Monthly Archives: February 2013

end of the world as we know it…

So you know how Dec 21 2012 was supposed to be “the end of the world”…

Michelangelo Pistoletto orchestrated a large scale international artwork called Rebirth-day which focused on the date of that 21st December. This date is thought of by many cultures to be the end of the world. Michelangelo wanted instead to make the day a celebration, a kind of a rebirth and optimism for a new and better future. Many people and institutions collaborated with him internationally to make art interventions and events on and around the 21st of December. I was invited to participate and seeing as i was in india then, i wanted to involve the orphanage where i was working as it is a place for second chances, a kind of a “re-birth” for the children whose lives are turned around by going there. In this sense it seemed to me to already exist as a symbol of the philosophy that surrounds Rebirth-day. On the 21st December we had a small exhibition at the Butterfly Hill orphanage to celebrate Rebirth-day and mark the end of 2 months of art labs for the students of Care and Share’s schools.

Also, I wanted a Muggu (hindu welcome drawing – see previous post) made specially to welcome in Rebirth-day so I asked Mounika Gandikota, a local village girl and one of my most brilliant students whom i have taught for three years now, and who along with her mother and sister make these beautiful drawings nightly, to make these 2 Muggus for this occasion.

a camel is a long way up…

…sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time, this is one of my favourite images from India this time round:

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The camels were used in the nativity play, so in the morning, waste not want not, all the kids got camel rides. The kids were fearless and loving it…even the tiny ones but me, i prefer to stand on terra ferma. My room mates, the girls from Lusiana home look up at the mountain they are about to climb…

red man in tree…

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Was hanging my washing on the roof which gave me a great vantage point to film this incredible man who happened to be pruning the palm trees round the orphanage. He is dressed all in red as he is a Bhavani Deeksha (see previous post). An incredible athlete he shimmied up tree after tree with apparent ease even though it obviously takes incredible strength and fitness to do what he does and all in the humid heat of south India. Every now and then the school tannoy system from across the road can be heard urging the kids to get into their classrooms…just another day…

the advantages of the group…

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The group drawings we did were so successful last year i wanted to implement them again. They promote collaboration, negotiation and even greater ambition in the scope of the children’s drawings as they grow to realise that as a group they can achieve far greater things.

P1150627our lovely headmistress pops into our class for a visit

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…also i noticed that when the kids work as a group they are less likely to ask me to resolve a drawing problem and more likely to work it out among themselves (which is a valuable lesson i think). I am really trying to promote this notion of the art always coming from the children themselves, so this problem solving makes me very happy!

P1150165My classroom windows have no glass, which makes for multiple interruptions from our noisy neighbours, the kindergarten class, who love to stick their heads through the window and scream 20 at a time “hello mummy” to me!!!…

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Here are some of our groups with their collective drawings…Around Christmas time i have given up trying to get the kids to go for subject matters closer to home as they are super fixated on the notions of a western Christmas, and they get such a kick out of drawing Santa Claus, reindeer, snow etc…who am i to say they should stop…

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