I'm currently working with The Homeschool Group to create a beautiful art installation, using recycled egg cartons, to add to our work space at the Massey Leisure Centre. Working with the children on this project has really made me think about how we value the visual arts and the potential for incredible learning on so many levels.
This collaborative project not only gives children skills in colour mixing (creating tints, shades and hues with acrylic paint using only the primary colours, white and black) but also allows children to work together towards a common goal, helping, encouraging and guiding each other along the way. We have discussed the space and what sort of works would suit and the children have become aware of considerations that need to be made before choosing a suitable work for a particular space. We are contributing to the space we work in, to make it feel like we belong, to help us connect and to give back to the centre we work in every week. We are adding something special to the space, and we can enjoy and gain satisfaction from the work we have created together, as can other visitors to the centre, for months to come.
We have talked about other artists who use recycled materials for their work and the fact that their work is valued, no matter what materials are used, where they come from or what they look like. It is the thinking behind many of these works, the ways they interact with the environment, the aesthetic value and the audience appeal that adds to the value of the work.
Here are some images of other installations using hanging found materials.