Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Art Facilitation 02.5

Example 1 boy age 11 years old

A mixed media / collage: my fantasy tree-house


‘The home or space where I feel safe’
Exploring which spaces or places feel safe and who would they like to have close to them in these places.

  • Is to explore and identify the ‘safe’ people in their lives; with whom they feel comfortable and making space for them.
  • Develop imagination and fantasy.
  • Have exposure to different artistic materials by making a mixed-media picture; using pencil, pastel, ink, paint and collage thereby continuing to develop their artistic ability.

Discussion: talk about the habitats where different animals live e.g., forest; what it looks like and what animals live in the forest. Then get them to imagine a magic forest and where or what their special place was. They can imagine living in a magic tree or in a magic tree house. Once they have their imaginary living area they can choose anyone to live with them: animals, friends, teachers, mom, dad, brothers, and sisters, whoever they want. They can also decide who they don’t want living with them. You can ask: “what happens in your magic home? What do you feel?”

  • Leaves – pre-collected
  • Paper
  • Ink
  • Pencils
  • Glue 
  • Paint 
  • Oil or chalk pastels
  • Magazines for collage

Example 2 boy age 12 years old; pre-plan

The children can design their tree-houses using pencil and pastel, thinking of the people and objects they want to include with them. I gave the children the option of using paper from magazines or tracing the leaves to cut out and collage or collaging the leaves straight on to the tree. They could find people and animals from magazines to paste in or draw as the chosen people. These are the only guide lines I gave my children as I was happy for them to design and construct it how they wanted to, using the materials however they wanted; this encourages them to think for themselves.      

Example 3 girls age 9 years old

Here is a tip:
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan.
Try not to worry about it and go with the flow.
These types of exercises often have a life of their own;
I believe that people will normally create the experiences they most need.
 Just stay attentive and notice what they need from your leadership.

In this particular group of mine they wanted to rather paint and draw with minimal collaging. Paint is a wonderful messy medium which allows emotions to be expressed. It is better to accept that things are not going according to plan and that it will turn out for the best anyway.

This exercise was adapted from the book: Art therapy for Groups (a handbook of themes, games and exercises) by Marian Liebmann (1986).

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