Rojo Art are artist educators and developers of art projects outside gallery settings. Since 2002 we have been creating imaginative spaces and processes for people to make art and explore their connections to each other and the place they live. We recognise that the act of making allows a different quality of conversation and experience to take place
We are an evolving practice so check back regularly….
Our morning was spent paper making: a process to wet to get the camera out for. For a relaxing afternoon I unrolled paper around the copse and suggested to people they paint whatever they see around them; maybe the objects that fall on their paper or the shadows cast by the tree canopy. paint brushes were available but there were more interesting painting tools to be found.
Painting the cast shadows
Painting the wind blowing through the woods using natural tools
A morning introducing printing as a way of recording and exploring the natural world of the copse. Sun prints showed fascinating silhouettes and roller printing exposed the intricate patterns and edges of leaves and feathers. To capture the textures of immovable objects such as tree trunks we took a lump of clay (recycled from Florian’s casting workshop) for a walk pressing this into surfaces to make an impression and then using it as printing block.
This same clay was reused in the afternoon session, modelled into woodland creatures with the materials of the woodland floor forming spines, feathers, fur and scales.
Two days getting to grips with dirty materials at Wysing Arts.
This gallery contains 17 photos.
Also our first session in Age UK this week. we were starting to think this work might never happen as we’ve been looking for funding for a year. The members at the day club are looking for an activity that … Continue reading
This gallery contains 13 photos.
First of six art sessions with families in Nowton Park, exploring and engaging with a woodland copse through art making. The morning started with feltmaking on the woodland floor adding in natural materials, sometimes on purpose and sometimes accidently. We looked … Continue reading
Second group embarking on the soil project (see previous post). I was interested to see some 3 d drawing of the soil sample.
We started out by examining a large clod of soil under magnifying lenses and making detailed pencil drawings imagining we were soil scientists making an investigation. This activity proved to be quite captivating with many discoveries in the soil such as small insects and tiny shiny particles.
Next we thought about how people worked with soil in the garden and made some garden workers that we photographed in the school vegetable garden. With the next group I think I’ll expand this question to think about other people who work with soil and encourage more thinking about the tools used.
The following week I’d asked the students to bring different types of soil they found in their own environment. We started out by making a sample collection and naming the different types. It was the day of the England match and one of the soil collections was named after the team. The students examined the soils very closely and were able to distinguish between types that were visually very similar.
We experimented with using the soil as a pigment thinking about how paints are made using water and PVA as the medium. This activity gave the students a chance to really appreciate the colours, textures and components of each soil.
After exploring how it felt to use the paint and how to make marks with it I suggested that the children use the soil paint to imagine the underground world under a large tree. We started with a shared drawing to warm up and then moved on to painting, extending ideas by adding finer details with pens after the paints had dried.
This was the last of the sessions making artwork about snails. The children developed their own ideas thinking about where snails might live. I only managed to photograph a few but really enjoyed the sharing and development of ideas between the group this week.
Last week the children used there snail observations to make foam print blocks and by the end of the session we’d made snail and leaf prints for the artwork this week. I noticed that the younger members of the group find printing a difficult concept, why would they want to get involved in the messy process of printing when they can think through their ideas much more easily when drawing? I need to consider how I introduce this activity for the next group and whether I include the more immediate mono-printing.
This week we returned to thinking about snail habitat and started with some textured, rubbed leaf backgrounds then adding their printed snails and leaves and some foliage to create a more 3D scene.
Fergus became absorbed in the using different papers and layers for leaf rubbings and create a series of black and white images. Some of the children returned to the drawings of the first session and incorporated them into the habitat background.
After working with texture and print, Leo returned to drawing and reimagined the snail race that the children had set up the first week. This is the drawing at mid-point and he was still working on it when I went home.
Today I put on the gardening gloves and turned over every flower pot in my garden looking for snails. Where are they when you need them? I eventually located six lucky ones who would be the inspiration for our artistic inquiry this term.
I’ve decided to explore how to build new knowledge through inquiry based learning and in particular through material investigation.
We started the session by making a shared drawing and writing about what we already knew about snails. Interestingly a discussion on slowness resulted in lots of turbo charged snails being drawn.
I brought out the live snails and asked the children to spend 15 mins observing with magnifying lenses and making detailed pencil drawings.
The snails turned out to be lively models. This is Christian’s drawing of them stretching out on the side of the seed tray. We spent some time talking about questions that the drawing process brought up. Some of these were:
Why are snails so slow and sticky?
What are their antenae for?
Why do they have shells?
I then invited the children to choose materials from the table to make an artwork about the snails perhaps thinking about the questions they had been asking.
Some chose to tell a story through their art which was perhaps a way of thinking through the ideas we’d talked about. Chloe focussed on the shell making this collage drawingAfter making a story and drawing about snail predators (this led back in to the shell question), Isla set up a snail race track with the help of Leo and Joshua. During this activity we discussed whether small or large snails were faster, whether snails had genders and also discovered that snails could do their own painting when the dragged their slime over felt tip.