Simon delivered the first of a new series of Saturday morning children’s programming at Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart today. The annual stART program includes a whole range of arts activities for children and families created by a range of ArTELIER artists. Bec Stevens worked alongside Simon with families to create another Self Assembly installation and creative encounter using wood from the land and plaster bandages.
Simon and Victoria presented at the Fourth International Teaching Artist Conference at the Lincoln Centre in New York. They delivered a joint hands-on session with Simon running the ‘self assembly’ public participatory workshop while Victoria showed how to document such programs through simple book making techniques.
Kirsty Grierson and Leigh Tesch presented their work in the Small Stories Project at an International Teaching Artists Conference (ITAC4). Small Stories promotes oral storytelling and creative play through performance and workshops for babies and children under 5yrs and their parents/carers. In the workshop, delegates created their own stories that reflected their own practice and engagement with communities. It was inspiring and valuable to meet with other artists from around the world committed to creating quality early learning theatre and story experiences to encourage growth, development and relationship building in the early years of www.smallstoriesproject.com
Simon ran three workshops at ArtPlay over the weekend with families and then a Learning Exchange session for 20 ArtPlay artists and teachers during the week. During the weekend sessions about 50 figures were made by adults and children worksin together to create dancing pairs. The “self assembly” work has been developed partly as an exemplar to use with professionals to explore aspects of reflective practice around working with children and families in the arts. In the Learning Exchange the group made figures but, while doing so, talked through various aspects of the practice and discussed the nature of the encounter. The ArtPlay learning exchanges foster a reflective practice for practitioners working on creative arts experiences with children and families.
ArTELIER: Artists in Tasmania: Ecology of Learning, Intergenerational Exchange and Reflection
ArTELIER is a new project that invests in Tasmanian young people by empowering the artists who work with them. ArTELIER will build the capacity of the Tasmanian arts ecology of artists, creative activists and educators who currently work, or wish to work, with children and families.
ArTELIER has been developed by experienced practitioner artists in partnership with the Peter Underwood Centre, supported by Nayri Niara and Salamanca Arts Centre. This project is a Learning Exchange, so that artists share resources and learning to strengthen the sector’s practice and have a powerful impact on Tasmanian children’s creativity, learning and cultural citizenship.12 core participating artists from across Tasmania will meet, face to face or via video-link, to co-design and deliver a series of eight Learning Exchange sessions. Each session may involve an artist/provocateur, and an ‘Open Pedagogy’ session where additional arts educators are invited to broaden the discussion. The technology of the Peter Underwood Centre provides multiple online video links to interstate expert provocateurs and statewide participants, and production facilities to create online video resources for artists and teachers.
Applications to be a core artist on this project in 2018 have now closed.
This project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.
Emma is a British performance artist. She uses her body to explore movement, shape and play. Interested in dance, ambiguity and surrealism, the results are often incongruous and mysterious, causing the viewer to question reality and look closely at what is there. The work is documented with both film and photography and is sometimes developed in post-production to increase the element of surreal and surprise even further. Whilst at All That We Are, Emma IS playfully responding to the landscape with her body in a performative way. She hopes the results bring a sense of play, freedom and awe at our bodies for the viewer. She aims to continue this series of work as she travels to different states within Australia.
We had wonderful three days hosting 30 leaders from the arts across Australia as part of the Australia Council for the Arts Leadership program. Over the three days the group met together and in groups on the property and came together over wonderful meals provided by Asher and Franca from Port Cygnet Catering. One night everyone walked across to Mortimer Bay where Craig and Trish from NITA Education talked about the history of the aboriginal people on the land and combined knowledge with Asher and Franca to provide some amazing bush tucker for everyone.
Simon led a series of two-hour encounters with making at ArtPlay, the Children and Family Art centre in Melbourne, for 50 participants over the weekend of 7-8 October 2017. all that we are invites adults and children alike to create a figure representing themselves using fallen branches and plaster bandages. The completed figures created a temporary exhibition at RMIT on the weekend of 20-21 October. Within the design of this creative encounter there are many key elements of the practice of public participatory making. For this reason this work sits at the heart of Simon’s PhD.
The work at RMIT, Melbourne – October 2017
Simon was invited to be one of the Artist in residence artists at The School of Creative Arts in Hobart for the second half of 2017. He is working in the Printmaking studio developing the digital iPad drawing he has been making since 2012 into larger scale hand-printed images.
Simon has been busy in the studio developing a new public participation work. Simon and visitors have used wood from the land together with paster bandage to create standing figures.
Every figure is unique. Each figure represents every participants and no single figure represents one single participant. Their individuality and strength in numbers represents the human as being.
The work invites participants to make a simple androgynous figure from fallen branches by sawing limbs, torso and head and attaching them together with plaster bandage. The completed figures, unable to stand on their own, are joined at the hands to create a gathering.
The process of making a figure can be done individually or in collaboration with another person and takes approximately one hour to construct. The process involves finding the right shaped branches, cutting them with a handsaw and then assembling using wet cut strips of plaster bandage. The plaster sets in minutes allowing plenty of time for careful consideration of the assembly of the separate pieces to create a figure with individual character. The materials themselves help drive the form of the figures. Their ease of construction, and the relation of the materials to their manufacture define the scale of the figures.
This work is focussed on the transformative experience of making fallen limbs into a community of repaired and strong people. It is the participants’ variations that create a gathering of individuals – each unique but each also reflecting the human form. The work is inclusive around a framework Participants gain huge pleasure from making their figures (particularly when making the figures together), and great satisfaction in completing and placing the completed figures with others. There is a special moment of connecting the figures together.
The number of participants is variable. There is a minimum of two and a maximum limited only by access to construction materials. The fallen branches can be sourced from the immediate local environment adding a direct local connection to the work. The final positioning of the figures is also variable – the resulting lines of figures can be assembled as circles (concentric or adjacent), spirals or groupings – this decision is dependent on the presenting space and can be determined by the lead artist or the group.
For the work reflecting 1450 Simon hopes to create a gathering of figures the same in number as the number staying over in the house. In the first year this was over 100 different people – 100 different figures.