For our classes, we had decided that since these students have never had any proper art classes or training, we would start off with an introduction on Art. This resonated in many ways with the workshop that I conducted last year at the Karachi Children’s Art Fest titled “WhyDoArt?”.
We began the class with introducing ourselves to each and then explaining what I am doing there and what we would be doing together each week. I had made a Powerpoint Presentation with some artwork and some questions for us all to get a sense of what we are getting ourselves into and what is the point of it.
Those simple questions included
1.What is Art? – Work included images of Sudobh Gupta, A warm lobster dish prepared in Guy Savoy, Fresh Window by Duchamp.
2. Purpose of Art – Work included images of Cave of Altamira, near Santander, Spain, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s The Gates of Paradise, Francisco de Goya’s The Family of Charles IV and many more.
3. The World After the Camera – Work included images of Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Starving boy and a missionary – World Press Photo of the Year: 1980 Mike Wells, United Kingdom (It was hard for the children to understand that such a small hand can belong to a human – lessons in empathy!)
4. Why Do Art? – Work included images by Banksy and Native Americans’s Journals.
We saw images and some wonderful Artwork, we discussed our reactions, our thoughts. From the get go, we established the fact that Art is essentially storytelling and from there on it was an easy process to come up with stories, understand stories behind the work, and to relate to them.
Group 1 – which was made up of Class 1 and 2 – was a bit hesitant to answer, but nonetheless engrossed. The class was a perfect example of how Art if a universal language with the children being able to understand the context behind the images and added their own interpretations and stories to each work.
Group 2 – Class 3,4 and 5 – were more responsive. They interacted with the work more. And while I wont say they understood more than the previous group, they were more involved in the discussion.
Looking forward to more interactions!