Friday, 29 January 2016

Studio Arts: Leaf Exhibition

Exhibition View: Collages, prints and handmade paper

Sometime ago I wrote about some of the work I was doing with my Prism Arts group. We were looking at developing various visual arts skills and techniques, using leaves as a starting point. These sessions went really well, with the participants getting stuck into trying new techniques and starting to develop personal visual vocabularies. The sessions worked so well that the group has evolved form being the visual side of our Studio Theatre Company into becoming a separate visual arts group.

Exhibition view

Bunting made from lino prints on fabric

Lino prints on fabric

For me this is a very exciting development because whilst I love theatre my passion really lies in the visual arts. Altering this group to focus on the visual arts allows me to really use my skills and knowledge to enable the participants to develop theirs. The leaf workshops (as I like to call this block of work) showed that this was the best way for the group to develop and expand. We looked at a range of techniques including lino cuts, paper cuts, paper making and weaving. The positive responses from the participants were really encouraging and have also resulted in an impressive body of work.

Collages

Collage and print

Prints

To celebrate this we held an informal exhibition in our main studio space. This allowed us not only to see how much work had been done and to celebrate our achievements but also provided a good opportunity to start developing our critical thinking skills. Having the work up on display (and before that selecting particular pieces to go up on display) makes it easier to talk about what we like and why, what worked well, what didn't work so well and ideas to try out in the future. Having the work in front of us to refer to is very helpful during this process.

Leaf prints on fabric and lino plates

Lino plates

Leaf prints on fabric and handmade paper

I really enjoyed working with the participants to create this work and seeing it displayed in the studio space I felt so proud of what they'd achieved and excited to see how the work will develop. As often happens I was intrigued by how although we all had the same starting point and used the same techniques and materials everybody's work is very different. Our next big 'event' for the visual arts group will be C-Art in September and I'm really looking forward to seeing the work the group produces.

Weaving (done on a peg loom)

Weaving (on a frame)

Weaving (on a frame)

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