based on "Trente" by Kandinsky [which he created when he was 71]. The material I proposed was black and white paper, a pair of scissors and glue. It was only a 2 hours session. I presented Kandinsky's work and took some time for questions and remarks.

I put some music on: "Contes de L'incroyable Amour" by Tunisian artist Anouar Brahem (listen to the music here) and the children started to work on their project.

Two hours is short but they enjoyed cutting directly in the paper and looking for abstract shapes. They discovered the "negative" piece of the cut and made good use of it.
For some, not "representing anything in particular" was a challenge, for most of them it was the occasion to let it go and just enjoy. And play. But it takes sometime to realize the possibilities so I asked them not to glue anything till the end of the session, for they could change anything at anytime if they wanted to.

As always when I work with children, I very rarely "show them" how to do it. "Trente" was only projected on the wall when we were talking before starting working on the piece. After that the projector was turned off.

As always I enjoy watching them creating their pieces. I am taking pictures of everything they do. We'll have a projection with a critique session soon!

The other project they just finished is based on a work by an artist living and working today near San Francisco: Tucker Nichols, who is having a solo show right now at Gallery 16.


Lori said...

Your projects with children are always interesting, beautiful, and inspiring.
Thanks so much for sharing.

Michele Guieu said...

Thanks Lori! I love doing art project with children but there is not much time at school for art. The official "program" takes all their time, art comes last. But when there is an opportunity, I take it and I try to make it count.

J and J said...

Great ideas and beautiful results!! I wish we have time for a art session with the kids when we'll visit you in July... Gros bisous

Michele Guieu said...

Absolutely, let's do that, all together!

Lori said...

It would really be best for "Art" to be part of math, science, social studies, history, etc, instead of separate. It would actually help inspire and motivate students, and not be able to be cut. I know if this had been the case for me, I would have done much better in school, and probably gone into something besides art. Art was my bail-out because as a visual learner I had difficulty grasping math, science, english, and .....

Michele Guieu said...

I agree Lori, it should definitely be integrated in the curriculum! I cannot believe how disconnected from the real world school can be! we live in a VISUAL world, all we do all day long is to see things/shapes/colors and yet, there is no analyzes of images/photo/video at school. Like what does architecture means, from the house we live in to the museum we go to. What does the design of a car tells us? What does our clothes tell us? Everything, everywhere is visual and yet we have no tool to know what we are seeing. To learn to see is a political act. If you SEE you can tell that publicity is drilling your brain, that the shiny car is only shiny and breeds envy, etc...
Ignorance about our visual world brings conformity. If we knew more about all the different codifications at work around us, we would certainly make more personal choices about what we buy, what we "want", what we wish. And people would not be doing the exact same thing as their neighbor (I am thinking landscaping for example)!