Thursday, 1 December 2011

connections connections

Working with young people this week at Nottingham and Leicester.

I do a lot of workshops about connections.  It corresponds to my interest in mapping and curating, as well as helping people to make sense of contemporary art and exhibitions in their own ways by drawing their own connections to exhibits.

Followers of this blog will remember my previous post about the current Nottingham exhibition I'm working with and my group at Leicester's New Walk Museum (see Working with Objects).  So here's an update on how things have progressed!

In Nottingham I have started working with teachers and students from Djanogly Academy.  First we visited the Klaus Weber exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary.  Weber's show includes two rooms filled with objects he has brought together from museums, galleries and other artists.  By placing the items all together he draws visual and thematic connections between the objects, thus revealing some of his interests as an artist.

We challenged the students to try to draw connections between every object in the exhibition.  Quite a challenge as there are around 200 objects!  But through that process, the students began to recognise some of the themes contained in the exhibition:  nature and man, systems, biology and machinery.

messages in bottles, maps, treasure hunts, signs...
Back at the school, we then planned how their connections might be presented as artworks themselves.
...washing line, bread crumbs trail, orienteering...

Ideas ranged from collection boxes, a series of signs, a washing line and even a hopscotch game!  The students will be working on these ideas up until Christmas.

In Leicester I made a start working with my group of young people on making resource packs for visitors to New Walk Museum.  We decided we wanted to create multi-sensory packs that would expand the experience of visitors from the purely visual experience of looking at exhibits.

choosing textures
We have started putting together a book of textures.  The book will challenge visitors to make connections between the feel of the texture in the book and the exhibits in the museum.  We'll explore some of the other senses in the next few weeks.

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