Friday, 22 May 2009

New work for Artmummy

Lots of exciting new work coming through - in particular I've just started a Creative Partnerships project working with another artist Adrian Spencer at the Castle School in Donnington, which is a special needs school. We're working on ideas around sequencing and communication, and Adrian's skills in animation and video are really helpful with that. Our first session was totally in at the deep end - we had talked about having an introductory session with teaching assistants and carers only but it turned out we had the whole class! We arrived a few minutes late and it was straight in - start delivering NOW, and given that we've never worked together before that was fairly challenging.... we devised a session broadly based on the idea of facial expressions communicating feelings, and then used digital images of the children miming the expresssions, recorded them saying the words and also wrote down the words. First bit of learning - the teachers are less interested in writing than verbal and visual communication, so we'll focus more on that in future sessions - mainly I think the children find writing very difficult and that can slow down the pace a lot. Second bit of learning is not to try to achieve too much in one morning - no way we could put all the material together into a single film whilst on site, and how to engage teachers in the technology when there's only one laptop to work from?
Next time hoping to do a playground chalk drawing as an animation - but will pace ourselves more and also have to do some benchmarking using video cameras - so that will take up a lot of time as well. So enjoying the children though, the atmosphere in the class room is fantastic and the enthusiasm from everyone is really infectious - I feel we might achieve something really exciting together!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Snowed off...

Thanks to a shed load of snow last night, and previously Monday night, lots of work cancelled this week....and beginning to feel I can see the wood for the trees, thanks to the chance to do a bit more desk work. Loads of rescheduling to organise now though with schools and artists - really complicated to fix but never mind. Have been feeding the birds vigilantly in the cold weather and as a result the area in front of the kitchen window has become a feeding frenzy....moorhens hang out under the feeder all day waiting for seeds to fall, the ducks keep standing in the bowl of water to sink the icefloe and gobble all the bits that float up. On the feeders greenfinches, goldfinches and today bullfinches too have been competing for space. Robins chasing each other round the garden and we have one wagtail who has taken up residence. The flock of long tail tits arrive daily, nibbling at the fat balls like little pink feathered piranhas - and one has no tail at all but has survived so far very well. Will try to catch a photo of him - 'no tail' as we call him. Expecting a load more snow tonight and kind of looking forward to it now, its like life just slowed down as the week is going on. No traffic, less email and phone calls.....I'm liking it!