project information.

Putting things together

I have had the privilege of working with Students from Northumberland Park Community school to investigate contemporary art and art making. Starting with a gallery visit and workshop we have been working out how artist make artworks and how we can find new ways of creating art.

The quote used to frame the project is from the granddad of ‘artist educators’ Eric Booth
Contrary to conventional wisdom, art has not always been a noun… At the birth of the word ‘art, ‘ it was a verb that meant, ‘to put things together.’ 

It was not a product but a process.
During the first school based workshop we worked on mind maps. Mapping what we already knew; knowledge, expertise and the equipment/ tools we knew how to use. We also mapped things we haven’t tried before, things we were unsure of and things we didn’t like. At the end of the first workshop students were asked what they would like to focus on; what they already knew or what they didn’t know. 

They chose to focus on what they didn’t know.

The rest of the school based workshops became places for experimentation and investigation. Words from the initial mind maps became points of departure/ ways of bringing two things together to make something new.  Pairing included – pop stars and the pillar drill, clay and nature, tuned up cars and rainbows, lazer cutting and shelves, nail varnish, roofing sheets,  saw dust, plasticine and wire mesh.

We working together - vacuum forming rocks, hand embroidering plastic sheets, spray painting cars,  lazer cutting shapes and text, sculpting with clay, painting with clay on canvas, shaping wire, drilling with  a pillar drill and working in 2d design.
The artworks you find in this space are a collection of artworks made through discussion, collaboration and experimentation.  The show has been co-curated by students – working with scale versions of the gallery and taping out a ‘to scale’ floor plan of the space back at school.

Working in a school and allowing students time to play with materials, make mistakes and try new thinks is really important as it’s a very important part of contemporary art practice. Its how artists work but is rarely how art as taught.

Lead artist - Jack Brown

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