As part of the exhibition World Capital at Arebyte Gallery I was asked to come in and run a workshop for the local children, inspired by the exhibition. World Capital explores how cities and city planning has become homogenized due to capitalism and globalization- with newer parts of cities being impossible to distinguish from other cities across the world. The artist, Felicity Hammond, explores this topic through digital collage, and the gallery space was turned into a collaged city, complete with water ways which mirrored the installation and created an almost ethereal space in the gallery.
Globalisation and capitalism are bit much to explain to young children, and we weren’t sure what kind of age range we would attract for the workshop so I decided to focus on the ideas of collage and building a “world capital”. Rather than asking the children to simply sit and do a collage themselves I wanted to push it into 3D, much like the artist herself had created a 3D collage in the space. With this in mind I researched free downloadable nets of famous landmarks, and also some more simple buildings like schools/ect. I designed a file of the river Thames on Illustrator, which I had printed 150cm x 50cm, which we spread out over the tables in the gallery space, and we asked the children to join us in putting together the famous landmarks and buildings with glue and scissors. When they had made a variety of landmarks (with our help) we then asked them to “build their own world capital” by placing the landmarks they had made around the river, to create their own ideal city- complete with pyramids, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the statue of Liberty, and lots of other international buildings!
Rebecca, the curator at Arebyte, helped me to run the workshop and we both had lots of fun, as did the children who came along! They liked it so much that they asked to take the huge river print and all of the buildings they made home with them. I felt that it was super successful, and it is important that art galleries offer fun, free, accessible activities to children- especially children who otherwise would not get the chance (i.e. children from low income backgrounds, children with special needs, act).
Some photos of the “World Capital” we built! ^