Leftcoast: Catching Light at the Mount Pavilion

Colouring in a rainy day: close-up of a window installation by Michiko Fujii

I'll be returning to the Mount in Fleetwood this Saturday to lead another pop-up workshop for arts organisation Leftcoast

If you're in the area then come and help transfer this gem of a building into an installation of light and colour as we work on the windows as part of my Light Catcher workshop. Let's hope the sun stays out so we can make the most of the beautiful coastal luminosity!

Join us on Saturday 4th June from 1pm - 3.30pm in the Mount Pavilion along the Esplanade, Fleetwood.
 

 

A Study of Nature and Beauty

At last, the children's work is up - as a mini exhibition in their school!

Using Andrew MacCallum's painting Oak Trees in Sherwood Forest (1877), as a starting point for key themes and inspiration, I spent four days working with two reception classes at Norris Bank Primary School. The project was organised by Manchester Art Gallery as part of a wider project responding to the current Art for All: Thomas Horsfall's Gift to Manchester exhibition. 

Working with both classes, we explored lines, shapes, silhouettes and details of plants and leaves and turned these into drawings and paper cuts which were brought together to make the 'forest come alive' in a storage cupboard in the school! We also created some beautiful mixed media artworks to explore colour, light, transparency, textures and mini worlds. 

The project explored a number of contrasts:

bringing the outdoors in vs. extending the classroom outdoors

light & dark

light, air, sky (above) vs. texture, surfaces, ground (below)

man-made vs. natural materials

Artist Patricia Mountford also worked with Year One pupils to explore and classify materials to make sculptures, responding to the artwork The Carline Thistle as part of a study of Surrey Wild Flowers by Elizabeth Redgrave.

I now just have one more space I need to convert into a 'forest' tomorrow for Manchester Art Gallery's Thursday Lates, Nature in the City

Another Dimension

I've just had a fun afternoon in the new Clore Art Studio at Manchester Art Gallery. How time flies! Our installation has been taken down and the space has been re-developed by artist Sarah Bridgland. Sarah exhibited two beautiful artworks in the First Cut exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery in 2012. She has since developed ideas to create a space where people can engage and interact with her process and practice. The work also makes connections to influences within the new neighbouring Sculptural Forms exhibition.

As part of the new installation, plinths of modulated heights are arranged in a grid formation. In the centre of the grid, a table with compartments of different coloured, paper shapes can be taken out by visitors and endlessly placed and composed upon the plinths.

Studio Saturdays invites different artists such as myself to pop in and create an intervention which relates to our own interests and practice. My intervention (pictured above) is mirrored shapes and cameras and I'm particularly interested in how this can alter the way people arrange their compositions and also document them, as the mirror opens up a new world of reflections, symmetry and oppositions. The mirror also provides further opportunities for the imagination as younger visitors place it in their composition as a portal to a mirror-image world. In this world, things may seem alike, although appearances can be deceptive! 

Just So Festival 2012: Away with the Fairies, The Tent of Surprise

After a long and lovely weekend working at the Just So festival at Rode Hall Parkland Cheshire, I've finally found some time to load up a few pictures.

Hidden in enchanted woodland, 'Away with the Fairies', my Tent of Surprise revealed a paper forest (literally!) growing inside the tent. With baskets filled with surprises to rummage through, families were able to explore objects through all the senses. Torches revealed paper-cut shadows and bugs (both imaginary and real!), pots of perfumes or potions conjured up responses, emotions and memories, children listened out for noises and the feely basket was full of surprises - including a real frog that had accidentally landed in there and gone to sleep! Perhaps it was the fairy queen who had been out casting spells...

Links:

http://www.justsofestival.org.uk/

http://www.justsofestival.org.uk/away-with-the-fairies-at-a-glance/

http://www.facebook.com/justsofestival

 

Colour Pop at the Royal Children's Hospital Manchester - Culture Shots week

I've had a great day playing with colour in the atrium of the Children's Hospital Manchester, as part of the +Culture Shots week!

Working with artist and Culture Shots volunteer Louisa Hammond, on behalf of Manchester Art Gallery, we invited people to have a go at playing with coloured acetate on the windows in the main entrance of the hospital. The idea behind Colour Pop comes from previous workshops, playing with acetate on windows as part of the 'Interactive Laboratory' and 'Imagine' - Anish Kapoor weekend sessions at the gallery (to see examples, click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michikofujii/5525858773/in/photostream ).

The idea behind Colour Pop was simply to use the amazingly tall hospital windows, as a natural light box, upon which to place the acetate colours. As the sun began to move around the building in the afternoon, the most amazing colourful glow began to stream through into the waiting area, bathing visitors and patients in colourful light and projections. The acetate could be cut up and used as a way of creating colourful lines, images or abstract compositions. All ages took part, including a group of 30 children and their carers from the hospital nursery. We had quite a few compliments from staff, visitors and parents who enjoyed looking at and through the colourful windows... we also had a request to leave it up for the whole week!

Click here to listen to the Colour Pop audioboo: http://audioboo.fm/boos/658728-colour-pop

 

+Culture Shots is an innovative initiative of creative activities run by different cultural institutions across Manchester, taking place in all of the 5 Manchester Hospitals this week. Click here for more info:

http://www.healthandculture.org.uk/about/

Culture Shot blog: http://www.healthandculture.org.uk

Twitter (for audio boos): http://twitter.com/health_culture

'The Guardian':  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/feb/08/art-hospital-trust-culture-wellbeing

Manchester Art Gallery: http://www.manchestergalleries.org/whats-on/culture-shots/

Manchester Art Gallery Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150831844424128.511346.68496394127&type=1

Louisa Hammond: http://louisahammond.tumblr.com/

Lime Art: http://www.limeart.org/