Session 7&8

We’ve had a few delays with this project.  To make sure we get finished on time we have decide to do full days – combining sessions.

So, for this session I revisited the school to spend a whole day there.  I brought with me a loads of flat pack cardboard boxes to see what we could make with them.

I think the images will speak for themselves here to be honest….

It was a big day and they all made great work. Unfortunately some of the class were missing for most of the day but the rest of them really got into it.  I think it brings together some of the themes and concerns that we had been looking at in earlier sessions, exploring 3d shapes, and the relationship with 2d and 3d, textures, working as part of a group and individually.  These concerns are very present in my own studio work also.

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Week 6 – Miniature Worlds

The class enjoyed assembling the 2d patterns into the 3d shapes last week.  Some of them put the pattern on the inside, some left it on the outside.  Others wrote bits of text inspired by the pattern on the inside of the shape.  I think they really got into exploring all the possibilities with the 3d object.

There has been a bit of a break between session 5 and session 6.  In that time the class had started to make their own dioramas, based on a novel that they were reading in class.   I wanted to start the session by showing them some work I had made like this.

Next, the class took turns to show me some of the work they had been making.

I had collected a lot of images of other artists who made work along these lines to help inspire the class and start a discussion about how they could finish off their dioramas.

The group came up with lots of great ideas – cutting out miniature people, using lights and so on.

I had been planning a real visit for the next session – hoping to spend the whole day with Ms Murray and the class making work.  We talked a little about what we could spend the day doing in relation to all of the work we had been making and came up with a plan!

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Week 5

Today I wanted to tune into the group – to see what they thought of the project so far, so I started with a question “HOW ARE WE DOING”

Using the white board we were able to make a mind map that described our experience of the project so far.

mindmapThis is an example of a mind map, and below is ours:

grab2So, all in all things are looking pretty good.

From the beginning we have been talking about looking at boxes in some way – either to post stuff to each other or to use in some more creative way.  There have been lots of ideas passed back and forth, from making a pin hole camera, to using the box to make up little worlds inside of.  Today, I wanted to start looking at boxes!

I emailed Ms Murray some patterns which she printed out A3.  She also photocopied the B&W textured landscape collages from last week and the plan was to cut the patterns from these textured landscapes, so when we folded them into 3D objects they would have the pattern on them.  Here’s some images from my examples:

This is a way of working that is very familiar to me, and I wanted to show them some work I had made by cutting an folding paper.

model1 model4The class got the objects cut out and folded but we ran out of time to assemble them.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the results.


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Week 4 – textured landscapes

Towards the end of the last session we had started to work with the rubbings a little bit.  The class photocopied theirs and started to cut them up to make new images. We looked at aerial photography to get some inspiration.  They sent me on some photos of the work during the week and I was blown away.

I was also really impressed that they had worked on them in their own time.

During the week I also had started to play a little with some of the textures I had photographed.

I was getting interested in the idea of making drawings or image of the things we can’t see.  There are some drawing experiments I’ve done before where you place an object in a bag and try to draw it by touch.

I had asked Ms Murray to bring in some objects and black bags for the session and we set about on our little experiment.

touch_bowlThere was great fun at the end when we opened the bags to reveal the objects.  My drawing (above) was of a bowl.  We took photos of all the work using the webcam and I asked them how hard they found it on a scale of 1-10.

Unfortunately I’ve accidentally saved over that white board but I will get Ms Murray to send on the images, or post them in the teachers blog.

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Week Two – Maps and Textures

After my real visit to the school (quite a while ago now- falling a little behind on the blog to be honest) the class made the most amazing drawings based on the journey drawings we made the first day. sesson1-1-1We spent a good bit of time taking some photos of the drawings using the webcam and had a wonderful discussion comparing and describing the two huge drawings.  It was a good intro to using Eluminate as an interface – how to draw with, take photos, and add text.

sesson1-2-1 sesson1-3-1

Our chat lead us to texture. I looked around my studio and the class looked around their classroom for different textures.


We left the session for a while to go and explore different textures around our environment by taking rubbings.

sesson1-13-1 sesson1-12-1 sesson1-11-1 sesson1-10-1The above images are from my studio (well, my apartment actually as the internet is down in my studio) Using newsprint and a blue oil pastel I made some rubbings from tiles, wallpaper, wooden step, and more wallpaper.

When the class came back they brought up their brilliant work for me to see over the webcam.

I loved the rubbings that we were collecting – and wondered about using them as the bases for making drawings.

sesson1-14-1We broke up again for a while to try to make very detailed drawings from the rubbings we had taken.  The above image was my attempt.  I left the class working away on their drawings until the next session.

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Week Three – Texture drawings and more maps

We started this session by thinking back to our best memory from last weeks class.



The class had brought in loads of great objects with different textures.  We spent a bit of time looking at these and taking photos of them with the webcam.

I has also been busy collecting textures – using photography.

I was really excited by all the work the class have been making – and all the stuff they’d been bringing in.

I wanted to continue working with drawing, and looking at all the great rubbings we had made.  I had collected some images of landscapes taken from the air:

After chatting about these for a while I thought we could make some nice drawings using photocopies of our rubbings, and taking the landscape photos as inspiration, to make our own textured landscapes.  I left the class to get started on this and will pick it up next week.


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I visited Cookstown School for the first time on Tuesday.  It was an early start on a cold winters morning.  I took some photos of my journey.

It was great to meet Miss Murray and all the class.  We chatted about the project, about what an artist does and looked at some of my drawings and sculptures.  The work that I showed them was all completed in different countries, and as i had to travel to get to see them the theme of journeys started to emerge.

Using google maps we looked at the journey I had traveled to get there and we decided to make some drawings of journeys that we all make, from home to school, from the class to the yard, just very simple drawings mapping the route.

Over the break Miss Murray had a great idea.  There was still snow on the ground outside so, putting on wellies and coats she took the class outside to make their journey drawings outside on the snow. I stayed in the warmth and made a little film.


Cookstown session1 from Joe Coveney on Vimeo.


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