This week I made a visit to Crossmaglen to re-connect in the real world since we have been on an extended break from the project. I wanted to join Mrs Hughes, Eileen the Assistant and the children to explore how we could use charcoal to create changing drawings.
First of all we remembered our last online connection when we looked at how Eadweard Muybridge had explored movement and change using photography. But this time Mrs Hughes and I showed the children an animated CHARCOAL drawing that I had made in response to the words of a song by Irish Band Horslips, ‘Rescue Me’.
We watched this several times and afterwards a discussion took place about the imagery and how it made the children feel. This was wonderful to hear their thoughts and how particular images had stayed in their mind. The children spoke about ideas of longing for home, loneliness, feeling small, being secure and how it feels to have a home and family to turn to.
Some of the images from the animation that stayed with the children were these:
We talked about how the charcoal images were made on one sheet of paper and I told the children that I kept changing the image and photographing the changes one by one to create a DRAWING ANIMATION. We wanted to explore what was so special about CHARCOAL when used for a drawing animation. I showed them sticks of charcoal – only one child had used charcoal before. I told the children I made the drawings by adding the charcoal and taking away with an eraser…
We soon set to work to FEEL the charcoal in our hands and EXPLORE what we could do with it:
We saw how when we rubbed a charcoal image away, either with our hand or with an eraser, that something was left behind..
Mrs Hughes and I felt it was important that we talked about the way the images had come about in the animation – that I had not planned the way they would change but had let the charcoal drawing suggest images to me!
Another thing that became important was that we all watched a clip of artist WILLIAM KENTRIDGE (a South African artist who uses drawing and animation) talking about how he created his work. The children listened carefully to what he said about UNCERTAINTY and how important this was.
It was time to get busy again with the charcoal…
The children had been studying birds and this focus was working so well, they enjoyed creating bird shapes:
Mrs Hughes and I quickly decided to ask the children to each make a drawing of a bird moving, so each child would create a still image of a stage of the movement… we could then join all the images and run it as an animation! Mrs Hughes quickly organised the children to decide which child would draw which stage!
NOW CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO SEE WHAT WE MADE!
Moving Birds MINI ANIMATION