On Monday 20th October I made a first real visit to meet the children of P2 and P3 and their teacher Mrs Crummy.
It was lovely to return to St Patrick’s School and this time I brought my daughter Aoife who is studying art in London and who was keen to experience a little bit of the VIRTUALLY THERE PROJECT! We had a lovely opening discussion with the children about what an artist does and about this new phase of the project and the theme which we were all about to explore.
The children spent a wee while having a look through a pile of sketchbooks that I had brought to show them………
We began to talk about the theme of PATTERN and all of a sudden we were seeing patterns EVERYWHERE!
The children offered up some wonderful examples:
Blue / yellow
amber / black (The Crossmaglen Rangers kit!)
patterns on the wall
patterns on Mrs Crummy’s clothes
Even the pattern of clapping that the teacher used to bring the children’s attention together, so we tried a few more clapping patterns offered by the children. The enthusiasm was so great they may have missed break time!
Taking the HAND as a starting point after all the clapping patterns, I asked the children to try a group clapping pattern on the floor… we did our best to form a circle but our circle was wobbly and shaped in wavy lines…
then we decided to look for patterns on our very own hands…… and we drew them on paper using willow charcoal!
I suggested that they need not draw their actual hand, but only the patterns that they saw. This was quite difficult and lots of children wanted to draw their hand shape (by tracing around it) to contain their lines and marks!
Here are some of the patterns the children found on their hands!
I wondered whether we could actually trace along these lines on our actual hands with bolder charcoal – we used compressed charcoal which is much darker and messier! I suggested that they try and join up with a friend and create a long joined up line of marked hands…..
The exploring patterns and hands did not stop there! I told the children about a wonderful exhibition I had visited in the summer in London…
The Cut-Outs by the French Artist HENRI MATISSE (1869 – 1954)
Matisse did some very interesting artworks with his hands using scissors! We looked at some images and saw how when he was an old man and unable to move around easily, he would draw from his bed or sit in his chair and explore shape and colour……..
All the children proceeded to place their hands on a bright coloured paper sheet and to trace around the outline so they could cut it out with scissors…
There was great focus to do this task well and once done the children laid their hands out on a large roll of paper (wallpaper lining paper) on the floor. We created our own giant scroll of cut-outs just like Henri Matisse!
Our time went in so fast and it was lunchtime so as the children got ready for their break, I wondered what about all the lovely shapes left behind on the desks…….. ?
Food for thought for next time when we meet online. The left-over shapes were gathered up carefully for a new challenge.
When Matisse created his cut-outs with scissors, he saw all possibilities…. the shapes he was cutting out and the shape left behind!