Open Studio term 2

Term 2 Open Studio -JUNIOR GROUP

Mondays: “Rainbow Nation”      

We interpreted the phrase “Rainbow Nation” to mean that there are many people with different cultures and traditions living in South Africa who have origins outside of our country. We wanted to celebrate the richness of these cultures in the face of xenophobia for the “other.” We created art inspired by Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, India, China, Germany, Swaziland and Lesotho. Next Term we wish to focus on the 11 Official languages of South Africa and create artworks inspired by these local traditions.


Fridays: “Celebrations”-Junior Group      

“Celebrations” refers to our Fridays being dedicated to card making. The idea behind making cards was to encourage the children to think of others and inspire empathy for people around them. We combined card making skills with themes like “Who is protective of me?”, “Who do I wish to protect?”, “Mindfulness” and a “Welcoming Card. The children had to think who in their lives they could give the various cards to. It was generally a fun way to end the week.


Our theme this term was around creating something tangible to take home with using recycled material. We created animals caterpillars and butterflies and the kids were happy to have something to take home with at the end of the session, as gifts for their family or as toys or as something to take care of at home. We also created dolls which was very challenging for the kids and it exposed lack of skills to think about and create toys out of recycled materials. This was a spot on realization for us as facilitators and also a challenge to do more of these kind of activities to impart these necessary skills. What stood out for the kids and us as facilitators was creating a volcano, it changed the studios atmosphere when the volcano erupted, the excitement was real, and we could also feel it in the room as facilitators. We still have exciting activities lined up like father’s day gifts and play dough.


Our themes for this term has been working more in 3-D.   We did drawings to teach them the language of drawing, we brought in wooden dolls, we encouraged them to use the whole page, we were amazed at the detail they noticed once their minds started to focus on the objects, when we asked them to draw from observation we gave the children wire objects to copy, such as motorbikes, saxophone and a guitar.  We did bubble painting where they could use the paint and blow bubbles or when the paint had too many tiny bubbles they could use the paint to use as a stencil.

We have found having an example to show, gets the creative juices flowing, they may copy initially but quickly they would add their own twist in the art piece, making it their own. They were more willing to share about their art with each other than previous terms.

One of the last sessions we showed them examples of a 3D bird, butterfly and a fish. They could choose which on to replicate. They enjoyed decorating their objects, the birds had a hat and a scarf on as it is winter time. The fish acquired a frog etc. and the butterfly were decorated with feathers and embellishments.

One of the session was experiential, the facilitator had them experience the ocean by using sound, a blue blanket white blanket and shiny wrapping paper. They particularly enjoyed involving all the senses in experiencing their world around them.


Drama Club   

The Drama Club Open Studio welcomes participants from the age of 12 years, we have sessions every week on Wednesdays. This term’s main theme was bulling. Using drama and different methods of theatre such as forum and image theatre, we dealt with the causes, perpetrators, victims and resolutions of bulling. Within the Drama Club we have participants who are victims and others who are bullies, we offered opportunities to both victims and bullies to swap roles within a safe space.

The issue of bulling amongst teenagers is enormous and one that cannot be resolved overnight or within a period of a term, but I am confident that the work we have done in the past three months as made a huge impact on our participants in building self-confidence and resilience.

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