Hello, I welcome you find out more about my Art Workshops and life in India, let me tell you about the last 3 months.
India bursts with colour, through the landscape, the transport, the music,the people, the buildings, the food. You can spend 5 minutes here and you will see that art is naturally a large part of the culture. But I have noticed that in school, the children are not exposed to expressing themselves with art or creative thinking. This is where I come in.
With the support of Hazel’s Footprints Trust, I am volunteering as an arts facilitator with the UK arts charity Articulate and the Seb’s Project India, which is based in Tamil Nadu.
The schools I am working with teach children from very poor families or no families. I am experiencing working in government schools supported by Seb’s Project and also the tribal schools, which have been built and supported by Seb’s.
This is a completely new experience for Seb’s schools, and those involved. That means I have had the opportunity to really play around with ideas and create a weekly workshop timetable in the town and village schools.
The children have been part of exciting, one-off workshops, exploring new and different materials and techniques. Working as a group and independently. Exploring and experimenting inside and outside the classroom environment. By experimenting with different ideas, I hope each child can enjoy being creative and have fun.
Workshops have included salt dough modelling, leaf collages, fruit and vegetable printing, making snakes to hang from the ceiling, finger printing, messy painting, nature rubbing’s and collages, paper chains, drawing to music, games, dance and mask making and more. I have set up a graffiti project at a boys hostel and The Girls Project at the government school, which only has 6 girls out of about 90 students. The children have been excitable, kind, helpful, energetic, sometimes naughty and always creative.
Living in South India can be quite spectacular at times. The smells, sounds, sights and tastes really give my senses a mixture of experiences. The temperature is peaking above 40degrees now as we approach summer. I’m amazed I haven’t melted yet. Palm trees cover the landscape, mountains across the horizon. Eagles soar the sky, as cattle roam the roads. Traffic is non-stop, chaotic and noisy. I have been to India before, so It has felt very natural for me to be back in this colourful environment. The food is superb! Living with an Indian is great, my house mother always knocks up a traditional treat!
I am learning about the culture, and feel that we in the West take so much for granted, especially good education. Volunteering is such a positive experience for me. The children keep me driven and inspired. Bringing art into these environments is something which is very powerful.