Tag Archives: art class

butterfly hill christmas exhibition…

The critics agreed that the show was a hit…We had around 20 minutes to put up all the work the boys have done in the last 4 weeks…

Then the whole school filed in, class by class. The kids were really interested, it was all rather sweet…I even had “security” with some older boys acting as bouncers…luckily not needed as like i said, everyone loved the boys work.

Am sad my work at Butterfly Hill is over for this year…like i said it is real, proper countryside apparently yesterday there was a troop of around 50 monkeys running around the playing fields. For sure i would consider spending more time there next year. But back to the work…i tried very hard to get them to instil little bit of India into their drawings but like i said before, they are in love with the western myth of christmas. However eventually a few boys took me up on the challenge and anyway with all the students i do believe they employ the colours and mind-set that is intrinsically Indian and i find their images to be sweet and a little surreal, but i will let you judge for yourselves…

anatomy of a drawing class…

It’s a lot of fun going to a drawing class in an out of hours art gallery, and incidentally, all the main art collections in Edinburgh are said to have ghosts…but i will save that for another post.  Went to a drawing lab at the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. Here is a joint effort by MVP and ZF…looks kind of ludicrous but it was a lot of fun…

…and best thing about it is the total lack of pressure, does not matter if you do a really rubbish drawing…but i actually quite like this one.

when to photograph…

I saw a primary school class of kids in Princes St gardens on a drawing field trip. In particular i noticed the wee boy below drawing the gardens and the Scott Monument.

Not only was his drawing brilliant, but he seemed so into it, his enthusiasm was palpable. My first reaction (as ever) was to photograph and i was thinking that i would really like to send it to some of the kids i had been teaching in India. I know it is somewhat taboo to randomly photograph kids in this country, but i really wanted to document this boy drawing, so i started snapping away, being  careful not to show any of the kids’ faces…and sure enough, after a minute or two i was approached by a member of staff  (from the national gallery i think, who were running the workshop), telling me (very apologetically) that i was not allowed to photograph the kids etc. I told her i was not showing their faces, and offered to show her the shots, so she said that that was ok and off she went. i however felt a little like a social pariah. I understand why i was approached, but this would not have happened in Spain or Italy, and i don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing to be so prohibitively protective, or to go the other way and be naively/blissfully unaware of the implications of a stranger photographing your kids… but it did make me feel a little sad and frustrated that the simple documentation of such an innocent act could be viewed with suspicion.

cards…

Card i designed for christmas for the orphanage charity i sometimes work for using the alphabet (see previous post) i developed with the kids from the school at Buddavaram.

sewing machines and art classes

We share our class room with 4 or 5 women who make clothes and uniforms for the children of Daddy’s Home. They work on beautiful old (indian) usha sewing machines powered by a foot pedal rather than electricity.

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Classes can be a little anarchic. Children wander in and out from other lessons. School seems to swing from highly draconian methodologies to a policy of laissez faire. Often i have new kids asking to join in, and if there is space i let them. Today was bedlam, as well as my class with 3 new kids and all the seamstresses working at full speed, half the school traipsed in to get their new school uniforms. So there was a constant queue of kids snaking around my class room…all morning…

We are working on ideas for Christmas cards to print for the charity and am trying really hard to get them to incorporate a little bit of India into the images, but they love traditional Christmas stuff so i get a lot of holly, candles, Santa Claus and reindeer… Last Christmas they went into the local village carol singing around the mud huts. I tried to get them to draw this but they were having none of it, instead i get alpine huts in a snowy setting. Am trying… But some of them do get it and am not saying what what they are doing is not great, here are some of my favourites…

I asked Raja why he put a “dream” sign in his drawing, he said that its christmas so you have to dream.