FUN DRAWING: Pre-School Art and Design, curriculum development and delivery.

In early August I was invited to Shenzhen, China as the external consultant for the Fun Drawing company.  Fun Drawing specialises in pre-school art, design and creative classes for students between the ages of 4-12 years. Fun Drawing have over 20 years experience in the field of creative education and have over 100 schools across the major cites in China.

Fun Drawing-International Education project 2017

I spent a week in Shenzhen working directly with Fun Drawing’s research and development team, reviewing current curriculum and teaching methodologies. It was my role to develop approaches to integrate and adapt UK art, design and creative teaching, learning, theories, strategies and approaches into the curriculum.

Fun Drawing research and DevelopmentTeam

Across the week, we worked together to develop a range of new projects, looking at the learning styles and interests of the different age groups.  The focus was on developing a more holistic approach to skills acquisition and competencies and also greater integration of creative thinking and action based learning, directly linked to UK creative education models and practices.

One area of key research was the identification and use of primary research sources, in the form of integrating gallery and site visits into the programme of study.  This led to taking 30 students to the the Team Lab Exhibition and Research Project, in Shenzhen.  The exhibition led by a group of artists from Japan focused on the application of digital, interactive light based installation  and technology.  The drawings produced were then used to instigate a class in the teaching studio, where students expanded on their experiences and drawings through collage, drawing and painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a extremely exciting, simulating and rewarding experience.  I was also able to meet with the children’s parents, over 60% of them had studied in the UK and/or the US and high valued their experience and hoped their children would also have such opportunities in the future.

Fun Drawing Project, class and course development

I’m looking forward to the next stage of the project and the implementation of the newly developed curriculum.  I will be returning to Shenzhen in October, to speak at Fun Drawing’s Annual Conference and present the current research and development.

 

 

Pre-China Drawings

Off to Shenzhen China today, for a week visiting with colleagues in Fun Drawing, taking part in a series of development sessions and demonstration classes.

As ever, I will be drawing and developing ideas in sketchbooks, 12 hour flights are always productive. China Blue seems appropriate.

Below is a snap shot of current work developing further approaches to the ‘Penny Dreadful’ object/narrative idea, engaging with shaped narratives and applied structure.

 

 

Penny Dreadfuls

Penny dreadful:

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‘Penny dreadful is a pejorative term used to refer to cheap popular serial literature produced during the nineteenth century in the United Kingdom. The term is roughly interchangeable with penny horrible, penny awful, and penny blood”.

The current work draws together from the sketch book new works on paper: a range of both known and familiar objects arranged in a comic strip like format. The images are brought together into a grid, the objects connecting with one another forming potential narratives. the medium of ink, coffee and highlighters gives a saccharine prefabricated kit, or formulaic quality, akin to the nature of mass produced literature like the penny dreadful.

This work will be exhibited as part of the South East Open Studios: 15th June – 18th June & 22nd June – 25th June 2017:  at the Hazelnut Press, 1 Ridley Road, Rochester, ME1 1UL

Sketchbook Thinking

Sketchbooks are an intrinsic and integral part of my practice, a place where I collate, record and synthesize viewed and remembered experiences.
I am currently obsessed with comicbook-like hieroglyphs, in search of or potentially reliant on a visual equivalent to the Rosetta Stone, combining the recognized, the invented and the possible. These draw from a range of real and imagined destinations and cultural references, many from regular visits to China.

South East Open Studios

New work in progress, drawings and prints developed from recent journeys in China.
As part of the South East Open Studios. Over two weekends 15-18 and 22-25 June, showing alongside Heather Haythornthwaite and Sarah King at the Hazelnut Press.

Trace Engines show at Rochester Art Gallery

The first UK exhibition of the Trace Engines project, which included a solo exhibition of drawings and mono prints at the AIP Gallery, Redtory Art Zone, Guangzhou in  2015, opens on the 25th November 2016 at the Rochester Art Gallery, Kent.

The private view is on the 24th November from 6:30pm and there will also be a series of workshops and artist’s talks that accompany the exhibition. This current show, from 24.11.16 to 20.02.17, brings together new work and pieces produced during my residency in China.

GC (rag invite trace engine)

GC (rag invite trace engine) 2

‘Trace Engines is a series of amalgamated drawings that on the one hand suggest a design or plan for something to come, and on the other seem like the residue of something that has already been. In this, they constitute a process of mediation where the acts and media of their creation – the drawing, tracing and mono printing – become iterative expressions that model an as yet unknown object.’

Shenzhen education conference – Fun Drawing

I had the great honour to be invited to speak at the Shenzhen Education Conference on October 26, 2016, as part of their Fun Drawing initiative. Introducing UK Foundation teaching and learning methodologies to over 300  pre-school educationalists from throughout China, alongside other professionals from the industry.
The panel discussions dealt with the challenges of the incredible growth in interest for the creative industries from a new generation of aspirational parents, keyed into the opportunities the Arts can offer their children.

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The Educationalist…

As a precursor to my next lecture visit to China later this month here are a couple of promotional items and some photos from the previous tours of 2016.

the-educationalist

 

Photos from CAFA High School (Central Academy of Fine Art Beijing); AIP Arts International Programs Guangzhou; GAFA High School; Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, British Council school tour Tianjin and Shenzhen National Art Museum.

Drawing from China

Reflecting on the China sketchbook, looking at the drawings and key images of a pivotal three-week period leading up to the Trace Engines show. People watching in cafes, evening meals with friends and dramatic flying fish all contained within the scrawled memories of South China.

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