Traces of human life and imagining

We started our session this week with looking a little bit more at why Rachel Whiteread and I talked a bit about the idea behind the boxes; she is interested in traces of human life and this can mean al sorts of things.

I had gone looking for traces around my own house and showed the class some of my finds.

paint mess sm


radiator small


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The children went in search for these traces and marks that were made by children and teachers over time in the school. some wonderful examples of this you can find here! (the teachers journal).

We had split into groups of seven and everyone had brought in cardboard, one of the tasks of the day was to tear up the cardboard into pieces roughly the size of our hand….. what this will become is yet a surprise!!

Every group also traced a part of the map of Ardfert, projected on the whiteboard. Another work in progress but it is great to approach our ideas from so many sides and discover what comes to the surface.

One of the ideas from last week we wanted to investigate further was the idea of imagining what might have been there or what things, that we only have a small puzzele piece of, might look like.

We have one picture of the interior of the old Ardfert school. we looked at it and all the things that could give us clues. and I showed the class what I imagined.

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I also had some little details I imagined other spaces with:

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And I had sent ahead seven different pieces of my house (on paper…) which became these wonderful spaces!

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We concluded our session with a discussion on wether history is fact of guessing? and we will continue this debate because it was not as easily answered! A classroom divided with very valid points being made on both sides! the No side (no to it being guesswork) argued that we have proof of things, where the yes side were not so sure about how you can actually know things for sure! Oh so much food for thought!




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2 Responses to Traces of human life and imagining

  1. annhenderson says:

    I was truly excited on learning about your concept and then seeing the photos taken in response by your class around their school -the marks or traces of human life. Through your own imagery and research, you obviously communicated the concept, even though it is subtle in itself, very strongly.
    Ann (Henderson)

    • Thanks Ann! Yes they really grasped the concept, I was delighted with the images that came back from their journeys around the school, such close observation of things that we usually don’t see!

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