Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Materials as Language

"It is essential to preserve in children (and in ourselves) the feeling of wonder and surprise, because creativity, like knowledge, is a daughter of surprise. Expressivity is an art, a combined construction; that expressivity has motivations, forms, and procedures; contents and the ability to communicate the predictable and the unpredictable. Expressivity finds sources from play, as well as from practice, from study and visual learning.
In fact, drawing, painting (and the use of all languages) are experiences and explorations of life, of the senses, and of meanings…They offer interpretations and intelligence about the events that take place around us. Formulas? There are none. There are only possible strategies. Make sure, above all, that children become familiar in their minds with images; that they know how to keep them alive; that they learn the pleasure of reactivating them, regenerating them, and multiplying them with the maximum amount of personal and creative intervention…Images be meaningful for children…those images will become signs that carry meanings.” 
                          (Conversations from Reggio Emilia, Lella Gandini pg. 8 - 9)

Finding Inspiration

We began by looking at M.T.’s painting of a flower with pink snowflakes. The day M.T. painted her painting, it had snowed. M.T. was inspired by the snowflakes that she saw fall earlier that morning and she decided to reproduce this image at the painting easel.

To emphasize the concept: inspiration can come from anywhere. I began to discuss how I was inspired by the rock garden this morning. I used the natural materials from the art center to create a 3-dimensional piece of art. As I thought –aloud, I was using the materials to represent my thinking and showed the children how I used the art materials to create meaning and to make this meaning visible through art. 

What is “inspiration”?

The children were so eager to get their hands on the materials and begin creating their own meaningful art. The children were asked to think about something they saw that “inspired” them. We chose to create a collaborative piece of art inspired by a flower.

What does it mean to collaborate on a piece of work?

A.C.: Collaborate means you can work together with your friends and help.

Collaborative Art

B.Y. began by using a crayon to draw a 2-D flower.

E.L: I’m making the stem.

C.L: I’m doing the leaves.
A.C: I’m using plasticine for the flower petals.
I.G: Popsicle stick! A big white leaf.

 Ms. P: I wonder why the leaf is white?

C.L: The leaves are changing colour.

M.Y: The snow will make it white.

T.K: This is for the leaf to get water. 
(T.K. uses a blue crayon to fill in some of the 
white canvas space.)

J.M: I like the cork.

Ms. P: Why?

J.M: I just like it.

Ms. P: I wonder what the cork could represent?

M.Y: I think it could be a rock.

R.S: The sky. (R.S. places a piece of twine over 
the flower.)

Our Collaborative piece of art!

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