Work that involves participation by way of contribution is there because it has been created collectively. When working with people who are in isolated or vulnerable situations the artwork becomes a catalyst for change. Its linage is of activisim and dialogical art practices.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Arts for Hearts, year 1

Year one (5-6 year olds):
The children in year one were very excited about the activity they would be doing today. After an initial introduction I played a game with them inspired by a games called nonsense poem to encourage them to think in images about health. The tables were set out with paper and pencils and the children walked around the table until I said a word, such as healthy food, whereupon they would draw the first thing that came into their heads. After a minute or two I would ask them to continue walking and then say another phrase, such as staying active or keeping clean until we had covered a range of health topics. This worked well for some children and not so well with others as they were more comfortable sitting and spending time over a drawing. So after this I let them spend some time drawing their own images of health foods, drinks and activities. I encouraged them to use the images from the big sheets and swapped these from table to table to share the information.
About 15 minutes before their break I demonstrated using the fabric paints which they were going o use to decorate their felt square before it went on their banner. Because of the nature of this technique this would be done table by table so that they could wear aprons and cover the table. The children really enjoyed using the paints as there was a wide variety of colours to use. I was a little concerned about using fabric paints and some of the children found using them quite challenging. Some found it difficult to wait their turn to paint whereas others really enjoyed having more time to draw or play with jigsaws.
After each child had decorated a square of felt I then put these together on the banner. Some of the children helped me with this and others decorated the lettering, which said ‘Healthy and Happy’.

Children: ‘I liked painting’, ‘That was fun’
Teacher ‘I think they really enjoyed this process’

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