Friday, July 30, 2010

Getting ready for a community arts event

Plans are made, drawn up and change at the last minute. Fluid adaptation and yogi breathing are recommended. I will say no more.
Thought it would be fun to share some photos of todays prep for tomorrow's family fun play day at the Gorey Market House Festival. We are building on Ballygarrett Art Studio's involvement and the development inaugural festival last year. CreativeDynamix was coming into inception right about now last year.
The venue for Gorey's Family Play Day has change to the Community School, 2 - 5pm tomorrow. The Community School is at the end of Esmonde Street moving away from the main street in behind the car park where the organic/farmers market is held.
I live here
Large laminated maps are stuck on the wall. one of the town of Gorey and one of the electoral area and people are invited find where they live on the maps, or are staying and to place a sticker. This worked really well last year. The idea behind it is to build identity and to make a connection to the geographical area and social communities.

Funky Junk
Right now its just junk. The guys in the recycling center are starting to get to know me now. I'm the person that goes their and takes recycling away. Just wait till I start up cycling clothes! Anyway these cleaned bottles will be cut and folded and decorated into jellyfish and what ever else the kids come up with.
I was going to photograph the lists I make. but I'll leave them to your imagination. There have been phone calls, text messages and emails to confirm volunteers, facilitators (the crew) and find new ones!
It is important to be prepared and have a plan but not to get hung up on it and have a certain amount of flow. After all it is going to be fun! Is n't it?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Labyrinth's for your fingers!

The experience of making a large labyrinth on the beach was quite physical. I have started to make small works using drawing and thinking about labyrinths. my studio is in danger of being over taken.
I think at my exhibition space during the Fringe at Wexford Festival Opera I will run a workshop exploring the purposeful pathway of creativity and the metaphor of labyrinths. I'm having so much fun with the shapes and expressing the basic labyrinth.
My six year old arrived in to my studio announcing I was making finger labyrinths just like the one on the beach. He was very taken with this image

It is made with oil pastels and charcoal. A particularly messy tactile affair to create and gives a great effect and texture. I go back to the technique during process work. I had taken a container of buttons out and picked out some white ones laying them on the charcoal path. My youngest got very excited and wanted to help. For some reason I rejected all but the palest of buttons allowing some flat 'shine-ies'. This was the result which my eight year old also found to be fascinating. Both boys spent over thirty minutes tracing their fingers over the buttons and discussing it. So now I am working on several process pieces involving maps, text, labyrinths, collage, pastels, tracing paper, tissue paper... pva and paint will follow. Something interactive perhaps too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Labyrinth making...

Today was labyrinth making day on Old Bawn Beach, near the studio and south of Cahore Point in Wexford.
I have long been a fan of mazes and Labyrinth. In my teenage years I doodled mazes, decorated and painted them. When I studied art therapy I discovered mandala's and read about the symbolism and healing process in making them. I came to understanding that labyrinths also had these qualities but never remember reading about them. In the last year I discovered Status Hat and their Labyrinth project (CURRICULUM AND INSTALLATION/EXHIBITION DEVELOPMENT). In the last few weeks I have loved reading Jim Buchanan's book 'Labyrinths for the spirit'. His book inspired today.
Why make a labyrinth? Partly to see how easy it would be to make one, curiosity, testing the idea, partly personal interest.
The idea was to have a day away from work and the typical mayhem around raising three boys. What I took to the beach: 3 boys,  a picnic, a rake, a trowel, two bamboo sticks, red material for a ribbon, fishing rod, football, suncream, towels and swim gear. It was made clear to them that we were going to the beach in the morning and spending the full day there. I mentioned the plan to a few who I thought would apreciate the idea of making a labyrinth and put the word out on facebook and twitter also. 
Starting with raking lines
I originally had a plan to make the labyrinth up the beach but the sand was too dry and a lot of raking would have been required. Two friends and their families were on hand to join in. So I started by showing how to draw a small labyrinths down by the waters edge. Then some discussion about where and how big and I started. A big cross raked in the sand with the dots in four corners of the square, then the methodical drawing and linking of the straight with the dots to form the simplest of labyrinth shapes. I had some questions about the pathways and the wall. We settled on the idea that the walls could be rills where the incoming tide could flood and some notion that our collective children would dig them. After a short time it became clear that single walls were best. Walking the labyrinth the mouth was at the waters edge, it was lovely to walk down towards the sea and the center was just that central and a bit cosy.
There was plenty of chatting and catching up. People walking by on the beach were curious and asked us about what we were doing. It was lovely to share the idea and see their response. Even a local seal kept an eye on us for a while. In the next photo you can see the line of mussel shells three year old Harry started. It formed a lovely decorative edge.

 I had brought a large garden leaf rake which was lovely to use and left a good pattern on the sand. We all took turns in using it and building the walls. The wind was not so strong and yet the walls diminished. I found raking the path to the walls wonderfully relaxing and mindfully bliss. I can see how a zen garden would be relaxing. Friends and associates difted on to the beach and drifted away again. It was lovely to have such a relaxed day that ebbed and flowed.
The children ran around the labyrinth and over the walls. The adults did walk it but it was hard to have the quiet solitude to walk the labyrinth in a mediative practice on the beach. Partly because our kids were around, running around having great fun playing together! Hey that's really important too. 
I look forward to making the next one for the moment I am in a happy glow of having spent all day in the fresh air beside the sea building a giant adult sandcastle and sharing the experience with others.
I'd love to find away to use this in my arts practice perhaps with a group of people, as a team experience or a soulful creative way to share a collective experience.
Along this journey I have discovered the Labyrinth Society a great website where I found out there is a World Labyrinth Day and that people train to become facilitators of labyrinth walking and making. There has been some very interesting research done on labyrinths, the most frequently researched topics are the effects of interacting with a labyrinth on stress and on relaxation. Who knew?
Local places to visit with mazes include Dunbrody Abbey Wexford,  Greenan Maze and Museum Wicklow this also has a Solstice Labyrinth, Russborough House West Wicklow has a very nice beech maze small but perfect.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From the hordes of Ballygarrett Art Studio 2

From season to season
Change series
Handmade paper, acrylic, oil pastels on paper.

Acrylic on card.

Centered self
Change series
Acrylic on paper.

This work was made in the last few years, it is unframed so will ship well in a tube anywhere making it very cost effective. They are all approx 70cm x 100cm, although the first image is larger. Contact me directly on twitter, facebook or email me at creativedynamix.1 at gmail dot com if you would like more information or are interested to purchase.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What a great recommendation!

Roisin has shared her talents with us on many occasions over the past five years.  Her approach is community orientated.  Activities are inherently collaborative and inclusive.  Roisin’s work is diverse, vibrant and engaging.  She plays on the natural curiosity of participants, and helps children and adults realise fulfilling creative achievements.  
Raymond Swan, Principal, Gorey Educate Together National School

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

CAN Summer Camp 2010

It is such a privilege to work with children. Have a look below at some of the great work going on this week at the Cottage Autism Network Summer camp, so glad they invited me to work with them. Looking through magazines was the start of the older group noticing typefaces.

Then they started to make some images and their name through collage by cutting out letters and shapes.Some of the children were very inventive. They designed a large initial from their name on A3 paper and we've been spending time making them 3D. When they are dry we shall be decorating them and each individual will have a mini sculpture of one of their initials.

The junior classes were working with funky junk today we had a great session making under water sea creatures. We were having so much fun I forgot to take some photos (that often happens).
One of the boys drew this fantastic monster that we are making a 3D version of...

Tomorrow felt making is planned for the younger group and aluminum can construction will be the order of the day for the older group but not before some fun and games in the yard.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Web applications

I love word clouds but I fear I will never use again I have discovered
move your mouse or cursor icon over the text and see what happens. I love it!
Check out their gallery it has images like this...

I'm not sure I can wait to find a way to use text in an image like this... stitched and beaded on a textile? printed in an etching?
I've already used it on my to visualise the exercises that were done by the American Women’s Club Professional Network group during our conversation on creativity last montlook.
What have applications you discovered on the web that you like?

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