Project #5/5 – All complete!

Now I have the finished product and a sweet feeling of relief and accomplishment ūüôā
If would like to read the exegesis click here.

I would like to thank my actresses for all of their hard work, not only going through series of experiments and activities, but also giving me their utmost¬†best effort and quality for my assignment. It was so so SO much fun and I have found a new interest for film-making! I’m doing the wrong course, I think I may change! (Just kidding.)

ONE THING: It was probably not the best idea to have a FIRST ATTEMPT at film-making, when my tutor has studied film-making. Oh well.

Here is the final product.
A 5 min short film –‘Can I play?’

Annalise’s Movie from Annalise¬†Wennekes on Vimeo.

Creative Community.

[1]

Today’s lecturer was Dr. Cat Hope, who took us on a journey through her own personal experience.
From playing the flute to sound art, she explored many avenues to eventually find herself where she is now, teaching at a university and an active member of the group decibel. Cat said that “An artist can not operate on their own, and their community determines their success.” But in saying this she mentioned you may have to start off on your own, before it leads you to collaborations and group process.

It was my groups turn to give the presentation in tutorial today, and we  decided on a in-depth discussion of the reading with a touch of case study on FORM.

Forms Gallery on Murry St. [2]

What is FORM you may ask?
It is a Perth based organisation (yay local!) that aims to keep creative individuals, and creative projects and innovations in Western Australia. People who like in rural areas particularly, have been told to be successful in the arts, to make it big, you must move over east otherwise all hope is lost. FORM says no to this type of thinking and aims to create jobs here!

We also discussed¬†this weeks reading of Borrup’s¬†“The creative community builder‚Äôs handbook”¬† and Jess explained to the class about the importance and impact of culture in societies and how creative people and professions¬†play¬†a key role in economic and political success. Whereas it was my responsibility to focus more on the social success side of things, and involve the class in some sort of discussion. I decided to keep things rather basic, due to previous experience of class discussions not having a lot of answers and input, and although the first questions were a bit disheartening, involvement picked up with the last two.

“We shape our cities and then our cities shape us.”¬†(T, Borrup. 2006)

When  building strong communities, observations have shown cultural organizations, bohemian  neighbourhoods, artist communities, and education of imagination is highly important and positive effects are seen afterwards. Some of the rewards are providing access to unlocal resources, utilizing derelict buildings, to creating a sense of belonging across cultures, there is evidence you can rebuild and revitalize communities with the arts, and creative organisations. When the class was asked what they had been a part of, there were things like music festivals, to volunteering in iron man events, to amateur theatre groups.

I ended with mentioning the reading described  5 social strategies and 5 economic strategies to inspire our own community building with emphasis put on creating jobs and small businesses. Essentially the key idea I wanted to get home was РWe need to identify assets particularly cultural and artistic in our own communities and mine them to generate turn around. As long as we are pursuing what we love, the positive side effects, economic, political and social, will follow.

“Finding new norms and co- operative ways of working across cultural boundaries is difficult, but success results in a society that is more innovative, productive, and just!”(T, Borrup. 2006)

Borrup, T. (2006). The creative community builder’s handbook: How to transform communities using local assets, art, and culture. Minnesota: Fieldstone Alliance.

[1]Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=QDmt_t6umoY&NR=1

[2]Retrieved from: http://weloveperth.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Form-gallery-600×399.jpg

Project #4/5 – Lights, Camera, Action

After experimenting with painting and drawing materials, observing children being artistic and interacting together, and documenting their expressions… I have arrived at my final project.

1. Choose and prepare the setting.
A family home – full of small children – has a distinct look about it. Objects are stashed, shoved, and stacked, and although there is traces of attempted ‘order’ in the house, you will still find food or crumbs in the most unlikely of places. You could not recreate the same kind of homely mess on a set, unless it had been lived in for while , so that’s¬†exactly what we will do. Use the space that has been lived in, and be truly authentic.

Office

The Beginning and Ending Set

Bedroom

Where the action goes on.

Bedroom

2. Organise Costumes and make-up.
The costuming and make up need to be just as authentic as the setting, so straight out of the wardrobe’s of the little actresses it was – and no make up was required untill it was actually a feature of the storyline.

3. Place the actresses in position.
Give a few simple instructions.
And pick up the camera… Press record.

Sneak peak from the production Process..

Project #3/5- Experimenting Some More

I know exactly what I want to work with – children – and the ideas I can explore… but I am trying to find a medium that suitably conveys the moods and¬†emotions¬†in an appropriate manner. My previous attempt I did not find satisfactory fulfillment, but it did inspire me to pick up the camera and try something new. Which led to this…

Emotion Pictures

The spectrum holds many colours, just as a childs face is a canvas to express many emotions.
After capturing an aspect of these emotions with a camera, it was then time to take to good old PHOTOSHOP.
As i started to play around, I decided to make each photo a different colour, and gave an effect as if they were each a piece of artwork.
The girls love their rainbows and they also, maybe oblivious to it, express much emotion through their face.

Coloured Emotions

Now what?
Well I guess I will just show you what my brain came up with…


I hit a wall.
I didn’t know what to do because I lost the meaning behind what I was doing.
I could be creating logos, or child care posters, or business cards… but i¬†lost my motivation. This wasn’t what I was aiming for.
Time to move on to something else.
Something I could explore deeper and take to the next level.
Fingers crossed it is more successful than my last two attempts.

Project #2/5 – Experimenting

Still undecided on what I was going to produce and how I was to produce it, I was lead to experimenting with a group of children, to observe, watch, and discover something that may resonate and that I may be able to run with…

Materials:

  • Finger paint
  • White paper
  • Chalk
  • Concrete

Who was involved:

  • 5 year old female
  • 6 year old female
  • 8 year old male

Method:

  • Children were given 1 piece of white paper and 4 colours of finger paint (red,blue, yellow, green)
  • After being asked what they wanted to paint, they were advised to stick to their original idea even if they make a mistake – to keep going
  • No talking about own or others work – only music to be heard in the background

All ready to go, I took note of what they originally wanted to paint..
The 5 yr old want to paint Peacock and Rainbow the 6 yr old wanted to paint a Love heart and a flower and the 8 year old want to do a motorbike or jetski..

  
  

I seemed to notice that not too far in to the exercise the original ideas began to change and certain interpretations or completely different ideas were being realised. The 5 yr old started to copy the 8 yr olds work, the 8 yr old decided he wasnt skilled enough to do what he originally had planned and resulted in smudging colours at random across the page. The 6 yr old stuck to the original idea she had and executed it to the best of her ability.
At the end of this activity we hung the paintings up to dry, and repeated the finger painting exercise, this time with the added pressure of a reward or prize for the best painting. This changed the dynamic and attitude the 8 yr old had towards the painting, but not the 5 yr old and the 6 yr old, they carried on hardly feeling the pressure at all.

We then moved on to a chalk project, considering markers and pencil can be too complicated and tedious for some children. We took to the concrete and I asked the children to recreate whatever they had painted and add to it whatever they like.


The children quickly lost interest in this activity.
Maybe I was pushing my luck.
But I did learn a couple of things.

  • The two particular girls I worked with are obsessed with rainbows.
  • The facial expressions whilst they were creating their art were very entertaining to say the least.

This has given me an idea for my next experiment…

Project #1/5 – The Journey Begins!

Creative Project .
Do whatever you want. Anything. ANYTHING.

This instruction can sometimes prove more difficult than a clear set of boundaries, limitations, and requirements because I largely suffer from indecision when it comes to the question “Where do I start?”

Off to the library, to find as much information on creativity as possible.

It soon becomes clear to me the reoccurring¬†themes I am focussing on, found in the text books and the lectures/tutorials, and I begin my process from there. There seems to be quite a few references to children; Having a child-like imagination and approach to creative ideas, having¬†no worry of failure in the beginning¬†or self-consciousness about what others might think, also¬†being humourous¬†in the approach to particular works. Young minds do not have¬†as deep an understanding of stereotypes, taboos’, conformity, and tradition¬†as the adult mind does, all of which have the tendency to hold creativity back.

“Every child is¬†born an artist, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.”- Picasso
“Most children think they are highly creative; most adults do not.”- Ken Robinson
“Young children enter pre-school full of creative confidence; by the time they leave highschool they¬†have lost that confidence completely.”-Ken Robinson
“No matter how old you get, if you keep the desireto be create, you are keeping the man-child alive.”‚ÄĒ John Cassavetes
“To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desirefor recognition.”
‚ÄĒ Albert Einstein

Great, so there is a good start for my exploration, getting back to my child-like roots and learning how to turn off the analytical and logical side of the brain.
There is one issue.
Along with all these great ideas on a creative environment and frame of mind, one of the key ingredients to go along with creative process is time.

Uninterrupted, solid 40 minute to 3 hour time blocks, or periods in which the mind can get on a roll and flow (like Csikszentmihalyi describes).
This particular ingredient I do not get a lot of.
Being a single mum of a small infant, your time is no longer your own and you must share your time with a tiny human who requires much looking after, feeding, bathing, changing, watering, and protecting from scary insects and other poisons.
I argued with myself that I would be unable to complete a successful creative project whilst I was unable to set aside certain chunks of time, to put away distractions and focus completely on my work.
I then realised that it takes creativity to be a mum.
You are constantly trying to entertain your child, problem solve unexpected situations, and efficiently use your time to get the maximum amount of work done. I may not be producing skillfully detail pieces of fine art, but I would say creativity is involved when you try to clean mulberry stains off a wriggling one year old who also wants to tip their water bottle on your head as the phone rings.

I decided that I would do this creative project with the inclusion of the small young creatives in my life, studying them, instructing them, observing them.. I wasnt sure how it was going to work or what was going to be produced but at least I had a starting block.

Observations of a One year old & Brainstorming.

I started to question what art really is? Are the paintings I would do at four years old creative?  Who says which piece of marked paper is a scribble and what is a masterpiece? Can I hand a child a paint brush and expect them to eventually create a complete artwork?
What is beautiful and¬†what is grotesque to the child’s eye? Can they create art with food? dirt? music?
“The idea that modern art looks like something a child can do is a long-standing clich√©. For some modernists, however, the connection between their work and¬†children’s art was direct and explicit.” [1]
I decided to consult the trusty google.
Search: Child artists.

Aelita Andre – Professional artist by the age of four [2]

Meet Aelita, she is four years old, and has $234,000 sitting in her trust fund from selling 35 art works. [3]
That is more money than I could even fathom at the age I am now, let alone that age.
I discovered that although children may have the right ingredients for optimum art making, it still takes a unique mixture of colour, texture, composition and story telling, for a childs work to capture the attention of adults, and art critics around the world.
These are just some of her works..

[1] Fineberg, J. (1999). The Innocent Eye: Childrens art and the modern artist. [Book]. Retrieved from: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/6177.html
[2]Retrieved from: http://www.huhmagazine.co.uk/images/uploaded/aelita_00.jpg
[3] Legge, K. (2011) A pint-sized pollock?. The Australian Magazine. [Newspaper article]. Retrieved from: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/a-pint-sized-pollock/story-e6frg8h6-1226121487881
[4] Retrieved from: http://designyoutrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/147.jpg
[5] Retrieved from: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dubwOtEFi94/TfQOSpikQ_I/AAAAAAAAEug/2SWtCVjLeXg/s320/Aelita-Andre-painting91.jpg
[6] Retireved from:http://www.citylimits.org/assets/images/marketplace/resize_Aelita%20Andre-String%20City1.jpg

Wicked Problems.

The concept of a ‘Wicked problem’¬†is something I (and probably most people) encounter on a daily basis, and have never known there was actually¬†terminology for it.
Some of the instant¬†examples that come to mind…
1.The way the taps in the shower either make it too hot or too cold
2.Traffic jams throughout Perth city in Peak hour
3.The amount of space in my kitchen (not enough)
4. The way people starve in third world countries whilst we waste enough to feed them
And the list goes on of problems in this world without a solution. Or if there is a solution, it creates more problems, hence the original one is fixed but new ones are created and it tends to go in a cycle of solutions and problems.

Here is a very basic explanation if you are receptive to examples containing hospitals. Or if you are a designer….

We explored this concept in the tutorial focussing mainly on small living spaces and apartments in NYC and also traffic jam issues in asian countries and our own country. In groups we were to find solutions to our wicked problems.. but, of course, only created more problems in the process. The lady who lived in the small apartment could renovate, knockout walls, and put up many mirrors.. but she may not be able to afford it, her neighbours may not agree, and she may not want to see her reflection all day. When it comes to traffic issues, I was very proud of my idea – as it has a lot of potential – put in a track that runs through the golf course, so people can avoid the lights and zip straight over to Uni. (Well it was more viable than the flying cars idea in my opinion.)

Wicked problem. [1]

Now I know I am supposed to talk about the lecture in this blog… but.. I didn’t find a lot of correlation between¬†todays lecture¬†and this weeks readings/tutorial.. So im going to¬†be rebellious and¬†talk about the following weeks lecture.
I know I’m breaking the rules.. Lets call it creativity?

Week¬†8’s ¬†lecture, given by Duncan Barnes, was full of personal experience, advice, and general tips and tricks in to thinking and producing creative work. Giving us a brief run down of his career history – the main theme I saw running through was that he saw a need. He saw the need for scanned digital images and made them accessible, he saw the need for a positive view of raves, he saw the need for a renewable energy business in Perth. And along the way he made comments like…

“Without photography I wouldn’t know what was real and what was make-believe.”

“Commercial photography is making something look so desirable and convincing someone to buy something that they probably can’t afford and don’t need.”

I have two thoughts on these comments.
One is; Mr Barnes has a clear understanding of the industry he is working in. This is critical to his success and business he has made in this field. Without the foundation of knowing what the client wants and building from that, his work would be just like any other person with¬†a fancy camera who thinks they are a world-class¬†photographer, it would be empty, unfocused, and left up to chance. His creativity has direction and “rules” but within those rules he creates something unique and sophisticated.
Two; A single photographs ability to jog the memory and bring back so many details where we have forgotten, is an area we can continually expand creatively. I believe we are only on the very edge of what technology is going to permit us do in the future when it comes to reliving moments in time. Who knows? Maybe we will see the day where we can keep our 3D memories in a box.

[1] New Delhi. Retrieved from: http://www.weirdasianews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Giant-traffic-jam.jpg