On 18th January I volunteered to become involved in this live project, the workshop was held in collaboration with Beamont Academy and was specifically for Years 9 and 10. There was approx 8 other students there as well as 3 postgraduates who are on the universities Ariad Scheme.
The school student were split into 3 groups and sent to different areas of the gallery, they were to find an area of of the exhibition which they were particularly drawn to. They were given 15 – 20 minutes to draw their responses to an aspect of that area, after this time they left their work and moved to a different area of the gallery to continue working on the next groups work, after another 15 – 20 minutes, they moved around again.
Once this cycle had been completed the students returned to their original piece of work which had now been worked on by an further 2 people. Each group was now divided into further groups of 3, and using all 3 drawings they worked together to create a concertina book, they could do this in any way they wished, cutting up, rearranging, overlapping the only must was that some element of each drawing should feature in the book.
The workshop worked really well, with some interesting work being produced, at first some of the Beamont students were very precious about the work which they had produced and were concerned that the next person could spoil it, they also had worries about ruining someone elses work, however once they got started they seemed to really enjoy it. Initially I felt a bit lost as I was unsure what was expected of us, and some of the school students were not very responsive when I tried to talk to them, possibily they felt that there was constantly someone looking over their shoulders, I felt they engaged more once I sat on the floor and almost became part of their group.
I found the workshop enjoyable and also useful from a person perspective as it has made me consider an activity that I could try with my gingerbread group. I also felt inspired by the work they were doing and wanted to get involved in the creating with them. A couple of things which I felt could have improved the workshop, the first was, that some of the children hadn’t had lunch, they’d left school before lunchtime, hadn’t been allowed to eat on the coach and went straight into the workshop, so they spent some of their time being distracted by their hunger. The 2nd thing, I felt that if the uni students have been allocated to work with a specific group, the initial communication problem may have been overcome a bit quicker.