Week 6 – Connection to Cultural/Historical Space

We started this week with the familiar Statues game. I sensed the students tiring of this game, so will change the kinaesthetic component to another one which is relevant to the session. Next week we will do soccer as a warm-up, to get us in the mood to think about what happens in the park spaces.

When music stopped, the students had to go find and feel a texture in room and name it, or I would give the cue: soft…so they’d have to find something soft. People touched hair, cheeks, carpet and fabric for soft. And then teeth, walls, floor and plastic on chairs and tables for hard.

Then we made more clay tiles with the textures from the park we had collected last week. Some students assisted others to trace, or pressed into their tile fingerprints and tools.

We then brought a bike into the classroom (for the first session, and later did this outside in groups), where we got a student (who inspired me to build this into the session, as I’d noticed he was a keen bike rider during my visits to the school) to ride over a tile to make pattern and texture. It was a big success, with students and artist alike loving the performance and action of it. This student had great handling of the bike, and was a perfect first volunteer to show the other students how to use the bike safely with a helmet, while keeping it under good control.

Our last activity was collaboratively sculpting from a block of clay, using one type of tool per group to see how many textures we could add to the block. Students were a little more hesitant than I thought with removal of clay from the block, but I also didn’t give them too many tools which would remove material (in hindsight, loop tools would have been good, it was how I originally conceptualised this activity). We used forks, spoons, skewers, vegetable peelers, brushes, combs, wooden clay tools to create unique textures.

In the first session we tried to sculpt emojis which talked about how we felt about the session, but it proved to be too different to the previous activities, and we ran out of time. We also had less support staff this session, so it was good to keep the activities more manageable and eliminate this one.

The Cultural/Historical component I didn’t talk about much with the students, but in my mind, this session was about what marks we leave with our presence, what is recorded by the clay, or in the clay (fingerprints, coming and going on bike, ephemeral objects like leaves and tree matter), and what impact we can have on our community and culture together.

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