Sunday, 6 November 2011

Exhibition of works by children that live on my corridor and some of their cousins.

For this PARTY for the neighbours we turned ground floor of my flat into a gallery, removing furnitures and covering shelves with white fabric. We made tags with description of work including name of the artist, title and medium. Last few months I was working with children encouraging them to experiment and to initiate activities. Ludo and Catharina - my flatmates, and Sandrine that lives in the other part of the estate were great help!. I wanted children to feel proud about their work, and for their parents to recognise art making as something positive that is worth continuing.

Selected drawing and paintings. The day before the exhibition Sandrine and myself discussed with children which works they were going to show. We explained to them that there is not enough space to present all drawings and paintings and ask them to choose two works that they were most satisfied with. We also asked them about the reasons behind their choices. Then we collected titles and Happy created a printed list of works.

Musharraf wanted to exhibit a short text - an 'invitation like' introduction to the PARTY for the neighbours

Tasnim made the 'Duchamp like' readymade that she claimed as her own work and insisted to hang it on the wall as one of her choices. During the party I explained to the parents ideas behind that type of work.

Salman's experiments with linocuts.

Collaborative installation. We talked about what the word ' collaboration' means in terms of art practise.

"Dead Man In An Ice Cube ' by Ashrraf
(washers and aluminium)

This theatre scene was made by some of the children and artists that live on the Leopold Estate.

Ashrraf made a bench for people to seat during performances.

Children that live next door from me are performing in a play titled Ratatotu Girls And Boys 'Rool' - Welcome! Here are fragments of their performance:

Images and a short video from the 3rd PARTY for the neighbours event that took place at my flat on the Leopold Estate.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

After midnight. Ludo and Andre are rehearsing downstairs. They will present their play to the neighbours and other invited / passing by people tomorrow. Next door Poppy is still making samosas... It was a beautiful day with an amazing energy in the air. When I woke up this morning it felt a bit hard - another busy day ahead, but now after seing excitiment of the children and after all the help from one of the mums and older girls I feel... I had to stop as it's difficult to describe how I feel... it's something in between being satisfied, feeling peaceful and secure.

We are going to show a lot of work made by children. Titles are incredible! Ashraf called his sculpture " A Dead Man In An Ice Cube", Tasnim painted "Messy Painting"...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Tomorrow we are having another PARTY For The Neighbours. Again, lot's of people on my floor is involved in preparation of it.

We are cooking Bengali food with different families then last time. Kids prepared a puppet show. My flatmate Ludo and his friend Andre will present "The Stone Cutter" - a shadow play. Catharina ( another flatmate of mine) will do face painting together with two boys that live on my flor - Salman and Ashraf.

Kids are making halloween decorations. Boys are making a bench for guest to sit.

There will also be an exhibition of the work made by children.

Today a list of requirements arrived:

Sunday, 16 October 2011

I now have regular workshops with children, which happen every Saturday or Sunday. I mostly work with 7 of them, but sometimes group is as big as 15. This is usually when their cousins are around and they join in. Their mothers are visiting my flat during our art classes, often commenting on the work or giving advise to children. We all work towards another 'party for the neighbours' day (in two weeks time) making different types of puppets, building theatre stage and writing stories. We also collect footage for the film and paint a lot. Sometimes we play music.

Today I went to an art shop and brought lot's of clay, canvas and few other things that we haven't used before. We tend to experiment a lot, so children can get used to various types of materials and learn new ways of assembling them. We also started analysing work that is being made. I keep asking questions about the colours they used or the choice of material etc .... When they feel like they'd made a bad work we try to find other way of looking at it or a way to improve it. It's important that they don't see moments like that as final or as failure, but rather as a temporary problem that can be solved.

On other days my doors are open to a little bit older neighbours. We write CVs and part-time job applications. We talk about the importance of education, especially once they still have it free.

Today I thought that it would be great to involve mothers in running other art classes. One of the mums can do pottery and it would be amazing if she run workshop on it.

I decided to spend the next few months on looking for a funding. Let's see how it goes.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Today we were making a stage for a puppet performance that will happen in a few weeks time. During our workshop one of the girls said that we have to vote for the best title of the show. She collected proposed ideas from everyone. She said that all of us should vote as otherwise it would not be a democratically made decision. She had a very clear idea of what democracy meant.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

While writing job applications with my neighbour we got stuck when it came to defining her ethnic origin/nationality...non of the available options was accurate and ticking "other" felt like admitting to be "the other" which didn't necessarily feel good.

Friday, 23 September 2011 as the means by which a community develops for itself a medium for self-expression and interpretation

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Girl explaining the position of the film frame to younger kids in both Bengali and English.

A way from Paris to Bow Road. Salman was inspired by the story he heard from his friend who had been to Paris.

our first puppets and our own hands

Monday, 5 September 2011

I just read few of my previous posts and realised that a lot has changed since then. Making plans doesn't make sense as every time I plan for something to happen it doesn't work that way, and sometimes things happen in most unpredictable moments. Like today, children knocked to my door with a box of pencils in their hands saying that there mum was tiding up, so they decided to draw at my place.

We have been working quite a lot last week, recording stories, conversations and making puppets. We also started filming them and now it's time for first edits. I'm still quite careful with using cameras, but it seems like none of the adults around has a problem with it. We had a chat about different equipment with one of the dads. Boys filmed an elderly man passing by and he just smiled saying "hello".

We worked a lot outside, on our walkway. It's important for me to make parents feel that they can be a part of it, and working outside makes what we are doing easier to follow by everyone around. Yesterday two mums joined us on the walkway. It seems like some of the parents approve our art workshops more then others, but it's definitely getting better. Kids are getting more and more focused and some of them are experimenting a lot with various forms of creating. They usually come with few ideas of what they want to make and I noticed that they are getting more and more confident in making decisions. I try to not to give them too many ideas, but rather to encourage them to develop their own.

Ashraf asked me yesterday if they were part of my project.