28 Nov 2014

“Paper” Art Workshop, November

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The ‘Paper’ workshop was the second in collaboration with Lubuto Library Project. The workshop curriculum was designed and mentored by Laurey Nevers, a successful collage artist in Zambia and art teacher at Baobab School. The assistant artist-mentor was the talented emerging artist Mapopa Manda who also uses collage technique in his artwork, using themes of social critique & political satire. The workshop participants were made up of 22 children from various organisations for disadvantaged/ vulnerable children in Zambia: Lubuto Library, Pestalozzi, Chikumbuso and CIDRZ. Roy Chitwila volunteered as stART’s Peer Educator, and Raymond Siwakwi was the acting Peer Educator and assistant for Lubuto Library.

The workshop began on a hot afternoon on Friday in Garden Compound. There were a number of children already present at the venue who helped to set up the workshop materials and to arrange the work space. Laurey began the workshop with a brief introduction to collage – what is it? Where does it come from? How can you do it? What are the materials? – as well encouraging the children about the accessibility of collage – that it can be practised using the most basic materials.

Once the children were familiar with the concept, they began working on A4 pieces of manilla paper, putting into practice what they had learnt using the materials at hand. The materials consisted of tissue paper, sewing patterns, napkins, sugar paper, brown ‘butcher’s block’ paper, newsprint, corrugated cardboard, doilies, wrapping paper, old books, graph paper, old textbooks, magazines and newspapers. Most kids targeted the magazines for their first attempt at collage, producing some interesting results.

To encourage the kids to become bolder in their approach to collage, Laurey set a task on the second day. Having removed all magazines from the table they were allowed to use only the materials still remaining. Building up a composition using the collage technique of layering, the children had greater freedom of expression and could creatively explore different applications of the medium.

Towards the end of the second day the kids were encouraged to begin on their ‘final’ piece; having practiced a few times they had a better understanding of the medium and of what they wanted their final composition to look like.

Preparation of final compositions was continued on the third day. The kids had worked diligently and enthusiastically throughout the workshop so far; there was a lot of high good humour on Sunday as they seemed to really be taking collage in their stride, thrilled at the results. There were some kids who came in as early as 7am on Sunday to get cracking with their work to be able to begin a new one before the end of the day. Quite a few of the participants produced more than one piece.

The workshop was concluded with a critique session held by Laurey and Mapopa, whereby the kids put all their works together and each member of the group said a few words about their work. They are very excited for the next workshop!

It was uplifting to see the dedication and studiousness of each individual throughout the three days. They kept to the task at hand throughout each day, even rushing their lunch to get back to the collage they were working on. It is always a greatly positive experience to watch how the kids take to a new skill and work at the perfection of it, creating excellent work. One boy in particular commented at the end of the workshop what an honour it is to be part of stART’s workshops, that he can’t wait for the next one. It is greatly inspiring to work with these talented young people.

A warm thank you to the support of the volunteers over the course of the weekend – Terry Henning and Anna Eliasson. Also to Laurey Nevers and Mapopa Manda, Roy Chitwila, Raymond Siwakwi and Lubuto Library for the opportunity to use their library as venue.

Thank you to Adam Ojdahl for the photography. To view more of Adam’s work please visit http://www.adamphotography.se/