Above: Images from the one day paper printing workshop at 3rd rail Print Space
This workshop was my first time as Workshop Tutor, rather than Assistant, with an adult group for 3rd Rail Print, running a paper printing workshop. I was super nervous as I usually assist but I’m really pleased with how it went- we ran to schedule, finished on time, and everyone gave good feedback and were pleased with their prints! I think going forwards I will feel more comfortable to lead a workshop in future, although I am still happy to assist as well.
Above: photos taken during the 1 day t-shirt printing workshop I assisted with today at 3rd Rail Print Space
Today we had a larger group of 8 people for the t-shirt printing workshop so we overran a little bit, but it was very successful- everyone enjoyed the day and was very happy with their limited edition run of t-shirts. Some of the attendees came with digital designs which they needed help with using Photoshop, and some of them drew their designs in the morning- it was a nice mix and we managed to split the group quite nicely to two by digital or hand drawn designs to teach the various stages of the process. Lots of cool designs- my favourite was the hand drawn Dali lobster phone illustration!
I was asked to pitch two workshops as part of my artist residency at The Playground- one of these was a t-shirt printing workshop based on the one I ran earlier in the month at 3rd Rail Print Space. It was for adults accessing the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) mental health services nearby at Maudsley Hospital on Denmark Hill. This was the first time I have ran a workshop for an older audience, but it went really well!
We asked each participant to come up with a drawing on paper to then turn into a paper stencil using a craft knife. I assisted with this when needed, then demonstrated how to use the paper stencil and a silkscreen to print onto a t-shirt using the inks provided- we encouraged them to help each other during this process, and also encouraged experimenting with marbling the inks on the surface of the screen. One of the resulting prints is shown above (God is the world photo).
Overall I was really pleased with how this workshop went, especially given it was my first time working with adults! Everyone seemed pleased with the t-shirts they made, and I think it ended on a really positive note. Engaging the local community in the arts like this is something I am really passionate about and hope to develop further in the future- not just with children but with teenagers, vulnerable adults, and adults who might have an interest in art but no experience. If we want the art world to truly be more accessible to everyone then workshops like this are really crucial, and I hope to keep doing work like this.
So I started my 3 month internship at 3rd Rail Print Space in Peckham this week! I have done screen printing before, but I’m actually learning how to do all the prep work and how to run a workshop, which is super exciting!
Some of it has been fairly basic maintainance of the space- restocking stuff, putting screens away, cleaning, ect. In my first week I have already learnt how to coat screens, line up artwork and expose it, prep the screens for printing, and clean off the stencils once the screens are finished with, ready for the next use. It’s all been super interesting! I have been shown some of the digital admin side of things as well, but I will probably need to have a go a few times to get the hang of it.
This is all crucial stuff, as I hope to run my own multidisciplinary workspace one day, so I am keen to make the most of this opportunity and learn as much as possible. I have been taking lots of notes, but I probably won’t share those here, just for privacy of the studio.
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! ^
notes made during the workshop:
- accessibility of art/museums/galleries
- how to engage multiple senses for those with different impairments and those without impairments
- tactile works- 3D? How can we make 2D works (i.e. pictures/books) more accessible?
- watch that speaks- tells you the time, watch that is tactile- you can tell the time by feeling it
- paperless braille memo pad systems- has memory and can be connected to a PC for reading or storing notes
- braille has limitations- education needs to learn it and use it
- computers have made things more accessible, but to get qualifications in other languages you still need to learn braille
- braille requires more space than text and specific printing techniques- meaning it is more costly and less accessible
- we need to make braille/sign language/deaf-blind sign languages more widely available for everyone to learn so that it is easier for impaired/disabled people to get on with their lives
- translating the visual information into tactile information can be difficult- can we do this the opposite way round or is it better to give both equal importance at every stage?
- using disability as a framework to develop better educational systems
- translation as an act of creativity, using creativity to solve communication issues- there will always be more than one interpretation or version
- when translating visual information into tactile information how to you put across the emotions/feelings?
- light as heat- rather than seeing it it can also b felt, modern lighting gives off less heat than before, and makes less noise than ol fashioned lights
- engaging other senses- not just sight and touch in artworks- this can benefit more than just disabled/impaired people
- layering sounds/smells/textures/air/temperature/light/ect
This workshop was fascinating- I have been saying all this time that I want to make my work more accessible, and it was vital for me to learn what is can be like for people with impairments different to my own, so that I can be more considerate of this in my own work going forwards. It has made me think much more critically about the choices I make in my art, and making sure that my goal is genuinely to make it as accessible as possible, rather than just pleasing token people.