I learned this exercise from a session i did at the Baltic Quays gallery, Gateshead. It was in a session done by art teacher Elinor Brass so it isn’t mine, but I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing it on my blog. It is a beautiful exercise that I loved doing a lot.
First, spend ten minutes writing down your memories of childhood play onto a sheet of coloured paper using a black pen. It doesn’t have to be this theme, you can alter it of course, but be careful to choose something that evokes powerful feeling or strong memories.
Once you have completed the ten minutes (I found it very emotional and inspiring) you need to cut the written text up into smaller chunks of text, perhaps selecting word relationships deliberately, or randomly cutting or tearing them. Next, arrange the word pieces onto a sheet of A3 white paper (or whatever really) into an interesting design, thinking of your word combinations and patterns.
Now study what you have made. What stands out for you? Which word relationships are the most powerful and why? Discuss your thoughts in a small group or with a partner.
Now you should select a word or words to create a piece art in any style you wish. You might use paper techniques to depict your words (perhaps shine a torch on what you make for added dramatic lighting) or you might produce a drawing from memory in charcoal on large sugar paper. It’s up to you, what materials are available or what your artistic stregths are. I’d just keep the materials restricted at first. You can work representationally, abstract or through shape, pattern, texture, graphics, digital, photography. I chose to represent something that meant a great deal to me as a kid and still does as an adult. Me and my mates always tried to make our own goals as kids. I decided to add my word play memories as the net. It was great learning. The people created entirely abstract art, some produced patterns of flowers and one girl made a kitchen!!!